|Local farm recognized|
|Written by Chris Lee|
A local farm and family recently were recognized at the Colorado State Fair for keeping their farm in the family for over 100 years.
The Miles farm, owned by Lucille Miles, was one of 21 farms honored at the 2009 State Fair on Friday, Aug. 28 in Pueblo. It is the 366th farm in Colorado history to be awarded the honor, according to Lucille’s son Ron Miles.
“It’s thanks to my sons (Ron and Rick),” Lucille said. “They both decided to stay on the farm.”
The Colorado Centennial Farms program was created in 1986 by Gov. Richard D. Lamm, the Colorado Historical Society and the Colorado Dept. of Agriculture to recognize the important role agriculture has played in Colorado’s history and economic development. It was the first such program of its kind in the nation to give a Historic Structures Award to families who have successfully preserved historic buildings on their farms and ranches.
In March of 1909, Lucille’s father-in-law, Fred Miles purchased the 320 acre farm southeast of Holyoke and it has stayed in the family ever since.
Ron Miles filled out the application this past spring knowing it was the 100-year anniversary for the farm to be in the family. He said the application was rather simple to fill out. He went back and traced each owner and provided the appropriate documentation of how the farm had been passed down.
Lucille has been the owner since 1987 when her husband, L.B. died. She moved to the farm in 1947 and has many memories.
She remembers raising hogs, chickens and cattle in the early days on the farm.
In 1969 irrigation became available to the Miles family. Ron said they began seeing irrigation installed in the area early in the 1960s. Lucille said Fred still owned the farm and didn’t want to have irrigation, so they waited.
She moved to town in 1983. Today, her sons Ron and Richard continue to farm corn and wheat on the farm. Lucille said the farm began as a ranching operation with breeder cattle but has transitioned into what it is today with the row crops. “We lived a pretty normal life on the farm,” Lucille said.
“They had a really nice program,” Ron said when talking about the 100-year award recognition. The family was given a certificate by Governor Bill Ritter and pictures were taken.
State Fair general manager Chris Wiseman spoke, along with Commissioner of Agriculture, John Stulp. Ed Nichols, president of the Colorado Historical Society, and Lyle Miller, Centennial Farms Coordinator, also made comments.
“It’s a really nice thing the state historical society does to recognize people who have been in the state and farmed for 100 years,” Ron said. “I hope they continue to do that.”
Ron and Lucille said they didn’t know what to expect when they arrived but were very pleased with the presentation. Lucille, who is 89, said this was her first ever visit to the State Fair.
They visited the exhibit buildings, cattle barns, horses and some hogs some local people took to the fair.
“It made us feel honored,” Ron said.
Other farms honored
There were four other area farms recognized at the Centennial Farms Program. They included Carmel Farm, Everett and Nannie Davis Family Farm, Larson/Carlson Family Farm and the Scott Farm—all in the Haxtun area. There were a total of 21 farms recognized throughout the state.