Pioneer Association honors local community members

By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer

With roots running deep in the community as their prerequisite, three Roosevelt County residents accepted pioneer honors Thursday at the Roosevelt County Fair.

The occasion was the Roosevelt County Pioneers Association’s annual awards presentation. Held at the Jake Lopez Community Center.

The association has met for more than 35 years during the Roosevelt County Fair. Every year, they choose a married couple and a single woman to honor said RCPA board members, Charlene Foster and Mary Blakley. The honorees have to have lived in the area a number of years and must have been active in the community.

This year’s recipients are Lucille Cooper, Pioneer Woman of the year and Delbert and Verla Brown, Pioneer Couple of the Year.

“I’ve been granted a lot of good things.” “This is my family, this is what I’m so proud of,” said Delbert Brown as the couple accepted their award.
Cooper has been a resident of Roosevelt County for 70 years. She and her husband ranched at Kenna for 35 years. After marrying and moving to the ranch, Cooper became actively involved in the Kenna and Elida communities. She was in several area clubs and the Kenna Community Church, said her daughter. She has also held dual memberships in the Elida and Portales Woman’s clubs.

Cooper is still involved in the community today. She sings at local nursing homes with the group, Sharing Hearts, and is still a member of the Portales Woman’s Club, Cooper said.

“Thank you, I’m so proud to be here,” said Cooper upon receiving her award.

Today Cooper’s family continues to ranch at Elida. The ranch will be celebrating 100 years of continuous family ownership soon, said Cooper.

Married for 58 years, the Brown’s have worked side by side and contributed many things to their family and the community, family members said.

Actively involved in farming, Brown worked to improve and develop a new breed of peanut. The peanut he developed is known as the Valencia A and is still an important peanut in this area today, said Brown.

Brown has also served on several committees throughout the years. He has also testified before the Senate Agriculture Committee, with his wife helping him compile statistics to present at the hearing.

According to family members who spoke at the luncheon, the Browns have built a supportive partnership that has helped them to take great risks. Their pioneering spirit has also been an encouragement to their children.

“I think it’s great,” said Verla Brown, on being honored.

More activity continued at the RCF as the dairy heifer show got under way Thursday morning. Today’s show was host to 31 heifers in seven classes.

“The quality was very deep,” said Johnny Ogden, assistant dairy superintendent.

For the first time, in several years, the RCF had an all Jersey class, according to Ogden.

In addition, a variety of goat shows took place through the afternoon Thursday.

Today the highlight event is the 100th anniversary celebration at 6:30 p.m. at the Jake Lopez building.