Karen Henderson and Jim Drew, along with Robin Hauck, have been named to the Nevada County Fair’s Hall of Fame.
Henderson and Drew have been attending the Nevada County Fair since childhood and were both Nevada Union FFA members who exhibited steers, market hogs, and lambs. They went on to become local agriculture teachers and FFA advisors for a combined total of 56 years. They have been buyers at the Junior Livestock Auction for almost 20 years, and help with the livestock sale each year; and Henderson served on the Nevada County Fair Board of Directors for five years. Additionally, their six children and two of their grandchildren have exhibited livestock as well.
“We have deep roots in the Fair and truly love what the Fair means to our community,” said Henderson. “The Fair and the Fairgrounds is a rich piece of history and cornerstone to our community’s agriculture heritage. When you realize the first high school agriculture classes were held in the Main Exhibit Building, the thousands of young people who learned about agriculture and developed a strong work ethic by exhibiting, the community activities and gatherings, you will understand why Jim and I know the Fair is vital to Nevada County.”
Henderson currently works fulltime for Live Wire Products Inc, her parent’s business in Penn Valley. She also raises project and freezer lambs, gardens, and recently qualified to enter the Boston Marathon for 2018. She is also on the Nevada County Farm Bureau Board. Drew was recently elected President of the Nevada Joint Union School District Board, and also serves on the Nevada County Resource Conservation Board and the Nevada County Livestock Producers Board. He works a large garden and vineyard on their property, and is an avid fisherman. Both are members of The Range, shooting weekly in the handgun league.
“Karen and Jim are an integral part of our Fair’s agriculture community,” said Rea Callender, Fairgrounds CEO. “They have dedicated countless hours to youth and Nevada County agriculture, and we are grateful for their service.”
Robin Hauck served as the Deputy Manager of the Nevada County Fairgrounds from 2009 until she retired in March. Prior to working at the Nevada County Fair, she was CEO of the Merced County Fair for four years, worked for the El Dorado County Fair for 17 years and the Grand National Rodeo at the Cow Palace, and served as a fair industry consultant.
Hauck, who grew up in Loomis, showed at and visited Fairs throughout California during her childhood. “My roots are in agriculture, and so is the Fair,” said Hauck. “The Fair provides a forum for the promotion and education of agriculture, the exchange of information, a celebration of our traditions and to recall our history. The Fair does all of this with charm, excitement and the competitive spirit – and I’m proud to be part of the industry.”
While at the Fairgrounds, Hauck founded several community service projects, including the Fair’s partnership with local libraries for their summer reading program and Ag-Sperience at the Fair (where Fair-goers can learn about agriculture in Nevada County). She also founded Community Involvement Day, which recently received the Western Fairs Association’s Merrill Award, the Fair industry’s highest honor.
“These community-based programs at the Fair are here because of Robin’s vision,” said Callender. “We are fortunate to have had Robin at the Nevada County Fairgrounds for the past 8 years, and I thank Robin for her years of service and dedication to the Fair industry, to the Nevada County Fairgrounds, and to the community,” said Callender.
Hauck is the current Treasurer of the Greater Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation Board.
Henderson, Drew and Hauck will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at opening day ceremony on August 9, and will receive a portrait donated by Shaffers Originals of Grass Valley.
Photos by Shaffers Originals