Press Release

History Colorado’s Centennial Farms & Ranches Applications Now Open

DENVER — January 9, 2024 — The 2024 applications for History Colorado’s Centennial Farms & Ranches Program have opened. Centennial Farms & Ranches, a joint initiative of History Colorado and the Colorado Department of Agriculture, honors the contributions of the state’s ranching and farming families that have withstood the pressures of growth, changes in farming methods, as well as evolving environmental and economic conditions to preserve important pieces of Colorado’s commercial and cultural history.

Luke Perkins, Manager of Communications and Public Relations
303.866.3670 | 

In 2022, the Centennial Farms & Ranches Program was expanded to recognize three additional categories of honorees associated with the agricultural history of the State of Colorado:

  • Centennial AgriBusiness – organizations or businesses that have been in operation for 100 or more years and primarily serve the agricultural community in Colorado (examples: seed companies, farm implement manufacturers, Farm Bureaus, etc.)
  • Centennial Families – families with agricultural experience in Colorado that spans 100 or more years (eg. 1924-present), not necessarily as landowners
  • Centennial Farmers or Ranchers – individuals 100 years of age or older who have spent a majority of their life in agricultural pursuits within the State of Colorado, even if they were not landowners

Expansion of the Centennial Farms & Ranches Program has allowed for a more equitable celebration of the diverse farming and ranching families who sustain the Centennial State by recognizing those who did not historically have the opportunity to own property–whether for economic, political, or discriminatory reasons. 

Examples of honorees under this expanded criteria include:

  • Western Sugar Cooperative, a grower-owned Coop recognized for being an industry leader in sustainability, and a pioneer in the sugar beet industry of Northern Colorado
  • The Hirakata Family who began farming in Rocky Ford in 1915 and became leaders in Colorado agriculture while continuing to grow crops on their multi-generational farm in Otero County
  • Walter Amen, a wise, knowledgeable, and loving patriarch of Amen Angus Farms, Inc. who designed and built numerous pieces of customized machinery and equipment over the 101 years he stewarded his family farm in Logan County

To earn recognition within the Centennial Farms & Ranches Program, applicants must submit an application and provide verification of eligibility. A complete list of eligibility requirements can be found in the 2024 Centennial Farms & Ranches Application.
Awardees will be honored for their perseverance and resilience through the changing times at the Colorado State Fair, held every August in Pueblo, CO.

The deadline for applications is May 1, 2024. To apply or learn more, please visit or call (303) 866-3392

About the Centennial Farms & Ranches Program
History Colorado, the Colorado Department of Agriculture, and the Colorado State Fair have partnered to honor Colorado’s agricultural heritage through the Centennial Farms & Ranches Program since 1986, when the program was initiated by former Governor Richard Lamm. More than 663 families, agribusinesses, and individuals have been recognized by the program. Collectively, they represent the powerful history of Colorado’s farmers and ranchers who have sustained, supported and innovated Colorado agriculture for more than 100 years.

About the Colorado Department of Agriculture
The Colorado Department of Agriculture exists to support the state's agriculture industry and serve the people of Colorado through regulation, advocacy, and education. Its mission is to strengthen and advance Colorado agriculture, promote a safe and high-quality food supply, protect consumers, and foster responsible stewardship of the environment and natural resources. Learn more at

A division of the Colorado Department of Agriculture, the mission of the Colorado State Fair Authority is to celebrate Colorado’s vibrant and diverse agricultural industry and culture by creating an entertaining, inspiring, and educational inter-generational experience. 

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 144-year-old institution that operates eleven museums and historic sites, a free public research center, the Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation which provides technical assistance, educational opportunities, and other access to archaeology and historic preservation, and the History Colorado State Historical Fund (SHF), which is one of the nation’s largest state funded preservation programs of its kind. More than 70% of SHF grants are allocated in rural areas of the state. Additionally, the offices of the State Archaeologist and the State Historic Preservation Officer are part of History Colorado. 

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 10 other museums and historic attractions statewide. History Colorado is one of only six Smithsonian Affiliates in Colorado. Visit, or call 303-HISTORY, for more information. #HistoryColorado