Fair Honoree & Centennial Farm

There are so many dedicated individuals who make the Evergreen State Fair amazing. Those who dedicate hours, days, months of their lives every year to make sure, every booth, display, shop, show or activity runs smoothly.  We know many of those people, but so much is done behind the scenes that we do not get a chance to recognize.

The 2021 Fair Honoree Kathy Van Buskirk with the Fair Board

Kathy Van Buskirk 2021 Evergreen State Fair Honoree2021 and 2022 Evergreen State Fair Honoree - Kathy Van Buskirk

The Evergreen State Fair recognizes and celebrates the dedication of Kathy Van Buskirk, 4-H Equestrian leader.

Kathy says that the years have gone by so fast it doesn’t seem possible that she has been in the 4-H programs for 50 years. As a leader, she has been president, horse show chair, served on the Horse Fair Committee, announcer at horse show events, and active in the 4-H tack sale since it first began over 30 years ago. She was inducted into the Washington State 4-H Hall of Fame October of 2014.

Kathy has volunteered at the Evergreen State Fair every year for the past 20 + years working in the horse arena office helping with registration, ribbons, solving problems and answering questions at the office window. She is the first to arrive in the morning and the last to leave at night for the 10 days 4-H horses are at the Fair. She also works at all the 4-H Horse events at the Fairgrounds.

Kathy and her husband Bruce are celebrating 45 years of marriage this year and have two children together: their son Jay who participated in motorcycle 4-H and is active in auto racing at the Evergreen Speedway, and their daughter April who was in the 4-H horses program.

All of these things have been wonderful, but for Kathy the best part has been working with young people, watching them learn about horses and helping others within their clubs and their communities. Kathy gets great pleasure seeing the kids she led bring their children back into the program after they are grown and gone. She is looking forward to seeing the third generation of 4-H kids join her program this year. As Kathy always insists, it has been most rewarding working with parents, teachers, leaders and a County that encourages and supports young people. 

Read the full Press Release here.

Kathy will be honored at the 2022 Evergreen State Fair Opening Ceremony at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 25, 2022 on the Courtyard Stage #514.   Kathy will cut the ribbon to open the Fair.   Kathy will also ride in the Monroe Fair Days Parade on August 27 in downtown Monroe.   At the 2021 Fair, the Fair Board did honor Kathy on Opening Day of the Fair (see photo above).   Congratulations Kathy!!


Past Fair Honorees

Year Name Year Name
2021 & 2022 Kathy Van Buskirk    
2019 Don Ballard 1999 Ellen Dodge
2018 Elaine Wilson 1998 Frank Cotterill
2017 Laura Elhai 1997 Audrey Bannon
2016 Linda Cline 1996 Gene Elledge
2015 Ed & Vicki Miller 1995 Beryl Epling
2014 Pamela Phelps 1994 Jan Coffelt
2013 Janice Bond 1993 Elmer & Dee Anderson
2012 Bob & Nancy Kash 1992 Ellene Kearney
2011 Kathleen Wright 1991 Don & Ella Walker
2010 Sharon Olsen 1990 Don Britton
2009 Stan and Nancy Depner 1989 Don & Elma Steffen
2008 Doug Moening &
Stephanie Hagarty-Moening
1988 Ned Carrick
2007 Tom & Ann Muchoney 1987 John Millard
2006 Marilyn Stout 1986 Tom & Pat Kennedy & 3 sons
2005 Andy Delegans 1985 John & Winnie Klein
2004 Dave Leatherman 1984 Ted Britten
2003 Robert Drewel 1983 Ted Larson
2002 Hank & Lena Mae Getchman 1982 None
2001 Bert Spada 1981 None
2000 Shirley Johnson 1980 N. Richard K “Dick” Forsgren

Centennial Family Farm

Since the year 2000, we have honored 39 county farms that have remained in continuous production under the same family ownership for 100 years or more in Snohomish County. 

2022 Centennial Family Farm • The Ellingsen Family from Stanwood

In 1897 John Ellingsen immigrated to the United States from Norway with his mother. John married Iowa-born Ingeborg Berge, the daughter of Norwegian immigrants. Ingeborg gave birth to their son Clarence “Bubba” Ellingsen. In 1909 John purchased 120 acres near the mouth of the Stillaguamish River for $20,000. Jon began cultivating oats and dairying. He ran a herd of 60 Holstein dairy cows and used oats grown on the farm for feed and sold the surplus oats by shipping them to Seattle by paddleboat.

The farm saw many changes during the early years as modern technology and new developments in the agricultural field came about. The Ellingsen’s were the first in the area to have an automobile and they purchased first farm tractor in 1937. The farm also started cultivating peas in the 1930s, selling the peas to the local cannery and using the pea vines for silage for the dairy cows.

As new generations of Ellingsen’s joined the farm the dairy moved from hand milking in the flat barn to 1958, Clarence, Clyde and Harold upgrading the dairy operation after attending a seminar and being impressed by Boumatic machinery and technology for automated milking. Clarence “Bubba” Ellingsen lived to age of 103 years before passing away in 2000. Clarence saw a tremendous amount of change in farming and agriculture take place in a century from horses to tractors to automatic milking machines.

Over the years the farm continues to expand as a dairy. In 1990 Jeff Ellingsen was the next generation to take over the farm. The vast fields near the mouth of the Stillaguamish river continue to produce a variety of crops including potatoes, green peas, vegetable seed crops, corn and forage for silage.

2019 Centennial Family Farm