Surbers Continue Highland Co. Farm Tradition
Founder Henry Surber Sr. came from Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley around 1797, and purchased farmland in Whiteoak Township in 1802.
The farm has been passed down through a line of Surber sons, from Henry Sr. to Henry Jr. to John to Lewis to Earl. Earl helped establish the first Soil Conservation District in the area.
Earl’s sons, Maynard and Cedric, acquired the land from their father. Cedric was a 4H leader for more than 40 years, and served on the Highland County Fair Board. Maynard was a founding board member for the Highland County Fair. The brothers served in other local farm groups and organizations as well.
Maynard and Cedric established a herd of nationally-recognized registered Ayrshires and were in the dairy business for more than 50 years. They also had a farrow-to-finish Duroc swine herd, laying hens, turkeys, and Angora goats. The Surbers were early adopters of no-till farming and experimented with specialty crops such as canola.
Over the years, the farm grew to 260 acres, which today produces corn, soybeans, wheat, and hay, in addition to woodland. Today the farm is owned by Maynard’s sons, Jim and John, and Cedric’s sons, Jerald, Terry, and David. All five sons grew up on the farm and actively participated in its operation.
Brothers Jim and John Surber also own a second Century Farm, the Donohoo Farm, in Whiteoak and Concord Townships. It was founded by ancestors of their mother, America I. Surber.