For over 25 years, History Colorado and the Colorado Department of Agriculture have recognized the important role that agriculture has played in our state’s history and economic development through the Centennial Farms program at the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo.
Above: Kochis Farm homestead, 2009. Photo courtesy of the Kochis Farm.
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William Sanderson and family moved from Hamilton Missouri to Monte Vista in Rio Grande County in 1907, a time when land developers and the railroad were encouraging migration to the San Luis valley. The Sandersons acquired 160 acres in 1908.
Ed and Minnie Fiscus took over a relinquished homestead in April of 1917 and purchased adjacent acreage to increase the property to 800 acres. The farm has primarily been involved in cow and calf operations, but a portion is used to raise wheat, dryland corn, and alfalfa. This portion is now enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program.
Fred Schinkel purchased the first section of land first for taxes, and then purchased the remaining section where the house was an out building. He raised horses and sheep, but mainly cattle. Today, the Schinkel Family farms wheat, millet and hay on their 1,600 acres.
The original Fulbright homestead of 320 acres was homesteaded by B.F. chandler, the great grandfather of Lee Fulbright, who owns the farm today. The first house was a former mining house of stone and lumber from near Trinidad. It was moved from just over one-quarter mile away to its current location. In the 1930s, rocks from the original house were used to construct the current sheds and barns.
Martin and Flora Sage were some of the original pioneers in Pinion, Colorado as members of the Colorado Cooperative Company, a socialist community that build the 17-mile ditch that still brings water to Nucla.