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The Missouri Century Farms program has been recognizing farms since 1976. This program has been sustained as an annual event with over 100 farms being recognized each year. In 2008, the Missouri Farm Bureau became a co-sponsor along with University of Missouri’s College of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources and Univeristy of Missouri Extension of the Missouri Century Farm Program.
The Century Farm program recognizes farms with at least 40 acres of land that have been owned by the same family for over 100 years, and make a financial contribution to the overall farm income. The line of ownership from the original settler or buyer may be through children, grandchildren, siblings and nephews and nieces, including through marriage or adoption. Applications are available in February, through a new online application process, and must be received by May 1st. A fee of $140 is required to cover processing costs, one certificate, a booklet, and one two-sided, 2-foot by 2-foot metal sign for each approved farm. For more information on the award, process, and application, visit https:// extension.missouri.edu/ programs/century-farms/ cf-apply.
The Clark County Extension Council is proud to recognize the 2021 Missouri Century Farm recipients Cameron Farms- Lawerence Cameron, Lake-View Farm- David and Lee Shultz, and Doug and Jennifer Folker. We have decided to continue our efforts of sharing not only their accomplishment of receiving the distinction of being a Century Farm, but also of sharing the stories of their family’s ownership and commitment to production agriculture on those grounds.
Cameron Farms, Inc.
John Cameron purchased this farm from Seymour and Erminie Strickler on April 19, 1920. John Cameron passed away in 1924 leaving the farm to his wife, Florence. Other share croppers farmed the land until around 1945, when Florence gave the working of the farm over to their son, John C. Cameron. Florence Cameron passed away in 1968 leaving the farm to their children- John C. Cameron, Ruth Cameron, Harriet Cameron, and Edith Cameron. John C. Cameron purchased the farm from his three sisters by obtaining a farm loan.
In 1981, John C. and his wife Elizabeth made the farm structure and corporation with his children- Janet, John Jr., Jeanne, Clare, and Lawrence. John Cameron Jr. and Marilyn Cameron have passed away, but their daughters, Amanda Cameron and Courtney Cameron are expected to become shareholders soon. The farm amounts to about 286 acres with a farmhouse, large barn, double crib, bull barn, and garage. The farm has experienced many droughts, two major floods, low crop prices, and a devastating 1969 hail storm in its 100 years of Cameron ownership. With the good Lord’s help, it will continue on as a family farm.
Today, David and Lee Shultz (great granddaughter to G.W. Seyb) reside at Lake- View Farm and continue to take care of the cattle operation with their son, Trent Shultz and his family. They produce corn, soybeans and wheat at Lake- View Farm. Several years ago, David and Lee’s daughter, Tara, returned from Arizona to help on the farm as well.
George Washington Seyb was born February 22, 1862. In 1903, G.W. and his wife Jeannette sold 170 acres of land in Clark County, Missouri and purchased a parcel of land consisting of 295 acres just down the road near Ashton (west of Kahoka). On Lake-View Farm, they built one of the first modern farm homes in Clark County and this is where they remained until their deaths. At the time, they were being cared for by their son, Lambert and his wife Elnora, while raising their only child, George. Through the years, Lake-View has had 7 generations of Seyb descendants living in the original farm house and working the land.
Lake-View Farm gained its name from the seven acre lake built by the railroad for steam engines. Today, Ashton Lake (also referred to as Lover’s Lake) remains on some maps. Lee and her brother, Mark Seyb, swam in the lake as children. Lake-View has been a great place to fish, picnic, camp and enjoy 4-H and church hayrides through the years. Since planting, hay, and harvest seasons are all-consuming, many holidays and birthdays have been spent picnic-style on the tailgate. All farmers and ranchers can relate to this. Being a good steward of the land and caretaker of livestock allows for very little down-time.
Farmers have a connection to the land and it is their livelihood. When David and Lee’s children attended Gorin R-III Elementary School (years ago), they entered the annual Scotland County Soil & Water Poster Contest. Tara and Trent studied conservation practices at a young age. It’s important for young people to understand the concepts of preserving our natural resources and to moderately use resources. We can’t control Mother Nature, but we can continue to educate ourselves as science and technology evolve. Young farmers bring a lot of new ideas to the table and the long-time farmers have many historical reminders to share.
The Shultz Family is thankful to have the opportunity to continue to farm, God gave us this gift and it is our job to protect it. He entrusted us with a huge responsibility to care for this land and the livestock. We do our best every day to not disappoint him.
Doug and Jennifer Folker
The farm currently owned by Doug and Jennifer Folker was originally purchased by the Folker Family in 1899. Charles Byron Folker and his wife, Amelia, purchased the 42-acre farm for $1,200 on November 10, 1899. Byron and Minnie, as they preferred to be called, raised two sons, Earl and Chester, on that farm and would go on to be married for 67 years. Byron was Doug’s first cousin, three times removed. The farm is in the northeast corner of Folker Township in Clark County, Missouri and includes several lots of the former town of Ascato.
On June 21, 1943, Byron and Minnie sold the farm to their son Earl and his wife Blanche, while Earl was home on leave from the war, Earl was Doug’s second cousin, twice removed. Byron and Minnie gave the kids a pretty good deal on the farm, charging them only $500. It’s good to know people.
Three years later, in 1946, Earl retired from the Navy with 30 years of service and the Legion of Merit award. By then, Byron and Minnie were in their 70’s and ready to move into town; letting the kids take over the farm they had recently purchased. Blanche was from Nova Scotia, Canada and met Earl while he was in the Navy. They were married in Maine in 1920. They did not have any children and lived on the farm mostly alone for 26 years, though Bryon and Minne did live with them occasionally. Earl and Blanche left the farm in 1972. After 57 years of marriage, Earl and Blanche both passed away in 1977, only two months apart.
In 1973, Earl and Blanche sold the farm to Cyrus and Aletha Folker, Cyrus was Earl’s second cousin. Cyrus and Aletha are Doug’s paternal grandparents. Cyrus had grown up around Van Buren and Clark counties, but he and Aletha had moved near Augusta, Iowa and finally settled on a farm north of Burlington to raise 15 children. Then, in their 60’s, they decided to return to the area. In 1982, Cyrus suffered a stroke on the farm and passed away a few days later. He and Aletha had been married 55 years. In 1989, a few years after Cyrus died, Altetha transferred the farm to her son, Marvin Folker, to eventually be sold. Marvin was Doug’s uncle. Aletha, who had been in poor health for a while, would pass away in 1998.
In 1997, Doug saw the farm listed in the Farmington paper and decided to investigate. With the former Acasto lots, the farm was now approximately 56 acres. In July, Doug ultimately bought the property from Marvin, who was managing the estate and he has lived there ever since. In 2014, the old house was lost in a fire. Doug and Jennifer built a new home on the property and have added many improvements, including a new shop. They also purchased some of the adjoinging land once owned by his grandparents, which they are using to raise cattle. Interestingly, every Folker who previously owned the farm is buried in Christy Cemetery, just a few yards from the farm.
We hope you have enjoyed the stories of our 2021 Century Farm honorees from Clark County and hope that when you see them out and about in the community you will take the time to congratulate them on this honor. It is quite an accomplishment to say that your family has owned a piece ground for over 100 years and that the land is still contributing to the income agriculturally. Congratulations to the Cameron, Shultz, and Folker Families and we hope to continue to share with you more great stories from Century Farms in the coming years!