Recently-retired Franklin County Cooperative Extension 4-H Community Education Assistant Judy Smith reads a card during a surprise retirement presentation Friday afternoon, Sept. 24. Smith, who retired this summer after 26 years was called to the Worthley Arena on the Farmington fairgrounds because of an alleged problem with the 4-H dairy goat show. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

FARMINGTON — On Friday afternoon, Sept. 24, a surprise thank you was given to Judy Smith at Farmington Fair.

Judy Smith gets a hug from Tara Marble at right during a surprise retirement recognition at Farmington Fair Friday afternoon, Sept. 24. Smith served as the 4-H Community Educator Assistant for Franklin County Cooperative Extension for 26 years before her retirement this summer. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

She was asked to come to the Worthley Arena — a place where Smith has spent many hours — because of an issue with the 4-H dairy goat show, 4-H Professional Tara Marble said before Smith arrived.

Smith, who served as Franklin County Cooperative Extension’s 4-H Community Education Assistant for 26 years retired at the end of July. She and her husband Leslie operate More Acres Farm in East Dixfield.

“We are inviting you as the guest of honor at our annual meeting,” Marble said. “The Executive Committee put these things together, we wanted to be able to share it with you. Thank you for all your 26 years of service at the Farmington Fair and everything else you’ve been involved in.”

Most 4-H programming in those years was accomplished by Smith on her own, Marble noted. Marble joined the Franklin County 4-H team in 2017 — prior to that Smith was the only 4-H Extension staff member.

“We’re going to miss you,” Marble said. “We wish you all happiness in the future.”

Former and current staff plus members of the Franklin County Executive Committee were present. Rupert Pratt, chair of the board of directors for Farmington Fair also stopped by to thank Smith for her work with area youth and fair programs.

Not good at giving last minute speeches, Smith said she enjoyed her work.

“I’m still going to be hanging around at the fairs and doing whatever I can to help,” she said. “Thank you all for coming out. You all did a great job of getting me over here!”

Kellee Ouellette, three years old of New Vineyard, plays in a rain puddle at the Farmington Fair Friday afternoon, Sept. 24. The rain caused fair officials to cancel scheduled events that evening. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

Following the presentation the 4-H dairy goat show went on as scheduled. All later events at the fair were canceled due to the earlier at times heavy rain.

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