BURNET — When it comes to longevity, just look to the 38 families honored Thursday by state and local dignitaries for maintaining the same ranch or farm property for 100 years or more.
The C.C. Barton Ranch near CR 200 and the Shifflet Ranch west of Marble Falls were among several farms and ranches recognized during a special gathering at the Herman Brown Free Library, 100 E. Washington St.
The Texas Family Land Heritage Program will officially accept the Barton and Shifflett ranches June 4 in Austin at the Capitol. The program honors Texas farms and ranches in continuous operation by the same family for a century or longer, according to officials.
“These ranches and farms are living Texas treasures,” Gov. Rick Perry said in a prepared release.
The same family has operated the C.C. Barton Ranch since 1907, while the Shifflett Ranch has been maintained by the same family since 1858.
“It is in my blood, and I love it, and so does my wife,” said Shifflett Ranch owner Tommy Shifflett, referring to his spouse Jo Ellen Shifflett.
Rick Rhodes, the Texas Department of Agriculture Assistant Commissioner for Rural Economic Development, praised the family ranch owners, most of whom have operated by the same property since the late 19th century.
“They believe in the basic principles of life, food and clothing,” Rhodes said. “They are strong, and they have endured the ups and downs of the agricultural industry.”
County Judge Donna Klaeger also commended both ranch families during the ceremony.
“We appreciate your service to home and history,” Klaeger said. “As a rural county, we want to make sure we continue our heritage.”
Since it began 36 years ago, the program has honored more than 4,300 farms, and the recognition permits recipients to display a sign on their property to document the family history as recorded in the Family Land Heritage Registry.
To qualify for the program, the farm or ranch owner must be a Texas resident who can trace ownership from the first landowner to the present, and the land must be in use, officials have said.