Don Smith presiding over a farm bureau meeting in 2019/ Hopkins-Rains Farm Bureau

For the first time ever, the Fall Festival parade will have a grand marshal. In a parade, the grand marshal is a ceremonial title given to the person who leads a parade, and is often held by a person of respect within the community.

The criteria for selection of the grand marshal is “a longstanding commitment to positively represent Hopkins County and its agricultural accomplishments.” There were many great candidates for the Fall Festival parade grand marshal.

Among these candidates, the selection committee has designated Don Smith as the first ever grand marshal.

Don Smith has been a farmer and rancher in Hopkins County for decades. He has served on the board of the Hopkins-Rains Farm Bureau since 1968 and currently serves as its president. Mr. Smith has helped educate scores of Hopkins County farmers. 

Mr. Smith has served on many oversight and advisory boards including Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service, National Dairy Advisory Committee, Governor’s Task Force on Agriculture, and more. His awards include agriculturalist of the year in both 1972 and 2002, Hopkins County Beef Producer of the Year in 1996, top hay show awards in multiple years, and countless others. 

Don Smith speaks at a farm bureau meeting in 1987/ Hopkins County Echo

In addition to all this, Mr. Smith was one of the original organizers of the Fall Festival in the late-1960s/ early 1970s. His commitment to promoting our local agriculture is unmatched.

Congratulations to Mr. Smith, who will receive a ceremonial crown and staff and ride at the front of the parade with his wife, Marilyn. We can’t wait!

By Taylor Nye

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