PUEBLO COUNTY, Colo. (KRDO) -- A Pueblo County farmer, who's dedicated his life to providing Southern Colorado with quality produce, was honored Tuesday by the Pueblo County Board of County Commissioners.
KRDO's news partners, The Pueblo Chieftain, had the chance to sit down with the man and listen to how a little Italian farm grew into what it is today.
Henry “Carl” Musso was born in 1941 to Italian immigrants. His grandfather Calogedo came to America in 1904 and began the farm. That farm would eventually turn into a bustling market, famed for sweet corn and Pueblo chile.
Musso took over the family business after his father died in 1961 and built a home on the farmland in 1973. The home still stands near the market, which opened in 1977.
Musso told The Pueblo Chieftain how he worked to cultivate crops, like watermelon, peppers, and sweet corn. According to Musso, the sweet corn is what put Musso Farms on the map.
“When we’d pull into the yard with a load of sweet corn at 7 o’clock in the morning, there’d be ten cars in the yard waiting for that fresh sweet corn,” Muss told our Pueblo news partners. “Chile came along later, but the sweet corn is the real deal.”
Initially, Musso said only restaurants and Mexican and Italian families who knew how to prepare the Pueblo chile would buy the crop. It wasn't until the 1970s when Pueblo farmers began roasting the chiles when the Pueblo Chile became popular with a new audience.
Musso told The Pueblo Chieftain while there's no secret on how to roast chiles, he said his family was the first to roast them in Pueblo.
According to The Pueblo Chieftain, this is the first year Musso hasn't worked in his own fields after turning 80 on July 1. While he isn't walking through the crops anymore, he continues being an active part of the market.
It's that kind of dedication and hard work that the Pueblo County Board of County Commissioners wanted to honor.
Musso's grandson, Joey Musso, brought up the idea of a designated day.
“I just know that the man worked really hard his entire life to be who he is and what he has today,” Joey told The Pueblo Chieftain. “And I just felt like he should be honored, and it be a symbol for everybody in the public Pueblo community.”
Through a proclamation, the Pueblo County Board of County Commissioners dubbed July 20, 2021 "Henry 'Carl' Musso Day" to honor his contribution to Pueblo County and Southern Colorado agriculture.
Despite the celebration, friends and family describe Musso as above all a humble, easy-going man.
“I’m not the type to take credit,” he told The Pueblo Chieftain. “I do what I have to do and move down the road. I’m not looking for glory. I just want to be me.”
To read the full interview through The Pueblo Chieftain, click here.
To find out more about Musso Farms, click here.
Watch Pueblo County Commissioners signing the Proclamation below: