Press Release

State Legislature Recognizes Colorado Centennial Farms and Ranches

Joint Resolution honors farmers and ranchers with 100-year-old legacy in Colorado

DENVER – Colorado farmers and ranchers who have maintained ownership and operation of their land for more than a century were recognized by the State Legislature today for their strength, endurance, and perseverance despite the economic challenges modern farming and ranching presents.

Sen. Gail Schwartz, Senate Agriculture Committee Chair, and Rep. Jerry Sonnenberg, House Agriculture Committee Chair, sponsored Senate Joint Resolution 12-011, which was read today on the floor in both the House and the Senate.

Sen. Schwartz and Rep. Sonnenberg supported Colorado middle and high school students involved with the Colorado Preserve America Youth Summit in the drafting of the Resolution. The youth summit is an award-winning program that creates opportunities for youth 13 to 18 to get into the field to learn about history, archaeology, heritage tourism and preservation.

“We are so pleased to dedicate a day at the Capitol to honor Centennial Family Farms and Ranches and their remarkable agricultural heritage,” said Sen. Schwartz. “Their steadfastness across generations has truly shaped our state's identity, and has enabled them to endure over time to continue to feed their local communities and support the state economy."

“Today we honor the families that have provided the food and fiber for over a hundred years,” said Rep. Sonnenberg. “I am also proud of the students that made it a priority to recognize those instrumental in making agriculture a leading industry in Colorado.”

The Colorado Centennial Farms program started in 1986 by former Gov. Richard D. Lamm. The program recognizes that these farms are vital to Colorado’s economy and history, and families of designated Centennial Farms are honored annually at the State Fair in Pueblo, Colo. In the last 25 years, 414 family farms and ranches in 61 out of 64 Colorado counties have been designated through the program.

Colorado Centennial Farms was created by History Colorado and the Colorado Department of Agriculture and is administered by the State Historical Fund. It supported by the Colorado State Fair and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

“We appreciate the Legislature’s recognition of the contributions Centennial Farms and Ranch families, and all family agriculture producers, make to Colorado and our nation,” said Rebecca Goodwin, an Otero County Centennial Farm/Ranch family. “For generations, our farm—along with many Colorado’s Centennial Farm and Ranch families—have proudly helped feed America. We choose a way-of-life that has been a rich part of Colorado’s heritage since before statehood, and proud to help it to become the state’s second largest industry while still balancing stewardship of the land.” 

For a copy of SJR12-011, see