2020 Elbert County Fair Parade Marshalls
Russ and Mary Steen

2020 Elbert County Fair Parade Marshalls
Russ and Mary Steen

2024 Elbert County Fair Parade Marshall
Trena Smith

Hello, Colorado State University Extension Elbert County. This is Trena. How can I help you? For nearly 20 years, Trena Smith was the friendly voice that answered the phone. Whether you call in or stop by the office during the county fair, Trena was there to help you. She was always willing to assist anyone while answering every question. That’s just who she is. Her passion and dedication are admirable.

Trena was first exposed to the county extension office while growing up in Fort Collins, Colorado. In high school, her parents bought her a horse and she joined 4-H where she learned to care for her horse, enjoyed trail riding, and volunteered at the county fair. After getting married, Trena moved to Elbert County in 1970. The early years were filled with memories of showing horses and participating in track events. In getting involved with the 4-H program she became a horse project leader. In 1987, Trena joined the Elbert County Fair Board. During her tenure, she managed the commercial booths working with both food and specialty vendors located under the old wooden grandstands and around the fairgrounds. She also was a superintendent for the Open Gymkhana, helped with work nights at the fairgrounds, and took entries for the fair parade, among many other activities. August often would bring cloud bursts and monsoon rains. Trena recalls the numerous times the fair board had to adapt to moving shows and entertainment because of the torrential rain.

As a parent, Trena wanted her son Trevor and daughter Leslie to get involved in 4-H. Trena believed her kids should learn by doing. They learned to evaluate animals through horse and livestock judging. Both enjoyed showing horses, livestock, and general projects. She often reminded her kids that 4-H is about what you learn, not what you win. Trevor and Leslie both credit their passion for agriculture to the 4-H program.

In 2003, Trena joined the Elbert County Extension staff. She was a natural fit with her passion for 4-H, and living in Elbert County for several decades. Former Extension Agent Kipp Nye recalled working alongside Trena for many years. “Trena was a tremendous asset to the Extension Office and myself as a great resource for Fair history, knowledge of local traditions and introducing me to people from the county and throughout the state. She loved working with people of all ages and did it with a smile. Trena thoroughly enjoyed helping producers, new residents, and 4-Hers and their parents find information to answer questions and solve problems. She was always kind, resourceful, and willing to help. She is very deserving of this honor as Elbert County Fair Parade Grand Marshall.”


2000  LeRoy Evans
2001  Walt and LaVonne Maul
2002  Kathy Richart
2003  Rick Hunt
2004  Phil and Jody Davis
2005  Frank Starkey
2006  The Paterniti Family
2007  Bryce and Carleen Gresham
2008  Rod and Kathleen Koepke
2009  Betty Hood
2010  Kipp and Diane Nye
2011  Larry and Cindy Daily
2012  Debbie and Nikki Ullom
2013  The Kiowa Lions Club
2014  Shirley Abbey
2015  The Young Homemakers Extension Club
2016  Charlie Carnahan
2017  Stan Craley
2018  Betty Hood
2019  Pat and Terri Kelley
2020  no honoree, no parade held due to COVID-19
2021  Steve Villyard
2022  Ashley Baller- Miss Rodeo Colorado
2023  David and Linda Ehmann
2024  Trena Smith

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Trena was there to support anyone involved in 4-H. Former livestock judging coach Dean Link went to Trena for assistance with the Eastern Slope Livestock Judging Contest. “My biggest challenge in coaching was to get a group of people to head in one direction and be successful. Trena has a unique way to listen to and understand people from all walks of life. She was my biggest asset for developing ways to communicate with many different people so we could achieve our goals.”

The Elbert County Fair is her favorite time of the year. Trena has a true appreciation for the youth. “I love kids and helping them. I wanted them to feel appreciated. Not in the usual ways of buckles and banners. It was reminding them to apply these skills and grow, and apply it and grow and feel the joy of success. Learning more when they are less successful. That’s when you really learn things.” Working the fair starts early with mornings and long days standing on concrete and answering hundreds of questions. Trena was quick to help anyone in need by assisting a 4-Her find Gertrude, the pink flamingo mascot, to providing safety pins or making an announcement on the microphone. “My body and the hours made it a long week. I loved it, but there is only so long you do the routine,” she says. It was also hard to walk away, especially from her work family. She loved the tight-knit staff. She had the pleasure of working alongside Lore Denson with extension agents Kipp Nye, Connie Ceceil, Sheila Kelly, Kallie Benson, and Willie Wilkins. After nearly 20 years of service, Trena retired from the extension office in January 2023.

You will still find Trena at the Elbert County Fair. The tradition continues as Trevor and his wife Melissa are now raising their kids in the 4-H program. Trena will be cheering on her grandchildren as they compete and make lifetime memories at the Elbert County Fair.