The Grand Marshal for the 2019 Yuma County Fair Parade definitely is someone with a long history of involvement with 4-H and county fairs.

The Parade Committee has selected Kim Latoski for the honor this year. The committee cited her long involvement with the Yuma County Fair for selecting her.

She currently is the fair manager.

“I was shocked,” Latoski said when asked her reaction when she was informed by the Parade Committee. “I couldn’t believe it.”

Well, she should, as she is a most-deserving selection

The longtime Yuma County resident was a head leader of the Laird Blue Ribbon 4-H Club for 34 years, and has been a member of the Yuma County Fair Board for 24 years. She organizes the National Anthem singing contest each year, which results in county residents being selected to sing before specific events during the fair. And, as mentioned above, she has been the fair manager the last few years.

What does she enjoy most about being involved with 4-H and the county fair? “Just the kids,” she said. People have asked her through the years how she can put so much into 4-H and the fair, and “I say I do it for the kids.”

4-H has been a part of her life since she joined as an 8-year-old, spending 11 years as a member of the Good Luck 4-H Club in Adams County. She has remained active as a leader since moving to Yuma County.

It runs in the family, also, Her husband Bruce was a 4-H member as a youth, and was a project leader for leather craft for 13 years. Their son Jim was an 11-year member of 4-H. Their daughter Barbie also was an 11-year member while growing up in Yuma County, and Barbie’s husband was a 4-H member while growing up in Pueblo County.

Barbie has remained involved in 4-H as an adult, working as an Extension agent for 11 years in Jefferson County, and now is the director of 4-H for Park County. Her 6-year-old daughter has been to fairs since she was little, and showed goats recently in Open Class in Park County.

“It’s amazing,” Latoski said of yet another generation beginning to show livestock at fairs.

She and Bruce put their farm ground into CRP, but they still run some cattle. She drives a bus for the Wray school district, and also is the school librarian, though she said there is more to it than that.

“Actually, I’m a jack-of-all-trades,” Latoski said. “I’ll do whatever they need me to do.”

And now she gets to ride in the back of a convertible as a guest of honor in the Yuma County Fair Parade. That means she is going to have to practice her “fair wave.”

“No, not really,” she laughed when asked if she has been practicing. “I’ll try.”

Give her a wave back when you see her in the parade Tuesday morning in downtown Yuma.