[Source: Dianna M. Náñez, Arizona Republic] -- When Mark and Carrie Schnepf learned that Gov. Janet Napolitano was designating Schnepf Farms an Arizona Treasure, they felt it was a humbling reward for keeping their family farm afloat for 65 years. "With so many farms going away . . . it's such an honor," Carrie Schnepf said. "You can't ask for a better way to commemorate." Napolitano has recognized 53 Arizona Treasures as points of pride or interest, and recommends them, through the Arizona Office of Tourism, as prime vacation destinations. Schnepf Farms was the first Southeast Valley locale to be named an Arizona Treasure.
The acknowledgment comes as no surprise to the many families who have enjoyed the farm's pumpkin patches and peach festivals. Jim and Wendy Manley of Phoenix have attended the Pumpkin and Chili Party every year since it began in 1996. "The first year we came out there my wife was pregnant with our first son," Jim Manley said. "They weren't expecting that many people. My wife put on an apron and helped them serve chili." Carrie and Mark Schnepf are fifth-generation Arizonans and said their family has seen the state grow with modernization. "It really means a lot to us that from all the way up to the Governor's Office they are proud of us," Mark Schnepf said. "That they want us to stay a farm." [Note: To read the full article, click here.]