Two Century Farms in the Casto Family

Suzette Lowe
This sign designates the Joe Casto cattle farm as a Century Farm. Bill Casto's farm is also a Century Farm.

To be designated a West Virginia Century Farm, a family must have a member who is an integral part of its daily operation. That operation must be continuous by the same family for at least 100 years. The farm must include at least 10 acres of the original tract and gross at least $1,000 annually in farm products.

Administered through the West Virginia Association of Conservations Districts, a Century Farm recognizes the importance of the land and those who work it. Jackson County, which is part of the Western District that also includes Mason and Putnam Counties, has a number of Century Farms.

Two of those are owned by the Wendell Casto’s sons, Bill and Joe.

Tug Fork Farms and Casto Cattle Farm include 288 acres of the farmland that has been worked by the Casto family for six generations. Each brother has part of the original land and each farm is still active.

Mark Casto, Bill’s son, continues the tradition as one of the few full-time farmers in West Virginia. The produce side of Tug Fork Farms, with multiple greenhouses, is a source of locally grown vegetables, particularly tomatoes and pumpkins, along with some sweet corn, zucchini and squash.

Grandfather and grandson had a special relationship.

“My dad would be so proud to see the farm continue under Mark,” Bill Casto said.