Mason County News
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Ag Commissioner Todd Staples Honors Birk Ranch During 35th Annual Family Lland Heritage Ceremoney
Wednesday, July 14, 2010 • Posted July 14, 2010

Event recognizes Texans who have kept land in agricultural production for 100 years or more

AUSTIN — Working the land has been a family tradition for generations of Texans. To honor this longstanding Texas custom, Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples today recognized 91 farms and ranches, spanning 66 Texas counties, at the 35th Annual Family Land Heritage (FLH) ceremony. The ceremony, which was held in the Senate Chamber at the Texas State Capitol, recognized families who have kept their farms and ranches in continuous agricultural production for 100 years or more.

"The families we honor today continue their ancestors’ legacies of nurturing and caring for the land," Commissioner Staples said. "They truly represent the dreams of the pioneers who entered the Texas frontier and built the family farms and ranches that endure to this day. I congratulate these families for making Texas a leader in agriculture."

Among the properties the Texas Department of Agriculture honored today were 10 family operations celebrating 150 years of continuous agricultural service in the counties of Concho, Cooke, Kendall, Mason, Matagorda, Medina, Polk, Shelby and Victoria.

To date, TDA has recognized more than 4,400 properties in 236 counties across Texas. Since the FLH program was started, Fayette County has had 145 family operations recognized, the most out of any county. This is the first year the FLH program recognized landowners in Lamb County.

Cowboy poet and entertainer Red Steagall performed at the ceremony. Ron Oliveira, KEYE TV news anchor, served as master of ceremonies.

The event was made possible thanks to sponsors including: Blue Bell Creameries; Country World News; Monsanto; National Ranching Heritage Center; Texas Deer Association; Texas Disposal Systems; Texas Electric Cooperatives; Texas Farm Bureau; Texas Oil and Gas Association; Texas Potato Growers; Texas Restaurant Association; Time Warner Cable; and Walmart.

To view the complete list of FLH properties honored this year, visit and click on the Family Land Heritage link.

Birk Red Hill Ranch, 1899

Ronald Birk

Alberta Birk

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