U.S. Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman honored the family of former Rocky Mountain Farmers Union President Charles Hanavan of Cheyenne Wells, Colo., last week for a life-long commitment to the legacy of the American family farm.
Charles and Patsy Hanavan, and their son, Darrell, were on hand at the USDA’s Millennium Conference in Kansas City, Mo., last week to receive a special plaque recognizing the family’s outstanding service to American agriculture and commitment to the family farm and ranch and rural communities. U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Richard Rominger, on behalf of Secretary Glickman, presented the plaque to the family.
Charles Hanavan was a long-time leader in the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union (RMFU), serving as president of the organization from 1968-1970. He was RMFU vice president from 1970-1981. Hanavan also served on the Colorado Highway Commission, the Colorado Farm Service Agency State Committee and the Colorado Rural Rehabilitation Corporation. Charles and Patsy continue to serve as active volunteer leaders in their local community.
In presenting the award to the Hanavan family, Rominger cited their leadership, commitment to family and community, and their exemplary lifestyle. He called the family “pacesetters in the community and Colorado” for continually seeking innovation in their diversified agricultural operations.
The Hanavan family farm consists of 2,500 acres of dryland winter wheat, corn and sunflowers; 450 acres of irrigated corn; and, 1,350 acres of grassland for the family’s 100-head Angus cow-calf operation. Irish immigrants Charles, Sr. and Anna Hanavan settled the original farm south of Arapahoe in 1919. That farm remains in the family.
Charles and Patsy Hanavan have a family of 12 children, 33 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Chuck (Charles) Hanavan III farms with his father. Son Darrell, who was on hand at the Kansas City award ceremony, worked as director of legislation for RMFU in the late 1970’s, and currently serves as the executive director of the Colorado Wheat Administrative Committee.