Trumbull families honored for 200 years of farming

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The 167th Trumbull County Fair is officially open for business.

During Tuesday’s opening ceremony, three Trumbull County families were recognized by the Ohio Department of Agriculture for owning and operating bicentennial farms.

“We will designate, across the state of Ohio, 63 bicentennial farms this year. So in Trumbull County, you’ve got an awful lot of farms up here, but you’ve got three that have this official designation,” said Ohio Director of Agriculture David Daniels.

The Caldwell grain farm, 2460 Custer-Orangeville Road, was settled in Hartford Township in 1805. Its 640 acres are now down to 138, but the land is still owned by the Caldwell family.

“I guess it’s just lucky. We enjoy it, like I say, we just enjoy it for recreation. Farm life runs deep,” said Tom and Carole Caldwell.

In 1812, the Keir family founded a dairy farm in Kinsman. It’s still running 201 years later, but it is now a grain farm and is located at 9210 Ridge Road N.E.

“Hard work. Very hard work, as you can imagine what it was like during the Depression and through all the years. Your weekends aren’t even off when you got cows to milk,” said Joyce and Jack Keir.

The Keir’s neighbors, the Lillie’s, started their dairy farm one year earlier in 1811. The two family farms operated next to one another all those years, and still sit side-by-side today. The Lillie farm is located at 6710 Morford East Road.

“Her dad and my dad were best friends all their life before they passed away. But they had ancestors just like we did,” said Jim and Barbara Lillie.

These families are an example for the kids involved in agriculture at the fair to carry on Ohio’s proud farming tradition.

“There are so many people that don’t understand agriculture. This is the best showcase that we can possibly do, and that’s why we’ve chosen these locations to make these designations,” Daniels said.

The Trumbull County Fair runs through Sunday.

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