Two Eaton County men were honored Tuesday, July 11 for their longtime dedication to youth at the Eaton County Fair. Max Simpson and Roger Harris were each presented with the 2017 Emerald Award during a special presentation at Kardel Hall.

Max was instrumental in building the Eaton County tractor pulls into the kind of event audiences from the area enjoy today. His involvement with the fair and tractor pulls began in the 1970s and has remained constant since.

“Max’s work has resulted in Eaton County being voted pull of the year in the State of Michigan numerous times,” said Brian Cain, Eaton County Fair Board member, reading Max’s nomination letter. “It takes a lot of good volunteers to make these pulls happen, but it is Max’s foresight and leadership that has made this pull what it is today.”

“If it wasn’t for the people that I had to help me, it never would have happened,” Max said. “The two people that were the most help to me were my wife, Sandy, and Tim Babcock, who were always there.”

Roger has been involved with the swine at the fair for 27 years, and has raised three children through Eaton County 4-H. He became the superintendent for swine at the Fair four years ago.

“Roger Harris, and (his wife) Cindy, both go out of their way to help the kids any way they can,” said Clarence Humphrey, who presented Roger with the award. “They don’t do it for recognition for themselves, they do it to help the kids. He doesn’t only tell the kids what he can do, he will do it.”

Max and Roger each received an engraved plaque and lifetime passes to the Eaton County Fair.