Across the nation, family farms and ranches, historic barns and other agricultural sites are disappearing at an alarming rate. In Colorado, the family farm and working cattle ranch serve as a reminder of how the West was settled.
The contributions of Colorado's ranching and farming families have withstood the pressures of growth, changes in farming methods, drought, and economic conditions to preserve these important pieces of our state's commercial and cultural history.
What is a Colorado Centennial Farm?
In 1986 a collaborative effort among then Governor Richard D. Lamm, the Colorado Historical Society (now History Colorado), and the Colorado Department of Agriculture created the Colorado Centennial Farms program to recognize the important role agriculture has played in our state's history and economic development. Today, the program is administered by the State Historical Fund, a program of History Colorado.
The Colorado Centennial Farms program not only illustrates the significance of agricultural sites to the development of Colorado, but also shows how vital these properties are to the well-being of our state today. Colorado Centennial Farms provide open space and food, as well as support for our state's economy and a reminder of our past.
Colorado Centennial Farms is the first program of its kind in the nation to give Historic Structure Awards to families who have successfully preserved historic buildings on their farms and ranches. The National Trust for Historic Preservation provides this additional recognition.
Colorado's centennial farmers and ranchers were recognized in 2011 by the State Legislature for their strength, endurance, and perseverance despite the economic challenges modern farming and ranching presents.
Smithsonian Agricultural Innovation and Heritage Archive
The National Museum of American History recently introduced the Smithsonian Agricultural Innovation and Heritage Archive to gather stories of America's agricultural past—and you're the storyteller! Submit your family's experiences through the online database and read stories from across the nation.