226-year-old Croner farm recognized by state

August 31, 2018

Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding on Aug. 16 honored the Gregory and Judith Croner family, whose farm in Brothersvalley Township has been in their family for more than 200 years.

He designated their farm as a Pennsylvania Bicentennial Farm. Redding also presented Century Farm awards to David and Donna Fenstermaker of Jersey Shore, Lycoming County, and to Oscar and Winifred Campbell of Newport, Perry County, whose farms have been in their families for 100 years.

The recognition ceremony was held during the Penn State College of Agricultural Science’s annual Ag Progress Days.

The Croner Bicentennial Farm, consisting of just under 269 acres, was originally purchased for 250 English pounds in 1792. The first Croner ancestor to farm the land was John Hauger, fourth great-grandfather to Gregory Croner. Hauger, who lived in Antrim Township, Franklin County, was also a tailor and fought in the Revolutionary War. Gregory and Judith Croner became sole owners of the farm in 1983, and live in a house on the property built in 1901. They produce grain and hay, as well as steers and hogs. Somerset County is home to eight bicentennial and 61 century farms.

There are 2,345 farms across the state recognized through Pennsylvania’s Century and Bicentennial Farm Program, including 2,162 Century Farms and 184 Bicentennial Farms. To be eligible for the program, a farm must be owned by the same family for at least 100 or 200 consecutive years, a family member must live on the farm on a permanent basis, and the farm must include at least 10 acres of the original holding or gross more than $1,000 annually from the sale of farm products.

The history of each farm is filed in the archives of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Each farm is presented with a sign to display.

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