Michelle and Brandon Warmuth have been named the 2016 Family of the Year by the Nevada County Fair’s Board of Directors. The Board chose the Warmuth family for their volunteer efforts and their ongoing participation in the livestock and exhibit programs at the Fair.
Brandon and Michelle, who have attended the Fair every year for 32 and 25 years respectively, have been participating in the Fair for many years. Michelle entered exhibits as a teen and participated in the Miss Nevada County Pageant. She and Brandon ran Treat Street’s Mexican Hot Spot for several years; and, today, they spend countless hours volunteering in the 4-H Booth on Treat Street and helping their children prepare animals and exhibits for the Fair.
Brandon and Michelle, who met at the Fair in 1997 and will celebrate their 18th wedding anniversary this year, have 8 children – Nathanael, 16; Victoria, 15; Dylan, 15; Hillary, 10; Valerie, 8; Bethany, 6; Johannah, 4; and Evelyn, 2. All of their children enter exhibits – livestock and still exhibits for the older children, and still exhibits for the younger children – in the Fair.
“The first Fair entry that my oldest entered in the Mommy and me category was a foam dragonfly wind spinner,” says Michelle. “That was when he was 3 – now he is 16. Over the years, with 8 kids, I don’t think there is a youth category the kids haven’t entered.”
As a family tradition, when the kids turn 5, they get to join 4-H – something the children look forward to with great anticipation. Once they are 4-H members, they enter and show livestock. They have brought chickens, pigs and sheep to the Fair; and this year they are bringing rabbits. Together, the kids have been showing for 7 years; and, collectively, the kids have shown 29 animals at the Fair. Their favorite event is the chicken and rabbit costume contest.
Additionally, Nathanael is a Nevada County 4-H All-Star, the Penn Valley 4-H Club President, and recently spent two weeks in Washington DC with the Washington Focus Program through 4-H. Victoria is a teen leader in 4-H, Dylan served as a Sargent at Arms for their 4-H club, and both recently spent a week at the 4-H Citizenship Program in Sacramento. Hillary is serving her second term as her 4-H Club’s Historian. As Michelle says, “the joke around the house is that we bleed green.”
“The Fairgrounds is like a second home to our children, and the Fair is so important to us because it speaks of the community we live in and how the community comes together to support one another,” says Michelle. “The Fair allows us to learn from others and their expertise. It is wonderful to see the talent that is so widespread in our community.”
When not busy at the Fair or volunteering, Brandon works at his construction company, Prestige Tile and Construction, and as a partner in a private security company in the Sacramento area. Michelle is a fulltime Mom, and spends summers speaking at homeschooling conferences and hosting workshops on various topics. They served as a foster family for 9 years with Environmental Alternatives, and have cared for more than 20 children during that time. They are also members of Penn Valley Community Church.
“The Warmuth Family’s involvement and volunteer efforts at the Fair embody the community spirit and collaboration that is the Nevada County Fair,” said Rea Callender, CEO of the Fairgrounds. “Their participation in the livestock and still exhibit program, and their investment in the community by serving others, is commendable and admirable – and makes them the perfect choice for the 2016 Family of the Year.”
Upon being named the Family of the Year, Michelle says they were shocked! “The surprising part is that what we do at the Fair and in the community is what we do because we love it and it’s part of who we are as a family. It never crossed our minds that we would be noticed, much less stand out! It’s a great honor and we hope that by having the opportunity to share our hearts, people will be inspired to invest in their community with their time and talents.”
The Warmuth Family will be honored at the Fair’s opening ceremonies. They will receive a Fair package, as well as a family portrait by Shaffers Originals of Grass Valley. The 2016 Nevada County Fair is August 10 – 14.
— By Wendy Oaks, Nevada County Fair
(Photo credit: Shaffers Originals of Grass Valley)