Bonnie and Darrell Bell Named 2016 Legend of Agriculture
Darrell Bell and Bonnie Hammond were married on May 25, 1947. Darrell had just returned from the war and they were both eager to start their lives together raising a family and pursuing their dreams of raising livestock and ranching. One of their first endeavors was to raise bottle calves, pigs and chickens. As was normal for those times Bonnie stayed home and worked the garden, tended to chores, and took care of the kids while Darrell did day work for several of the local ranchers and dairy farmers. He also managed the Frink Creamery in Larkspur for a few years.
Darrell was a rodeo cowboy and loved to “work” all the events but seemed to enjoy calf roping and saddle bronc riding the best. Bonnie was his most staunch supporter and loved to go along taking her “brood” of kids with her.
They were some of the original members of the Douglas County Young Farmers and Homemakers and enjoyed the comradery and established many lifelong friendships and acquaintances with other members.
Darrell was a member of the Douglas County Fair Board from 1963 to 1975 mainly helping with the rodeo and the 4-H program. He and Bonnie helped several young people from the area, along with their own children, learn some of the skills needed to participate in rodeo events, providing practice sessions and loaning their own horses so that others could participate. All the Bell children were encouraged to participate in 4-H, showing livestock and participating in stock judging activities.
They continued in agriculture all of their lives, eventually owning a herd of production beef cattle and putting up hay for themselves and several other local ranchers. They also each had school bus routes for several years within the Douglas County School District.
Darrell Passed away in 1998 but Bonnie still remains on the ranch, selling the hay that is put up each year and overseeing the yearling feeder steers that are purchased at the beginning of each grazing season and sold in the fall. All of the Bell children are still involved in some aspect of the agriculture business.
CALF presents the Legend of Agriculture Award annually to an individual(s) who exemplify Colorado’s rural, agricultural heritage through a mindset of cooperation, discipline, and personal excellence through their service to the community and our youth. Past recipients include Bea and John Lowell (CALF Founders/Benefactors), Russel Cummings, Mildred Stewart, Bill and Lindsay Serrell, Betty and Bob Thomas, Larry Carnahan and the Douglas County Young Farmers and Homemakers.
Founded in 2002, the Colorado Agriculture Leadership Foundation (CALF) at Lowell Ranch on Plum Creek three miles south of Castle Rock is a 133-acre working educational ranch that “connects people to agriculture” through authentic educational programs, special events and community projects. CALF aims to inspire lives, nurture leaders, and build lasting relationships while passing on rural values and traditions.