The Tradition Lives On | Legacy Farms are Adding to the Agriculture History of Kentucky - Kentucky Farm Bureau

The Tradition Lives On | Legacy Farms are Adding to the Agriculture History of Kentucky

Posted on Feb 16, 2024
John Scott, left, and his brother, Dale, stand in front of their last tobacco crop they grew on their farm in 2019. The Scott Farm had a long storied history with tobacco production dating back generations. Submitted photo.

Legacy Farms are adding to the agriculture history of Kentucky

BURLINGTON, KY. – For an area located close to one of the largest metropolitan centers in the region, Boone County has a rich and expansive agriculture history that existed long before the county was formed in 1798.

The Scott family has been a part of that agricultural heritage from the county’s very beginnings. Moses Scott is credited with being the first of this farm family legacy that now encompasses 10 generations dating back to the late 18th century.

Since then, farming has been a way of life for this family in an area of the county that likely looks, in many ways, as it did in the days of their earliest ancestors.

The gentle hills that roll alongside the Ohio River, as well as the rich bottomland that lies in between, have provided these generations a place to grow crops, raise livestock, and continue a historic tradition that lives on today.

John Scott, his brother, and two sisters represent the eighth generation of the family to carry on this farming legacy. It was on their farm near the communities of McVille and Belleview that John and his brother Dale began their careers in agriculture at a very young age.

Through the years, the Scotts have raised pigs, cattle, hay, and corn. But it was their tobacco crops that were a mainstay through most of the family’s history until their last crop was grown in 2019.

“Tobacco was a big part of this farm for many, many years,” Dale said.

Their story is similar to many other farms located across the Commonwealth’s landscape, all with a history of their own.

The Scott Farm was recently recognized as a Legacy Farm by the Boone County Farm Bureau (BCFB). This honor designated by the Kentucky Farm Bureau (KFB) Federation recognizes farm families and their longstanding commitment and significant contributions to their local communities.

In fact, there were 120 Legacy Farms recognized from 80 counties in 2023. During his tenure as KFB President, Mark Haney began the program. He said the state has such a rich history of agriculture, and the Legacy Farm program is a way to acknowledge the many accomplishments made by each.

“The history of our agriculture industry can only be fully told by the families who have devoted their lives to their farms and a way of life many have forgotten or never knew,” Haney said. “It has been our intention that the Legacy Farm program would recognize the commitments these families have made and their dedication to an industry none of us can live without.” 

The Scott Farm history

In reference to the history many of these farms possess, John Scott's daughter, Mary Casper, has gathered an extensive historical preservation of the family's time on the farm from its very start.

“There was such a wonderful story related to the history of our farm and the more research I did, the more amazing it became to me and my family,” she said.

It was her research that led Mary back to Moses Scott and a treasure trove of interesting facts about other early ancestors.

“Moses was a popular fiddle player at local community dances and served in the State Legislature in 1820,” she notes in some of the research.

Then there is John H. Scott, born in 1842, who was the fourth generation. A farmer and possibly a teacher, he lived in the family home on Waterloo Road. The ninth generation, John Andrew "Andy" Scott, now grazes his family’s sheep on the very same land.

Throughout this chronological journey, Mary lists several family facts for each of the 10 generations, along with spouses' and children's names, and many birthdates. She said it has been very much a labor of love to compile this information and learn so much about her family's history.

“The Scott's are distant relatives of several other BCFB families, and they encouraged my interest in family history and were very helpful in gathering information about our common ancestors,” Mary said. “The Boone County Public Library's History Center was also a valuable resource with the family research.”

Sadly, John was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2022, but he was determined to keep farming and serving, Mary emphasized. John Scott passed away on January 6th, 2024. He was 67 years old.

“His family, community, and church supported him, just as he had always done for them” she said. “This brought him great joy and inspired him during life’s hardships to tell others, ‘I’ve been so blessed.’”

John had said earlier that he was very proud of being one of 10 generations on the farm.

“The farm has meant pretty much everything. We liked to do other things when we were kids like play ball, but when dad said it was time to get it done, you better get it done,” John said with a smile. “It’s given us a lot of purpose in life and has served us well.”

He was especially proud of his farming heritage and attended the inaugural Legacy Farm Breakfast held at the 2023 KFB Annual Meeting. 

Mary wrote, in her history chronicle, “He and his brother Dale have farmed together every day for most of their lives,” something she said was an amazing feat in itself.

Dale said they had a pretty regular routine most days on the farm.

“Every day, we had breakfast at 8:00 a.m., we had lunch at noon, and supper at 6:00 p.m.," he said. "And every day at 3:00 p.m., we had a Coca-Cola break!"

John enjoyed his life on the farm and his family around him, including his grandchildren. In addition to his farming activities, he helped begin the Farmer Appreciation Day at nearby Kelly Elementary School where he assisted with teaching students about agriculture and the family farm.

He was also a lifelong member of the Belleview Baptist Church where he served as a Deacon, a Trustee, and Sunday School teacher.

John's passion for the farm was evident to anyone who ever met him or had the opportunity to visit with him.

And while the gentle hills that weave through his family farm will surely miss one of their caretakers, his spirit and memory, and the legacy that he has been a part of, will live on for generations to come.

“Well done, good and faithful servant…Enter into the joy of your Lord.” Matthew 25:23


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