2020 Centennial Farm and Ranch Families Honored



2020 Centennial Farm & Ranch Families Honored

The Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office and its partners recognized 15 Wyoming families this year as 2022 Centennial Farm & Ranch honorees.

Each year, the Wyoming Centennial Farm & Ranch Program recognizes families who have owned and operated the same farm or ranch for 100 years or longer. More than 300 families have been honored through the program since it was re-established in 2006.  

Centennial Farm & Ranch families recognized this year are the Pownall and Kluver families from Campbell County, the Bates family from Sheridan County, the Epsy family from Carbon County, the Kennedy family from Albany County, the Brabec family from Washakie County, and the Theobald family from Laramie County.

There are also eight families from Sublette County: the Bain family, the Chrisman family, the Hittle family, the Olson family, the Rees family, the Roberts family, and the Steele families.

The Blake Sheep Company is the oldest ranch recognized this year. It was established in 1880 by Frank Blake.

Many of the eight families from Sublette County still actively use the Green River Drift, a unique Traditional Cultural Property listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Green River Drift was listed in 2013 and remains the only recognized cattle drift in the National Register.

The Bates Ranch was established in 1917 in Sheridan County by Nellie Smith. Ms. Smith built and lived in a dugout with a sod roof on her homestead. After she married Harry Rasmussen, she moved his house to her homestead. The house is still in use as a bunkhouse. 

The Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office (WYSHPO) partners with the Wyoming Stock Growers Association, Wyoming Department of Agriculture, Wyoming Rural Electric Association, Wyoming Business Council, Wyoming Wool Growers Association, Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund, and Wyoming Livestock Roundup to honor Centennial families at a ceremony each year during the Wyoming State Fair. Families receive a framed certificate signed by the governor and a large Centennial sign to display on their property. The honorary award does not place any requirements or expectations on the family.

Following the ceremony, the WYSHPO publishes a yearbook that features the histories and photos of the Centennial families. The WYSHPO invites each Centennial family to submit their family history and photographs, and each family receives a free copy. Yearbooks can also be purchased at our office in Cheyenne or by mail. All yearbooks are available to download for free.  

Wyoming's farms and ranches embody the history of Wyoming, its people, and its heritage. It takes hard work and determination to remain in agriculture for over 100 years. Despite economic hard times, drought, development pressure, and other man-made and natural threats, Wyoming's Centennial families have remained. But these farms and ranches are not just Wyoming's history; they remain essential today and will remain vital well into the future.

For more information about the program, go to and follow the Centennial Farm and Ranch Program link. Or call Bethany Kelly at (307) 777-7530 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

Photo caption: Dennis and Lynn Brabec of the Fiddleback Farms proudly display their new Centennial Farm and Ranch sign.

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