Many things this year have been different due to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the big changes our community saw was the absence of the California Mid-State Fair which is held annually every summer. Many 4-H and FFA members who had been raising their fair animals to be sold at the fair were unable to show their livestock due to the pandemic limitations. Although there were no in-person market or showmanship shows, students were able to enter in a virtual market class and sell their animals in a virtual live-sale. Delta Liquid Energy is a proud supporter of the 4-H and FFA organizations. This year DLE got the opportunity to help 4-H members at the virtual sale by purchasing their market animals and providing add-on donations. The meat of all animals purchased was then donated to the San Luis Obispo County food bank
Jake Brown, El Paso de Robles 4-H
Jake Brown just started his freshman year at Cuesta College studying Agriculture Business. Jake is a member of the El Paso de Robles 4-H club. “I’ve been showing since I was 9 years old, so this year was my 9th year showing livestock.” This year was a lot different than past years showing market lambs at the fair. During a normal year, one of Jake’s favorite parts of raising livestock would be physically being at the fair and being able to sell his livestock at the live auction in front of everyone. Because of this abnormal year, Jake missed out on that opportunity. Although this year was different than others, Jake liked being able to work at his own pace during the fair. “It was nice not having to be somewhere doing something at a specific place and time,” Jake said.
Wyatt Burt, Santa Lucia 4-H
Wyatt Burt is a 14-year-old who just started his freshman year at Templeton High School. This past year, Wyatt participated in his fifth year with Santa Lucia 4-H club and it was his first year serving as club vice president. Wyatt likes 4-H and showing livestock because he can see other people in the industry on a regular basis by going to 4-H meetings, events, and the annual fair. “It’s a good way to socialize and stay connected with people that I normally wouldn’t.” This year at the mid-state fair, Wyatt showed his calico-colored barrow pig named Roger, which he named because its ear notches were “10-4”. Wyatt likes pigs because they are smart, funny, and fun to show. “I was disappointed that I couldn’t show in the traditional market and showmanship classes that we usually have, because that it one of my favorite parts of the project.” Although Wyatt was not able to show his pig at the fair, he liked being able to raise his pig throughout the year because it helped take his mind off everything else going on in the world. Wyatt is eager to raise an animal again for next year’s fair but is unsure whether he will be showing under 4-H or FFA.
Jacob Quaglino, Edna 4-H
Jacob Quaglino is a 10-year-old student at Los Ranchos Elementary school and is also a member of Edna 4-H club. This year was Jacob’s first year showing livestock in 4-H. He decided to show a lamb because his older brother had shown lambs in the past. His brother was a big influence in him choosing to show lambs because Jacob got to help him out with feeding and grooming while learning little by little. “I also chose to show a lamb because it’s a good size for a kid like me.” Although Jacob was not able to show his lamb at the fair this year, he enjoyed raising his first lamb and learning about the process. “I liked being able to go out and feed my lamb every day.” Jacob learned a lot for his first year from feeding to walking and grooming. Jacob is excited to show another lamb next year and is hopeful to be able to attend the fair in person.
Jaclyn Bullard, Chaparral 4-H
Jaclyn Bullard is a 15-year-old sophomore at Paso Robles High School. Jaclyn is a member of both the Chaparral 4-H club and Paso Robles FFA. This year was Jaclyn’s sixth year showing at the Mid-State Fair. In the virtual show she won 4-H Reserve Champion Hog as well as the Local Bred and Fed Champion. Jaclyn described her experience showing livestock this year as “nothing short of interesting.” She said it taught her to not only be flexible with her schedule, but to appreciate those real fair experiences. Jaclyn says her favorite part of this year’s Mid-State Fair was having the extra free time to spend with her pig. During a typical fair year, Jaclyn is busy with sports or other extracurricular activities. With the COVID-19 pandemic, she was able to give extra attention to her pig and develop a stronger understanding of swine and the industry. Jaclyn enjoys being in 4-H and having the opportunity to pass her knowledge down to younger members. “It’s incredible getting to see all the new kids joining 4-H that are so eager to learn. It reminds me of myself six or so years ago and it makes me so happy.”
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More information about the Mid-State Fair livestock auction can be found on the California Mid-State Fair website