Three county families honored for century farms

LISBON – On the eighth day, God made a farmer.

Those were the words quoted by Columbiana County Recorder Teresa Bosel Tuesday at the county fair as she presented three area families with Ohio Century Farm awards.

The families honored were the Lindesmith family, the Croft family and the Neville family.

Bosel was reading from the speech radio broadcaster Paul Harvey gave to the Future Farmers of America in 1978.

The speech alludes to the book of Genesis, and Harvey portrays God as saying, “I need somebody with arms strong enough to wrestle a calf and yet gentle enough to deliver his own grandchild; somebody to call hogs, tame cantankerous machinery, come home hungry, have to await lunch until his wife’s done feeding visiting ladies, then tell the ladies to be sure to come back real soon, and mean it.”

Bosel said that after visiting the three farms she understood the full impact of the words to the speech, and they ring true.

She admitted that, with no farming experience herself, she figured all farmers were competitive.

“This is not true at all,” she said, noting the Lindesmiths all spoke highly of other farmers when she was at their property.

Bosel said the three families displayed honesty, hard work and integrity.

The families were presented with the award, a decorative certificate signed by Gov. John Kasich and David Daniels, state department of agriculture. The state program recognizes families who have maintained a farm for at least 100 consecutive years.

Farms must be nominated first.

The Lindesmith family farm dates back to 1895 and is currently owned by Tom and Natalie Lindesmith, although their son Troy and his wife Rachel live there with their infant son Austin, who the family has already targeted as a future owner.

The beef cattle farm is the oldest of the three awarded, Bosel said.

Six generations of the family were present for the ceremony.

The Croft family took ownership of their beef cattle farm in 1904, and the present day owners are Richard Croft and his wife Jenny.

“Richard Croft is one of the kindest, most generous men I have come across. You can see on this man’s face how much he loves his farm,” Bosel said. “It’s people like you and your boys that are the American dream.”

When presented with the award Richard Croft said he doesn’t necessarily think of it as “his farm,” but just “figured it was (his) turn.”

The Lindesmith and Croft families both gave credit to the Neville family for maintaining their dairy farm.

The two said dairy cattle are more difficult to maintain, and Richard Croft said at one point their farm had dairy cattle but he later sold them to focus on beef.

Bo Neville and his wife Megan and their young daughters Tess and Maddie milk the 125 Holsteins twice a day in addition to raising about 100 young cattle.

The Neville’s purchased the farm from his family in 2006. It has been in the family 107 years.

Bo Neville said the cattle herd has increased over the years, and that when he was growing up there were about 30. He added he decided to buy the farm because to him, farming is “just a way of life.”

The girls said they also want to continue the family’s history of farming.

Bosel said all three of the families’ children show a good work ethic and responsibility and she believes more people should get involved in the industry.

Richard Croft agreed.

“More people should get involved. It means something. This community is still a farm community,” he said.