Frequently Asked Questions About the Oklahoma Centennial Farm & Ranch
1. What is the purpose of the Centennial Farm & Ranch Program?
In 1989, The Oklahoma Historical Society and the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture established the Centennial Farm & Ranch Program to recognize those families that have continuously occupied their land and carried out farming or ranching operations for at least 100 years. Additionally, the program is designed to help identify historic buildings, structures, sites, districts, and objects associated with Oklahoma's farming and ranching industries.
2. What do I get by being a part of this program?
When approved as an Oklahoma Centennial Farm or Oklahoma Centennial Ranch family, you will receive a certificate signed by the Governor of Oklahoma, the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Historical Society and the Commissioner of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture. You will also have the opportunity to purchase a 36"x 27" metal sign for display on your property. (See question 12 below for more information.)
3. Does inclusion in the Oklahoma Centennial Farm & Ranch Program restrict me in what I do with my property?
No. The Oklahoma Centennial Farm & Ranch Program is strictly honorary. It places absolutely no restrictions on you as a property owner, provides no financial assistance, and provides no protection of any kind.
4. Is there a deadline for submission of an Oklahoma Centennial Farm & Ranch Program application?
There is no deadline for submitting your Oklahoma Centennial Farm & Ranch Program application. It may be submitted any time during the year in which your family becomes eligible or any time thereafter.
5. I heard there is an awards ceremony. When will that be?
There is no longer a ceremony for presentation of the Oklahoma Centennial Farm & Ranch Program awards.
6. What documentation is necessary to prove my family's continuous occupation of our land for at least 100 years?
Only copies of legal documents are acceptable as proof of ownership. These documents include abstracts, wills, patents, homestead applications, titles, grants, federal tract book information, or records of Indian agencies. Documents that are not acceptable include journal entries, letters, birth certificates, etc.
7. Do we need to submit a copy of the entire abstract?
No. All you need to provide are copies of the pages showing dates the property was transferred to each family member who has owned it.
8. Although we are certain our family has occupied our land for at least 100 years, the records we have do not support this fact. How do I obtain records that will confirm our family's occupation of the land?
To obtain records about your family's occupation of your land, you may contact the Oklahoma Historical Society Library and have them search the Federal Tract Book records. There is a fee for this search. Their phone number is (405) 522-5225. You may also visit the library and conduct the research yourself (no fee involved). If there is no information found in the Federal Tract Book records, you might also contact the National Archives and have them do a land file search. They may be reached at 1-866-272-6272.
9. What information can I include with the application?
Though the only information required with the application is proof of occupation/ownership and the application fee, one of the goals of the Centennial Farm & Ranch Program is to collect information about Oklahoma's farm and ranch families. Any information you would like to include, such as stories, copies of letters or journals, copies of old photographs, etc., is welcomed.
10. How do I find the numbers of my Senate and House of Representative districts?
To find this information, please contact your local county clerk's office. If you have access to the Internet, you may also find the information at http://www.capitolconnect.com/oklahoma/default.aspx.
11. If I don't qualify for the Historic Structures Award, does this mean I don't qualify for the Oklahoma Centennial Farm & Ranch Award?
No. The Historic Structures Award is simply additional recognition extended to those families approved for the Oklahoma Centennial Farm & Ranch award. It indicates that there are at least four (4) buildings or structures remaining on the property that are at least fifty (50) years old and that retain overall historic integrity. Application for the Historic Structures Award is not required of anyone applying to the program.
12. I received my sign but it is not personalized like many others I have seen. Why?
We are no longer able to provide personalized signs. However, you can take your sign to any commercial sign company in your area, and they can personalize it for you at a modest cost.