2022 Centennial Farm & Ranchers honored

Joy Ufford photo Jonita Sommers, left, gets a hug from Barbara Bain, center, during Director Westby’s presentation to the Bain Ranch, 1918.

PINEDALE – With most of this year’s Sublette County “Centennial Farm & Ranch” honorees still in the hayfields during the Wyoming State Fair, they missed the chance to take part in Gov. Mark Gordon’s special recognition.

So at his request, Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund’s Renée Bovée gathered them for the Sept. 13 Sublette County Special Edition ceremony, while the Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources Commission was meeting in Pinedale. Eight of 2022’s 15 Centennial ranches are from Sublette County With bad weather looming, it was moved from the Sommers Homestead to the Museum of the Mountain Man. Jonita Sommers has assisted many local ranch families who owned and operated the same land for 100 years or more. To apply for the 2023 Centennial honor, call the Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office at 307-777-7697 or visit https://wyoshpo.wyo.gov and look at “programs.”

Pinedale rancher Rep. Albert Sommers welcomed everyone and State Parks & Cultural Resources director Darin Westby read a special letter from Gov. Gordon before the presentations.

“Dear Honorees: I want to congratulate you on this momentous achievement. We have already honored each of you, as you know, at the State Fair in Douglas this past August along with other members of your accomplished class. One hundred years of agricultural excellence and family heritage is no small feat.

“Each of this year’s honorees exemplifies the hard work, dedication and grit that are the backbone of Wyoming. Because it was hay season, some were unable to attend the regular ceremony – no doubt exemplifying the work ethic that has kept their operations running for over 100 years. Enough of those individuals who chose work over play were from Sublette County that it seemed possible to acknowledge you in your home county during the September State Parks and Cultural Resources meeting.

“Reaching this milestone shows that you embody the qualities that make Wyoming great and Wyoming people good neighbors. Every day brings new challenges to the agriculture industry – but having a neighbor you can count on makes all the difference.

We in Wyoming agriculture know challenges will come and that we must come together as the generations before had to ensure the preservation of our western way of life.

“Again I want to congratulate this year’s honorees. You have withstood economic pressure, drought, manmade and natural threats and continue to thrive. It takes hard work, stamina and fierce determination to reach this milestone and I am confident you will stay the course. In Wyoming, we value what agriculture has done for our state, celebrate its continued success and look froward to all the future has to bring.

Thanks you for your dedication to Wyoming, the western spirit and for building a bright future for generations to come. I hope your fall brings good moisture, heavy calves and lambs and good prices!

Sincerely, Gov. Mark Gordon