Colorado seeks nominations for 2010 centennial awards

Apr 30, 2010
by WLJ

Colorado Centennial Farms seeks nomination applications from families who have owned and operated their farm or ranch for 100 years or more to be honored at the 24th Annual Centennial Farms celebration held at the summer Colorado State Fair in Pueblo, CO. Farmers and ranchers nominating their property for this award must submit an application providing information about the history of their farm and its buildings by May 15, 2010.

Nominees must meet the following requirements to be designated a Colorado Centennial Farm:

• Farming or ranching properties must have remained in the same family continuously for at least 100 years;

• Each property must still be a working farm or ranch;

• Farms or ranches 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.

History Colorado, the Colorado Historical Society, and the Colorado Department of Agriculture created the Colorado Centennial Farm Program in 1986 to recognize the important role that agriculture has played in the state’s history and economic development.

According to Steve Turner, deputy state historic preservation officer, the awards are intended to honor families who have maintained the integrity of their historic properties for over a century despite the economic challenges of modern farming. “Historic agricultural sites around the nation are disappearing at an alarming rate,” said Turner, who also directs the State Historical Fund, the historic preservation grants program of History Colorado. “But these families have withstood the pressures of growth, changes in farming methods, drought and economic conditions to keep their way of life. These historic farms contribute immeasurably to the sense of place and pride that all Coloradans feel.”

To date, more than 350 Colorado farms and ranches representing 61 counties across the state have received the Centennial Farm award. The majority of these farms were established between 1880 and 1895.

Download a Colorado Centennial Farm application at www.coloradohistory-oahp. org/programareas/centfarm/centfarm. htm, or call 303/866-2779. — WLJ