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Mullen Farms, started in 1852, named to list of usquicentennial agricultural operations in state

A St. Paul farm is celebrating 150 years of continuous farming and will be recognized in a ceremony at the Oregon State Fair later this month.

Mullen Farms on River Road has been in the same family since it was established 166 years ago, but this year is when the application for sesquicentennial status was approved.

Robert Keaton immigrated to the United States from Ireland to take up a land claim of 160 acres in 1852. His mother, Mary Mullen, who had remarried, and her son Patrick, Keaton's half-brother, arrived in 1859.

Keaton, who fought in the Civil War, left the farm in 1870 to mine for gold and was never heard from again. Patrick Mullen took over his half-brother's farm. His son Charles S. Mullen was born in the family's farmhouse, purchased it from his siblings in 1920, and lived there for 101 years.

The farm's early crops were hay, oats, barley, clover, hops, wheat, dairy cattle, chicken, hogs and sheep.

Today the farm raises grass seed, snap beans, sweet corn, squash, wheat, clover, hazelnuts and vegetable seeds. Cattle, hogs, goats and chickens are also raised for family consumption.

The farm is operated by great-grandsons of the farm's founder: Gerald and James and their respective wives, Kathleen and Nadine.

Mullen Farms is one of two farms that reached sesquicentennial status this year, along with the Robinson Stillwell Taggart Farm of Yamhill County. That brings the program's total of sesquicentennial farms to 41 since they were added to the program in 2008 to honor Oregon's 150th anniversary of statehood.

Twelve farms and ranches from eight different counties, including two from Marion County, will be recognized as Century Farms or Ranches by the Oregon Century Farm & Ranch Program in an awards ceremony Saturday at the Oregon State Fair.

Local farms being recognized are J.G. Kuenzi Farm and Beitel Farm of Marion County and the Henry W. Jones Farm of Yamhill County.

This brings the total number of Oregon Century Farms and Ranches to 1,212.

Award winners receive a certificate signed by the governor and director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture. Historic roadside signs are imprinted with the founder's name and the year the ranch or farm was established.

Learn more about the farms being recognized this year and about the program at centuryfarm.oregonfb.org.

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