SIDNEY, Iowa – After the first boys competed in the Fremont County, Iowa Fair pie baking and auction, it didn’t take long for a boy to win the grand champion honors.

The first boys competed in 1982, and six years later, Shad Smith of Sidney, won the 4-H pie baking contest in 1988.

Shad, a member of the Green Scott Giants, said he has only made four pies in his life, and three were for 4-H.

He actually won the grand champion pie twice in his 4-H career … in 1988 and again in 1991.

His brother Shannon was the reserve champion pie baker in 1989.

Madonna Smith said all five of her children were involved in 4-H and baked pies.

She said pie baking is very educational and a great fundraiser for the county’s 4-H program.

In 1988, Shad was about to enter 7th grade. He agreed to make a pie when their club had a pie baking workshop.

His mother, Madonna, was the Green Scott Giants club leader and led the workshop for the club that summer.

She said it was open to both boys and girls. After the workshop, she asked club members who wanted to bake a pie at the fair.

Shad signed up. He said, “My mom was the leader. It wasn’t an option.”

“I learned to bake pies from her,” Shad said. His mother made the filling at home, and he put it all together for the competition.

Shad exhibited both cattle and sheep in 4-H. At the fair that year, he told his mom he was too busy to make a pie.

Madonna said she reminded him of his responsibilities, and he did it. She said he washed his hands and was done in just a few minutes.

Shad said he believes that others worked their dough too much and by not messing much with it, his was better.

Madonna agreed. She said if you work pie dough too much, it gets tough.

Scott Gregory (Riverside Rockets), Scott McClure (West Nishna Livestock), Jeff Mattes (West Nishna Livestock) and Steve Jorgenson (W.M.P), the first boys to compete in Fremont County’s pie baking contest, would agree.

The boys all said they went in, made their pies and were done very quickly. Three of the four placed in the top five in 1982.

“I was as shocked as anyone,” said Shad about winning the grand championship.

Madonna said Shad’s older sister, Rhonda, was a little upset that her younger brother scored higher than her in the contest.

“We were tickled to death,” said Madonna. He made his pie so quickly, she didn’t think it would be that good.

Shad no longer bakes pies, but Madonna continues to share her knowledge with the 4-H members in her family.

She loves helping the grandchildren bake pies and many have continued the 4-H pie baking tradition.

Madonna said she bakes pies every year for the holidays but is not much of a bread baker.

Many young men have gone on to win the Fremont County Fair pie baking contest.

Stop out to the Fremont County Fairgrounds July 15, to see who wins the 60th annual 4-H cherry pie contest.