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Art of Ranching: Engaging Youth in Community History   arrow

The Art of Ranching (AOR) is a collaborative community history project that works with 4-H youth and historic family and/or Centennial farms and ranches to make visible the agricultural labor and legacy of Colorado communities. Operating a farm and ranch and doing agricultural work is an art form in itself and every operation and agriculturalist takes a unique approach. Capturing these stories and making visible the significant contributions of these operations and agriculturalists to Routt County and its communities reveals that art. The project is funded by Colorado State University’s Office of Engagement and Extension Rural Engagement initiative and falls under the Vibrant Communities focus area.

4-H Art of Ranching Project Guidelines

  • Download the Art of Ranching 4-H manual HERE.
  • Youth will identify a ranch, farm or family who wants to participate. This could be their own family ranch/farm, a local ranch/farm, or a local long-time agricultural family.
  • Make contact with a local historian, historical society, library, or museum to learn more about local history and to do some research on their project. Complete the BioSketch found in the 4-H manual
  • Complete the Oral History training.
  • Schedule the interview. Be prepared with a list of interview questions and bring the completed BioSketch. Make sure to secure the narrator’s signature on the Informed and Use Permission form (found in the manual).
  • Complete a narrative of the ranch/farm/family and submit it to the Art of Ranching project historian at CSU for submission to History Colorado’s Colorado Encyclopedia.
  • Present your completed project twice (ex. – club demonstration, local museum, classroom, assisted living program, etc.).
  • Leaders helping youth with the Art of Ranching project can access project leader resources in the Art of Ranching manual.

Doing Community History

Community history is a collaboration between researchers and community members to collect and preserve the stories of local communities. It uses oral history techniques, archival research, and shared authority models to collect historical information about individuals, families, important events, or everyday life.

The histories produced by the Art of Ranching are created in collaboration with ranching families and are led by 4-H youth with the support of the Colorado State University Department of History and Public and Environmental History Center. The Art of Ranching produces these histories in conjunction with participating families. They are slated for publication through Colorado Encyclopedia.

Participating Farms and Ranches

The project prioritizes farms and ranches across the state that are:

1) recognized Colorado Centennial Farms and Ranches (CFR)s,

2) multi-generational family farms and ranches, and/or

3) former historic farms and ranches that have become subsumed by development in the 21st century.

In 1986, Governor Richard Lamm created the Colorado Centennial Farms & Ranches program through History Colorado and the Colorado Department of Agriculture to recognize the important role agriculture played in our state’s history. To be honored properties must have remained in the same family continuously for at least 100 years, still operate as a working farm or ranch, and have a minimum of 160 acres.

Participants to Date

Summer 2021 – Routt County

Jacie Rex, Researcher

Tim Bedell, Christopher Stone – Monger Ranch

Alley Kvols – Fetcher Ranch

Olivia Rossi – Heart Mountain Ranch

Bowden Tumminello – Soash Ranch

Summer 2022 – Routt County

Dale Mize, Researcher

Tim Bedell – Brown Ranch

Trevor Hagenbuch – Kuntz Ranch

Alley Kvols – Hitchens Overlook Ranch

Justin Stanko – Stanko Ranch

Bowden Tumminello – Summers Ranch

Summer 2023 – Routt County and Douglas County

Sean Nelson, researcher Douglas County

Leona Thurston, researcher Routt County

Jessica Bedell – Semotan Ranch

Tim Bedell – Perry Ranch

Alyvia Cox – Zehner Ranch

Trevor Hagenbuch – Gay Ranch

Ally Kvols – Green/Crags Ranch

Kenzie Summervill – Bell Ranch

Art of Ranching Locations in Routt County


Want to get involved?

Contact Tami Eggers at