History Colorado and the Colorado Department of Agriculture have expanded their annual Centennial Farms and Ranches commemoration to include categories that now recognize the cultural and commercial sides of agriculture’s heritage, in addition to Colorado ranch and farm family operations who are honored for their longstanding commitment to agricultural values.
“We draw strength from the rural stories of endurance and persistence from the farmers and ranchers who personify Centennial Farms and Ranches, as well as some of the cultural practices that have helped innovate and sustain agriculture,” said Dawn DiPrince, History Colorado’s Executive Director and State Historic Preservation Officer. “That is why we have expanded the program to add even more stories – especially from ag families who, for political or economic reasons, could not own land -- and recognize new categories of ag contributors who are also preserving important pieces of our state’s commercial and cultural history.”
On Aug. 26, at the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo, 10 recipients will receive honors that celebrate at least 100 years of resilience, perseverance and sustainability; and most notably, that acknowledge the contributions of agribusinesses, community land practices and families, many of which may have been excluded from passing down land because of discriminatory policies and practices.
Each honoree will receive a certificate signed by Colorado Governor Jared Polis, Dawn DiPrince and Commissioner of Agriculture Kate Greenberg; signs to proudly display on their properties; and state proclamations for each family.
The honorees follow:
Centennial Farms or Ranches that have belonged to the same family for at least 100 years, and that is currently a working farm or ranch:
Vermillion Farm (Elbert County), since 1914
Sonnenberg Farm (Logan County), since 1919
Schmeeckle Farm (Weld County), since 1917
Koeller Farm (Kiowa County), since 1921
Dorenkamp and Harper Ranches (Prowers County), since 1920
Curtis Ranch (Morgan County), since 1914
Blake Ranch (Routt County), since 1905
Johnson Reaphook Ranch (Mesa County), since 1900
Centennial Families with ag experience in Colorado that spans 100 years or more, not necessarily as land owners (NOTE: New category):
Hirakata Farm (Otero County), since 1915
Centennial Agribusiness that has been in operation for 100 or more years and primarily serves that ag community in Colorado (NOTE: New category):
Colorado Farm Bureau Federation (Arapahoe County), since 1919
On Aug. 26, for the first time in the program’s history and to be continued in the future, two Agricultural Legacy Awards will recognize extraordinary contributions to the practice of Colorado agriculture. Recipients can be an ag professional and/or an ag practice or culture. This year’s Agricultural Legacy Award recipients are:
Colorado State Historic Preservation Officer Agricultural Legacy Award
Living Culture and Practice of Acequia Communities – awarded to the Sangre de Cristo Acequia Association in San Luis Valley, which represents more than 70 acequias
Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture Legacy in Agriculture Award
In Memory of Bob Sakata