The Goodhue County Senior Volunteers of the year are Jim Foss of Wanamingo and Laurie Anderson-Wilson of Zumbrota.

Foss has been a member of the Fair Board for nearly 60 years in Goodhue County and also has done extensive volunteer work through his church. Anderson-Wilson has also been active in her church and with the Zumbrota VFW Auxiliary.

Each year organizers try to make the announcements a surprise for the recipients, and this year that was very tough. Foss has been so involved in the selection process and was kept out of that loop this year so he said he had an inkling his selection might be happening.

Anderson-Wilson was unable to be at the fair; she's visiting in Colorado.

Fair Board President Carol Schuman brought the woman toward the stage in the Beer Garden who made the nomination of Anderson-Wilson. She went on to talk about the many things Millie did at her church and with the Auxiliary.

Schuman talked about Foss's accomplishments on behalf of the Fair Board who submitted his nomination. Schuman read a thank you letter from Anderson-Wilson, who stated she was humbled to receive the award and "I'm thankful to God that I am in a position to be of assistance to others."

Anderson-Wilson's husband received the plaque on her behalf.

JIm Foss is a member of the Minnesota Livestock Producers Hall of Fame and has numerous awards for his work in that industry. He was also a member and past president of the Minnesota State Fair Board.

A Minnesota FFA Foundation Award and many others have been bestowed upon Foss.

Schuman noted Foss came up with the idea to have each of the townships in Goodhue County donate money toward the fair for buildings and grounds upkeep and it has been very successful. He not only put the idea forward to the board but also went about personally asking each township to participate.

Schuman called Jim, "Mr. Fair" and said he had done "everything there is to do at the fair." Foss also oversees the Junior Fair Board and Carol said the kids enjoy him.

Foss thanked the Goodhue County Banker's Association for sponsoring the award and said, "Liz and I have been part of the fair for years and years and actually met at a fair." I believe it was the Cannon Valley Fair in Cannon Falls. He did not say that in his acceptance speech, but we've discussed it over the years when he has been co-host of the AM Minnesota show during the fair in Zumbrota.

Foss went on to say, "Fairs are a part of our legacy that we are going to leave somebody else. I've enjoyed it."

After the presentations I asked Jim if he was surprised. "Just a little. Sometimes you get a gut feeling and they wouldn't tell me who the male winner was after telling me the female recipient. And I wasn't a member of that committee, which I have been on before."

Jim said he was surprised the year he and his wife Liz went to the St. James Hotel in Red Wing and he received the Goodhue County CItizen of the Year award.

Anderson and Foss will now go to the State Fair and have the chance to be the State Senior Volunteer of the Year.

Laurie Anderson-Wilson 2017 Goodhue County Female Senior Volunteer of Year. photo of photo by Gordy Kosfeld
2017 Goodhue County Fair Male Senior Volunteer of Year Jim Foss. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld