Twenty-six Colorado families that have owned and operated their farms and ranches for 100 years or more were honored at the 35th annual Centennial Farms & Ranches ceremony on Friday, August 27 at the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo. These families represent Colorado’s proud agricultural heritage, persevering through more than 100 years of changes and challenges.
Families recognized at the event—20 in the class of honorees for 2020, and six in the class of 2021—hailed from 14 different counties throughout the state. Each received certificates signed by Governor Jared Polis, Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture Kate Greenberg, and Chief Operating Officer of History Colorado Dawn DiPrince. They also received Centennial Farm & Ranch signs to proudly display on their properties. The State Legislature recognized the recipients through proclamations for each family, requested by Senator Jerry Sonnenberg and Representative Rod Pelton, and signed by the President of the Senate (Senator Leroy Garcia) and Speaker of the House of Representatives (Representative Alec Garnett).
Colorado Lieutenant Governor Dianne Primavera offered remarks at this year’s celebration, which was the first since 2019 as the ceremony was canceled last year due to Covid-19. Senator Dennis Hisey, Representative Richard Holtorf, Representative Barbara McLachlan, Senator Cleave Simpson, Senator Jerry Sonnenberg, and Representative Donald Valdez joined recipients at the ceremony. This year’s event was also attended by members of the Future Farmers of America and 4-H. History Colorado worked in partnership this year with Routt County Extension 4-H to collect oral histories from Centennial Farms and Ranch families.
The Colorado Department of Agriculture, the Colorado State Fair, and History Colorado have partnered to honor our state’s agricultural heritage through this program since 1986, when it was initiated by former Governor Richard Lamm. More than 620 families have now been recognized by the program.
“Colorado Centennial Farms & Ranches is the first program of its kind in the nation. Now in its 35th year, the program recognizes and celebrates farms that are the picture of resilience and sustainability throughout our state,” said History Colorado’s Dr. Chris Bowles, Director of Preservation Incentives Programs and Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer.
2020 / 2021 CENTENNIAL FARMS & RANCHES
Dixon Ranch (2020)
Pine Canyon Ranch (2021)
El Paso County
Hlatki Homestead (2021)
East View Farm and Ranch (2021); Spady Ranch (2020)
Kit Carson County
John Buol Farm (2020); Michal Farm (2020); Shook-Kyle Farm (2020)
B. A. Johnson & Sons (2020); Bernhardt Farms, LLC (2020); Bohlender Family Farm (2020); Showers Ranch (2020); Warner Ranch (2020); Vern & Carolyn Kammerzell Farm (2020)
Mountain Family Farm (2021); Rogers Farms (2021); Young Brothers Place (2020)
About History Colorado
History Colorado is a division of the Colorado Department of Higher Education and a 501(c)3 non-profit that has served more than 75,000 students and 500,000 people in Colorado each year. It is a 142-year-old institution that operates Colorado’s oldest museum, nine additional museums and historic sites, a free public research center, the Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, and the History Colorado State Historical Fund (SHF), which is the nation’s largest preservation program of its kind. More than 70% of SHF grants are currently allocated in rural areas of Colorado.
The SHF awarded more than 100 grants statewide in 2020 amid 244 active projects in 55 Colorado counties at year’s end. The fund also launched a new series of non-competitive grants and a new SHF guidebook this year, available on the SHF website. A yearlong 30th-anniversary exhibit, titled State Historical Fund Retrospective, opened at the History Colorado Center this spring and remains on view through April 30, 2022. Featured projects include Dearfield in Weld County, which is a farm community founded in 1910 that is the only remaining Colorado example of the national African American colonization movement inspired by Booker T. Washington, and the Granada Relocation Center in southeast Colorado—which is better known by its postal designation, “Amache”—where Japanese American citizens and Japanese Nationals living in the United States were incarcerated during World War II. Currently the subject of legislation that would make it part of the National Park System, Amache has received more than a dozen grants from the State Historical Fund for physical restoration and reconstruction of the site over the last two decades.
History Colorado’s mission is to create a better future for Colorado by inspiring wonder in our past. We serve as the state’s memory, preserving and sharing the places, stories, and material culture of Colorado through educational programs, historic preservation grants, collecting, outreach to Colorado communities, the History Colorado Center and Stephen H. Hart Research Center in Denver, and nine other museums and historic attractions statewide. History Colorado is one of only six Smithsonian Affiliates in Colorado. Visit HistoryColorado.org, or call 303-HISTORY, for more information.