Nevada County People: A shining light to Nevada County youth |

Nevada County People: A shining light to Nevada County youth

The family of Karen Henderson and Jim Drew of Grass Valley has been named the Family of the Year by the Nevada County Fair’s Board of Directors.

The Henderson-Drew family was chosen because of the work they do to support Nevada County and for consistently encouraging Nevada County youth to participate in agricultural projects.

Henderson and Drew are both agriculture teachers at Nevada Union High School. They also coach numerous leadership and FFA teams and take students to competitions and leadership conferences.

Henderson is the FFA advisor at NU, while Drew is the head cook for Cooper’s Café, the snack shack at the school’s football home games. The couple also oversee 50 livestock projects during the summer and more than 50 agricultural mechanics projects exhibited at the fair.

“We are honored to be recognized because we believe in what we are doing … because the FFA not only benefited our own kids, but thousands of students,” Henderson said. “We both understand the importance of instilling work ethic and a caring attitude in every student we have in class. At the same time, we help students understand the importance of leadership.”

The Henderson-Drew family will be honored at the opening ceremony of the Nevada County Fair, which runs Aug. 6 through 10. They’ll receive free admission to the fair, along with parking passes, free carnival rides and admission to all five nights of arena events. In addition, Schaffers Originals of Grass Valley will create a family portrait to commemorate the family’s selection as the Family of the Year.

“Karen and Jim have become such an integral part of the Fair,” said Ed Scofield, CEO at the fairgrounds. “They begin the fair season with Karen and her horticulture class planting more than 1,000 marigolds along the Gold Path (at the fairgrounds). They then work with their students throughout the summer on their livestock projects and see the students through the Ag Mechanics Auction and the Junior Livestock Auction.”

The Henderson-Drew family includes six children and two grandchildren. All six children are NU graduates.

The families of Henderson and Drew have lived in Nevada County for more than 40 years. Henderson’s parents, Jack and Nancy Henderson, are being inducted into the Hall of Fame at the fair this year for their ongoing support of the youth in Nevada County.

Before moving to the area in 1964, Karen Henderson spent her summers in Nevada County while her grandparents built their house – where she and Drew now live.

“The highlight of my summer … was going to the Nevada County Fair and going on all the rides,” Henderson said.

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