Monday, March 17, 2014--Dwight Markey works the soil at  Markey’s Flowers and Plants in York Township. He and his wife Treva will receive the Century
Monday, March 17, 2014--Dwight Markey works the soil at Markey's Flowers and Plants in York Township. He and his wife Treva will receive the Century Farm Award from the state Department of Agriculture during the 28th annual York County Agricultural Recognition Banquet on Thursday March 20 at the York Expo Center. The event is hosted by the York County Agriculture Business Council. submitted-bkalina@yorkdispatch.com

Dwight and Treva Markey were farmers' children who became part of a local 100-year agricultural legacy.

"I was born around a farm and stayed there all my life," said Dwight Markey, 89. "I saw my parents work hard at farming and it just sort of gave me the feeling of what I wanted to do all my life."

Dwight Markey's family has been operating a farm since 1913. He and his wife, Treva Markey, 86, now run the farm as Markey's Flowers and Plants at 2710 Joppa Road in York Township.

Their reward: The couple will receive the Century Farm Award from the state Department of Agriculture during the 28th annual York County Agricultural Recognition Banquet at the York Expo Center Thursday.

The event is hosted by the York County Agriculture Business Council, which also recognize individuals, businesses and families accomplishments in the farming community. About 400 people are expected to attend the event, which is sold out, according to Michele Grove, the council's executive assistant.

The Century Farm Award certificate is given to individuals who have had the same farm in the family for 100 or more years.

The York County Agricultural Business Council will give the Markeys a pewter plaque created by local Pewtarex, Grove said.

"They've been farming and producing food for many years and that definitely shows that it's a way of life for that family," she said. "Over the years, we've seen many people moving off the farms. But a 100-year-old farm usually has three or four generations in it showing how it's passed through the family."

Long-term farms like the Markeys also give hope to new farmers that they, too, can establish an agricultural tradition to pass through their generations, Grove said.

Farm's history: The Markey farm tradition started in 1913 when Dwight Markey's parents, Charles and Gertrude Markey purchased the 26 acres for $924. Dwight and Treva Markey — married June 15, 1952 — bought the farm from Charles Markey's estate in 1953, two years after his death.

The Markey's initially raised fruits, vegetables, plants, flowers and poultry the until a hurricane destroyed their orchards in the 1950s, Dwight Markey said. The farm slowly transitioned to growing mainly flowers, he said.

The Markeys were vendors at Central and New Eastern markets for more than 50 years. Dwight Markey also was a school bus driver for Dallastown Area School District for more than 40 years. Treva Markey was a licensed practical nurse at Memorial Hospital for 42 years. They have three daughters, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

On of the daughters, Donna Bortner, owns Springfield Tree Farm, a "choose and cut" Christmas tree farm in Loganville.

Markey's advice: Dwight Markey said he has seen a lot of changes in farming over the decades, but the quality of character needed for agricultural work remains the same.

"There's a lot more done with machinery now than by hand," he said. "But you still have to be willing to work hard and have a lot of patience."

—Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at emcmillan@yorkdispatch.com.