The Smith Family of Nevada City has been named the 2012 Family of the Year by the Nevada County Fair’s Board of Directors. The Board chose the Smith family because of their ongoing participation in the Nevada County Fair and their commitment to youth in agriculture.
Chip and Liz Smith moved to Nevada County about 15 years ago, and one of their first activities was attending the Nevada County Fair. Having moved here from Vermont, they were drawn to the beauty of the Fairgrounds and the activity in the livestock barn. During that visit, their daughter Chloe, who was 11 at the time, was invited to sit in the pygmy goat pen. Chloe fell in love, and that, says Liz, was the beginning of their “goat addiction and involvement in the Nevada County Fair and 4H.”
Since that time, Chip and Liz have been 4H leaders in goat projects – including pygmy, dairy, and meat goats – and now raise dairy goats. Liz shows the family dairy goats at the Fair each year, as well as in open shows. Chip works as the goat barn superintendent at the Nevada County Fair, and has also been showing goats in open shows for many years.
In the community, Chip volunteers with the Nevada County Ag Youth Boosters, volunteers at his children’s school, and has been a youth soccer and youth basketball volunteer coach for many years. Liz, who recently graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with her Master of Science degree in Counseling, also volunteered in the schools and at Sierra Adoption Services, and most recently at Community Recovery Resources.
Chip and Liz have four children — Kaitlin, 26; Chloe, 24; Isabelle, 12; and Joshua, 10. Kaitlin is a hair stylist in Grass Valley. Chloe, who showed as a 4H exhibitor and in open shows until she graduated from Nevada Union, will graduate in December with her Master of Science degree in Agricultural Education. Isabelle and Joshua, who attend Nevada City School of the Arts, have grown up at the “goat barn” at the Fair, and have shown as 4H, Open, and Independent exhibitors.
“Each year, Chip volunteers countless hours to the Fair as the goat barn superintendent,” said Sandy Woods, CEO of the Fairgrounds. “His volunteer services are greatly appreciated, and the Smith family’s enthusiasm and knowledge of goats, and countless hours of service, is greatly beneficial to the entire livestock community. We are thrilled to be able to recognize them as the Fair’s Family of the Year.”
About being named the Fair’s Family of the Year, Liz says, “It was a huge surprise to all of us, and we consider it a great honor. We are very thankful.”
The Smith Family will be honored at opening ceremonies of the Nevada County Fair, August 8 – 12.
(Photo credit: Schaffers Originals)
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