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Family Land Heritage Qualifications & Application Instructions

Qualifications:

  1. The same family must have maintained the land in continuous agricultural production for 100 years or more. Family can include relatives by blood, marriage or adoption.
  2. Texas residents who own agricultural land may apply if they can trace the line of ownership from the first family member to the present.
  3. The land must also fit the old U.S. Census definition of a farm: 10 acres or more with agricultural sales of $50 or more a year; or if less than 10 acres, sales of at least $250 a year.
  4. Owners must be actively managing the everyday operation of the farm or ranch.
  5. If all the land has ever been rented or leased to someone outside of the family, it will not qualify. If only a portion was leased, and as much as 10 acres retained in the family for agricultural production with sales of at least $50 annually, it will still qualify.

Application Instructions (also available on application):
  1. If your ranch or farm qualifies, you can download the Family Land Heritage application form on the previous page.
  2. Before filling out the form, read the following rules carefully to make certain that your farm or ranch qualifies.
  3. Gather supporting documents on ownership of the land and background material which can be used by the Family Land Heritage Program. Do not send any original documents to the Texas Department of Agriculture that need to be returned. 
  4. Submit only one application for each farm or ranch. If there are several current owners and co-owners of the same farm or ranch, all names should be on one application.
  5. PLEASE PRINT OR TYPE ANSWERS. If additional space is needed, submit material on a separate sheet, giving the section and item number.
  6. Submit the completed form and supporting documents to the county judge of the county in which the land is located for certification.
  7. Gather old photographs which the Family Land Heritage Program may use. One of these photographs will be included in the program to be published for the ceremony. Please write your property name and address on the back. We shall assume the right to publish any photograph submitted to the Texas Department of Agriculture.
  8. Mail the application to the Texas Department of Agriculture (address below). The Texas Department of Agriculture will notify you if your farm or ranch qualifies. We will contact you if we have questions about your application, and we may require additional documents to support your statements. Do not send original documents to the Texas Department of Agriculture.

Texas Department of Agriculture
Family Land Heritage Program
P. O. Box 12847
Austin, Texas 78711
(512) 463-7664