Art Whitney has been named to the Nevada County Fair’s Hall of Fame. The fair’s board of directors recognized Whitney for his many years of service to the Nevada County Fair, as well as for his commitment to the growth and success of the Nevada County Fairgrounds.
Whitney served as a director on the fair’s board of directors for two terms (1997-2001 and 2007-12), as well as a fair exhibitor, as a local beef 4H leader and a county beef leader.
Whitney and his family moved to Nevada County in 1987 after a four-year excursion living abroad on their sail boat. They settled in South County and immediately enrolled their sons in 4H beef projects. Since the 4H chapter didn’t have a beef leader at that time, he volunteered. He’s been involved in livestock ever since, and not surprisingly, when asked about his favorite part of the fair, he admits it’s all the livestock events — especially the Round Robin competition.
In addition to serving in the livestock community, Whitney was appointed to the fairgrounds’ board of directors in 1987, where he took an entrepreneurial approach to decision making and used his strong livestock background to guide the board. Additionally, he generously contributed to the improvements in the livestock barns — the development of the Whitney Pavilion and the Beef Show Ring are evidence of his personal generosity.
“I believe the fair is an integral component in the process of raising children,” Whitney said. “This environment provides the perfect mechanism for developing young minds and bodies. It is here that kids learn communication and team building skills and have a terrific time that they will remember forever. I hope the community understands the importance of preserving this great venue so future families will enjoy the same benefits that so many families before them have. Given the current financial predicament of our state, it is imperative that the Nevada County community bond together and financially support this great institution.”
Whitney is the CEO of Pacific West Pharmacy and Advantage Pharmaceuticals. He is also the chairman of the board of the Placer County Farm Supply, and a member of the board of directors at Mayers Memorial Hospital. Whitney and his wife, Caroline, have three boys who have all participated in the fair and have gone on to be outstanding citizens in their communities. Additionally, they have a daughter, who attends McArthur High School (in Fall River Mills), serves as McArthur’s FFA Chapter president and is active in the local county fair.
When he’s not working or volunteering, he enjoys time on his ranch, Whitney Meadows, “where we raise all of our own hay, have a herd of registered horned Herefords and too many horses.
“We enjoy watching our daughter compete in rodeo, and we spend a lot of time helping neighbors with annual brandings, which mimic the old days of spending days gathering cattle, roping and dragging to the fire with great community camaraderie.”
Whitney is surprised about his induction into the Hall of Fame.
“What an honor,” he said. “I’m not sure I deserve this; there are tons of folks who dedicate so much to make this fair great.”
“As a director, Art provided insight and wisdom, and his business vision and forward-thinking attitude led the fair to embrace an enterprising business style,” said Sandy Woods, CEO of the Nevada County Fairgrounds. “He is an astute business person, as well as incredibly generous. It’s an honor to be able to recognize him in the Nevada County Fair Hall of Fame.”
Whitney will be formally inducted into the Hall of Fame at opening day ceremonies Aug. 7. In addition to access to the fair and its many activities, he will receive a portrait donated by Shaffers Originals of Grass Valley.