Jeni and Gary Koch are pictured at Koch Farms and Ranch Inc. next to their Centennial Farm & Ranch sign, which was presented at this year’s Colorado State Fair. — Johnson Publications

Koch Farms earns Colorado Centennial Farm recognition

    The Koch family has spent the past century stewarding their farm plot south of Haxtun. Now, they’re a recognized part of Colorado’s agricultural history.
    Koch Farms and Ranch Inc. was recognized as a Centennial Farm and Ranch at the Colorado State Fair on Aug. 24, along with 30 other farms that have seen more than a century of operation by a single family.
    “To me, being able to farm and live out here is a blessing,” co-owner Gary Koch said.
    The farm was founded in 1917 by William Koch and his son, Louis. William emigrated from Germany as a young man and eventually settled in Princeton, Nebraska, with his wife, Adeline.
    Louis, Gary Koch’s grandfather, was born in 1895, and was one of 10 siblings. In 1917, William purchased 160 acres south of Haxtun, which was settled by Louis. In 1920, Louis bought the property from his father.
    Louis sent for his wife, Reka, and daughter, after a period of time working on the farm. The two came to Haxtun on an immigrant train.
    Louis planted many trees and windbreaks to establish the farm. The family raised numerous crops and livestock, including Angus and dairy cattle, sheep, hogs, horses and chickens. To generate additional income, the family sold cream to a creamery in Haxtun.
    The family farmed with horses until they bought a Fordson tractor in 1923. Relatives Fred and Emil Koch and Emil Damrow also bought land and settled near Haxtun.

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