The Westesen family suggests that this 1912 image appears to show that Carl Westesen brought out all of the equipment and teams of horses to show them off.  In the foreground is Carl, holding the hand of his 2-yr old son, Harold.


Centennial Farms & Ranches

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.

2020 Update

Colorado’s Centennial Farmers and Ranchers have withstood some of the most trying events in world history: WWI, the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, WWII, the Cold War, the economic uncertainties of the last few decades, and now COVID-19. In spite of it all, they have continued to live and thrive on their land. History Colorado is proud to honor their stories and legacy through the Centennial Farms and Ranches Program. While we looked forward to handing awards personally to our 2020 Colorado Centennial Farmers and Ranchers at the Colorado State Fair on August 28 this year, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the ceremony due to a number of ongoing concerns. We will continue to accept applications from families and we hope to celebrate with all awardees from 2020 and 2021 at the 2021 State Fair. 

The Centennial Farm & Ranches program honors families that meet the following criteria:

  • Farms or ranches must have remained in the same family continuously for 100 years or more.
  • Property must be a working farm or ranch.
  • Property must have a minimum of 160 acres -- however, properties with fewer than 160 acres can qualify if they gross at least $1,000 in annual sales.
  • Properties that have four or more well-maintained buildings/structures -- which are at least 50 years old -- may be eligible for a Historic Structures Award.

Top Image:

1912 image of the Westesen Farm and Ranch near Olathe. Photo courtesy of the Westesen Farm & Ranch.