Illinois honors state’s 1st bicentennial farm family

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A family that has farmed in southern Illinois for five generations has received the state’s first bicentennial farm designation.

Gerald and Betty Brown of Jonesboro were presented with the honor last week at the Illinois Capitol.

The designation is part of Illinois’ 200th birthday celebration. It recognizes farms that have been held by descendants of the same family for at least 200 years.

The Brown family moved to Union County, Illinois, in 1816 after the land they were farming in North Carolina became worn out. Abraham Brown II, who trekked to Illinois with his wife and three children, registered his cattle and land in 1817.

Gov. Bruce Rauner says the Brown family is just one example of the many “proud, hard-working farm families” in Illinois.

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