In 1910, the John and Mary Yoder family gathered in Berne for a special occasion: a barn raising.
It was finally time to replace the old log barn on their property.
Last Friday-one hundred years later-their descendents, the LeRoy and Barb Yoder family, gathered from several states in Indianapolis for another special occasion.
The Yoders traveled to the Indiana Statehouse to be honored with a Hoosier Homestead Award, presented by State Rep. Matt Lehman (R-Berne) and Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman.
This was the first visit to the Indiana Statehouse, for all of us," said Barb Yoder. "We were especially impressed by the wood architecture and the beautiful rotunda, and we are so happy to have Rep. Lehman represent us there."
In 1976, former Lieutenant Governor Robert D. Orr and the Indiana Department of Commerce's Division of Agriculture, now the Office of the Commissioner of Agriculture, created a statewide program called the Hoosier Homestead Award.
The program recognizes farms that have been owned by the same family for one hundred years or more and highlights the contributions these family farms have made to the economic, cultural and social advancement of Indiana. In the past 30 years, almost 4,500 Hoosier farms have received the honor.
The Yoders have owned the same piece of land in Adams County since 1899.
"My granddad, John Yoder, started with his original 40 acres in 1899," said LeRoy Yoder. "Back then, he and his wife Mary weren't sure whether to make a chicken house out of the existing farmhouse, or rebuild it-the snow just blew in all winter long."
"I was thrilled to learn that the Yoders would be honored this year with the Hoosier Homestead Award," said Rep. Lehman. "Their family has contributed to the community for the last century, and continues to do so today."
Photo: The Yoder clan poses with Rep. Lehman behind the House Speaker's podium on Friday, Feb. 19. Pictured from left to right, by family: Kyle, Tammy and Sidney Yoder; Kevin and Tami Yoder; LeRoy and Barb Yoder; Keith, Carla and Brooke Yoder; and Rep. Lehman.