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State honors longtime family-owned farms, ranches


April 9, 2013 at midnight
Updated April 8, 2013 at 11:09 p.m.

Raymond Ibrom's family ranch and farm was established in 1906, and was honored last year by the Texas Department of Agriculture's Family Land Heritage program for those with family-owned farms for 100 or more years. He is in the process of going for the honor again this year.

The oil and gas industry took Raymond Ibrom to places the world over, but in all that time, in all those regions, one thing stayed true.

"I worked around the world but always called this home," he said of his DeWitt County land. "I grew up here."

He isn't the first in his line, either. With its start in 1906, the farm and ranch has played home to more than a century's worth of relatives.

It's a distinction that, last year, brought recognition from the state.

The Ibrom Farm and Ranch was among 104 family-owned farms and ranches recognized by the Texas Department of Agriculture's Family Land Heritage Program.

The program, according to a department news release, honors family-owned farms and ranches that have been continuous agricultural production for 100 years or more by the same family.

And now, they're looking for a few more entries.

The Texas Department of Agriculture is accepting applications through May 1 for its 2013 program.

The land must be 10 acres or more with agricultural sales of $50 or more a year, or if less than 10 acres, with sales of at least $250 a year. There is no cost to apply.

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples, in the release, described family farms and ranches as "the backbone of Texas agriculture," noting that more than 98 percent of those in the state are family owned.

"Recognizing this enduring commitment to Texas agriculture is what makes the Family Land Heritage program so special," he said in the release. "Through generations of hard work, perseverance and love of the land, these families have operated their farms and ranches for 100 years or more, making Texas a $100 billion powerhouse of agricultural productivity."

To date, the agriculture department has recognized more than 4,700 properties, according to the release.

As for Ibrom, 58, he said it was a good program. And, while he was honored by last year's recognition, he now hopes to take it a step further.

He's going for a second spot on the list, this year with his mother's family farm near Stockdale.

It, too, has been in the family for more than a century.

"I'd like to go to one more party over there," he said with a laugh about the state's banquet. "I'm getting everything together."

For more information about the Family Land Heritage program, and click on the icon or email



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