If your farm or ranch has been in your family for 100 years or more, the Agricultural Council of Nevada would like to hear from you.
The Ag Council is the lead sponsor of Nevada's Centennial Ranch and Farm Awards Program. Forty-five Nevada families have been inducted into the program since it started in 2004.
"Many of Nevada's Centennial award-winning ranches and farms date back to the 1860s," said Liz Warner, program coordinator. The oldest is the Cushman-Corkill Ranch in Churchill County. Other long-time ranches include the Snyder Livestock Company in Mason Valley (1862), the Laura Springs Ranch in Carson Valley (1863), Stewart's Ninety-Six Ranch in Humboldt County's Paradise Valley (1864), and the Stodieck Farm in Carson Valley (1868).
Two families were inducted in 2012: the Lytle Ranches in Lincoln County, settled in 1865, and the Day-Annett-Costa Ranch in Lyon County that was settled in 1905.
"We know there are other long-time ranches and farms that have not yet applied for Centennial status," said Warner, "and we are encouraging anyone who is eligible to apply this year. We'd also like to hear from folks who are close to being eligible. Funding for the program is uncertain and identifying eligible and soon-to-be eligible properties will lend support to maintaining the program."
As Nevada grows increasingly more urban, and the demands for water in the sprawling metropolitan areas lead to the further decline of farms and ranches, the Centennial Ranch and Farm Program is a wonderful means to recognize the long-time family-owned businesses dedicated to agriculture in our nation's most arid state, wrote Guy Rocha, former Nevada State Archivist.
Bruce Petersen, state conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service, one of the founding sponsors, said, "We know that ranchers and farmers are the best stewards of the land. They wouldn't be in operation for 100 years or more if they hadn't taken care of their natural resources."
Applications are due by June 1, 2013. Application forms and more information can be found on the Web at http://www.nv.nrcs.usda.gov/centennial_awards.html or by contacting Warner at (775) 857-8500.