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100 years of farm and family and counting
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David, Herman Sr. and Herman Fritz are important people of my life. You see, in 1880 David purchased the land that, for over 130 years, my family has worked, earned a living and called home.

I have the pleasure and privilege of being a family member of a recognized and awarded Wisconsin Century Farm.

Wisconsin State Fair officials annually collect applications for Century and Sesquicentennial Farm and Home Awards, which are presented to recipients in August. To qualify for this designation, my family was required to provide proof of continuous family ownership of a property in the state of Wisconsin.

Our Century Farm began with my great-great-great grandfather on the maternal side of my dad's family, the Fritz family. My dad is the fifth-generation farmer on our Jefferson Township dairy operation and has many of the same attributes of his hardworking father and grandfathers before him.

The Century Farm and Home Program began in 1948 in conjunction with the State of Wisconsin's Centennial Celebration. Based on 2010 program numbers, 8,445 Century Farms and Homes can be found throughout the Badger State. The Sesquicentennial Program originated in 1998 as part of the State's Sesquicentennial Celebration, and since that time, 586 families have been honored.

Mark Mayer, Green County UW Extension professor, maintains a list of these Green County award recipients. He provided me with the 2010 list totaling Green County's recognitions with over 150 Century and 13 Sesquicentennial Farm and Home designations.

Century farms are very important as functioning museums providing hundreds of years of a family's work history, but as important, each century farm and home holds wonderful family stories that can be told for years and years to come. When our family hosted the Green County Dairy Breakfast in 2001, we had storytellers sharing what the Wyss Homestead Farm offered all those years ago. The Wyss family talked about the grand dams of dairy, their registered Holstein herds, that provided for the generation's livelihood. John Bussman explained how cheese was made in our historic brick cheese factory on the farm. We also had Nate Roth speaking to the art of maple syrup collection and syrup making. Nate was born and raised on my farm. He collected and maintained a treasure of memories that he shared with our family about his life on the family farm.

The Green County Ag Chest and Century Farm and Home Program have found powerful ways to reach populations with agriculture history and education. I encourage you to explore the industry and business history of Wisconsin and you will find hundreds of years of farm and family, which we need to support, keep strong and vital.

I am Molly Wyss, a sixth-generation family member of Wisconsin and Green County's agricultural history for over 100 years and counting.