About

Who operates the Michigan Centennial Farm Program?

The Historical Society of Michigan has operated the Centennial Farm Program since July 1, 2008. Before that, the program was operated by the Michigan Historical Commission, which first founded the program in 1948 in cooperation with Consumers Energy (then known as Consumers Power Company) and DTE (then known as the Detroit Edison Company).

How much does it cost to submit an application to the Michigan Centennial Farm Program?

The Centennial Farm Program price list is as follows:

  • Centennial Farm Application Fee – $95
  • Centennial Farm Replacement Sign –  $91.50
  • Sesquicentennial Farm Application Fee – $49
  • Sesquicentennial Farm Replacement Sign – $46.10
  • Bicentennial Farm Application Fee – $95

What are the requirements for Centennial certification?

To be designated as a Centennial Farm through the Michigan Centennial Farm Program, a property must be a working farm of 10 or more acres that has been continuously owned by the same family for at least 100 years.

What do I need to include with my Centennial Farm Application?

In addition to a completed application, which has been signed by all current farm owners, your application should include:

  • Photocopies of documentation of ownership, starting with the transaction in which the property came into the family and establishing the family’s continuous chain of title down to the present owner (i.e., deeds, land contracts, or mortgages)
  • Proof of present ownership (i.e., a tax bill)
  • Film or printed digital photographs depicting all current buildings and structures on the farm, as well as few images showing an overall view of the property (do not send photocopies)
  • A non-refundable $95 application fee, which includes the cost of the sign

What if I don’t have records that prove my family’s ownership?

You can visit your county’s Register of Deeds to obtain your property’s ownership history. You can also contact a title company to produce a property ownership report, commonly called a “Chain of Title” report, for a fee.

Who installs the signs?

The farm is responsible for its own sign installation.

Does my last name have to be the same as the original owner?

No. You must be from the same family as the original farm owner, but you do not have to have the same last name.

What are the requirements for Sesquicentennial certification?

To be designated as a Sesquicentennial Farm through the Centennial Farm Program, a property must be a working farm of 10 or more acres that has been continuously owned by the same family for at least 150 years. Please note that your farm must be certified as Centennial Farm through the Centennial Farm Program before you can apply for Sesquicentennial status.

What do I need to include with my Sesquicentennial Farm Application?

In addition to a completed application, your application should include:

  • A copy of a recent tax bill to evidence current ownership
  • Documentation (i.e., deeds, mortgages, or land contracts) to support any changes in the farm’s ownership since it was certified as a Centennial Farm
  • A non-refundable $49 application fee, which includes cost of sign

What are the requirements for Bicentennial certification?

To be designated as a Bicentennial Farm through the Centennial Farm Program, a property must be a working farm of 10 or more acres that has been continuously owned by the same family for at least 200 years. Please note that your farm must be certified as a Centennial Farm through the Centennial Farm Program before you can apply for Bicentennial status.

What do I need to include with my Bicentennial Farm Application?

In addition to a completed application, your application should include:

  • A copy of a recent tax bill to evidence current ownership
  • Documentation (i.e., deeds, mortgages, or land contracts) to support any changes in the farm’s ownership since it was certified as a Centennial Farm
  • A non-refundable $95 application fee, which includes the cost of the sign

How do I order a replacement sign?

If your original sign is looking worn out, or if you would like to place multiple signs around your property, you can order a replacement sign using the Replacement Sign Order Form. Please note that you may only order replacement signs if your farm has already been certified as a Centennial or Sesquicentennial Farm.

In addition to a completed order form, your order form should include:

  • Proof of current ownership (i.e., a recent tax bill, deeds, mortgages, or land contracts)
  • Documentation (i.e., deeds, mortgages, or land contracts) to support any changes in the farm’s ownership since its last certification through the Centennial Farm Program
  • Non-refundable application fee, which includes the cost of the sign ($91.50 for Centennial, $46.10 for Sesquicentennial)

How long does the application process take?

The application normally takes two weeks to process. Then, once the sign is ordered, it normally takes four to six weeks for the sign to be shipped.

Are there any tax benefits to owning a Centennial Farm?

While there are no tax benefits to owning a Centennial Farm, it is quite an honor for your property to be recognized through the Michigan Centennial Farm Program.  The data you provide with your application is invaluable and can possibly help researchers in the future. Once certified, you also are eligible to join the Michigan Centennial Farm Association (www.michigancentennialfarm.org), which is an organization that is dedicated to preserving the heritage of agriculture in Michigan.

Where is the oldest Centennial Farm in Michigan?

Michigan’s oldest Centennial Farm is the de Beausset Farm, located on Grosse Ile. The land first came into Denise de Beausset’s family in 1776, when Alexander Macomb and William Macomb, two British government agents and merchants, purchased Grosse Ile from the Natives and established farms. Denise de Beausset is the great-great-great-great granddaughter of both Alexander and William Macomb. The present farm comprises approximately 27.5 acres and is operated as Westcroft Gardens.

I’m interested in finding a Centennial Farm in my area—can you help me with that?

Yes. The Historical Society of Michigan can provide you with information about individual certified farms or groups of farms by geographic area. For more information, call (517) 324-1828 or e-mail hsm@hsmichigan.org.

 

 

Historical Society of Michigan 5815 Executive Drive Lansing, MI 48911
Email hsm@hsmichigan.org | Phone (517) 324-1828 | Fax (517) 324-4370

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