OCEAN ISLE BEACH -- Thirty-two farming families joined a unique statewide program Friday. They became part of the North Carolina Century Farm Program, a group of 1,600 farms across the state who have been owned or operated by the same family for at least a century. One of the 32 farmers honored was Henry Fulwood, who lives on land that has been in his family since the 1800s. His uncle originally owned the land. Fulwood said, "It was a large farm but the part I've got is where he actually lived and built the house that I'm still living in, the same house that he built back in 1890." North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler presented the certificates. He said, "Being a farmer myself, I understand the trials and tribulations of keeping a farm in a family for that long, especially when you talk about how many generations that's going to be, so this is an amazing day to be able to honor these people." After Friday's inductions, Brunswick County is home to 37 century farms. Commissioner Troxler said it's important to keep farms within families and within the state. "We've led the nation in the last couple of years in the disappearance of farms so when we can honor people that have had the values to hold these farms for over 100 years, it's very special." Henry Fulwood said he is honored to have his land classified as a century farm. He said, "I've lived there since January '47 and raised all my children on that farm." He plans to continue to tradition and pass his land down to his children. The Century Farm Program started as part of the 1970 state fair, when 800 North Carolina farms were given century farm status.
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