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Fair Family of the Year

As Chuck Smith sprayed water on pigs wallowing on sun-baked mud at his Bitney Springs farm, daughter Emilee Smith tossed high-protein food inside their pen and mom Tammy Smith stood close by, watching.

“Pigs don’t sweat like humans,” Chuck Smith said above the sound of the splattering water. “So you need to spray them and cool them down on a hot afternoon.”

“They tend to get sun burnt too,” Tammy Smith added.



The Smiths have raised animals for years. Local school teachers by profession, the elder Smiths also are staunch supporters of the local Future Farmers ofAmerica program for young, aspiring agriculturists. They also allow students to raise livestock on their property for area farm animal programs; some of those animals later are shown at the Nevada County Fair.

That support of children beyond their own prompted the Nevada County Fair Board to name the Smiths – with their children Kaytlin,19, Emilee, 15, and Jacob, 20 – as the Fair Family of the Year. The fair runs Aug. 8 through Aug. 12 at the county fairgrounds on McCourtney Road.




Karen Henderson, the Ag teacher at Nevada Union High School, nominated the Smiths for the award.

“Their farm outside Nevada City has always been a place where a youngster could raise a pig to exhibit at the fair,” Henderson wrote in her nomination letter.

“It’s an honor, after growing up in the community,” said Chuck Smith, a third-generation Nevada County resident. “It was always an honor to see the people who got the award every year. I respected those people for their work ethics and what they did for our community and agriculture.”

“We raise some of the pigs for our own consumption,” he added. “Some are sold at the county fair. Our children show them at the fair.”

The Smiths will be honored at the fair’s opening ceremony on Aug. 8. They’ll also receive free admission to the fair, parking passes, free carnival rides and admission to all five nights of the arena events. Shaffers Originals of Grass Valley will create a family portrait to commemorate the Smiths’ selection as Family of the Year.

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To contact Soumitro Sen, e-mail soumitros@theunion.com or call 477-4229.


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