We at Cabot have strongly supported the agricultural interests of landowners and other neighbors since arriving in Susquehanna County more than a decade ago. In addition to working with farmers to foster a better understanding of both industries and best practices for working side-by-side, we’ve also supported 4-H youths through the purchase of their projects at various livestock auction events throughout the year.
When this year’s Harford Fair, a century-old Susquehanna County tradition, was canceled due to COVID-19, youths were left without a venue to show their animals prior to selling them at auction. In response, the SusCo Youth Agricultural Foundation was formed last month to coordinate an online auction, as well as create an opportunity for the youths to safely show their livestock.
“4-H leaders, parents and community members got together and said, ‘we really need to do something for these kids,’” Foundation board secretary Cathy Bewley related. “Just when it seemed insurmountable and ‘we can’t do it,’ the community has stepped up to make it happen.”
Cabot reached out to provide financial support for the event, and Lopatofsky Auction, LLC waived the $1,200 set-up fee for the Virtual Livestock Auction that will conclude just before midnight on Saturday, Aug. 15.
“Cabot has graciously donated $2,500 to help us make this a reality,” said Bewley. Board members believe that our contribution will help them cover most of their costs. Other businesses and individuals in the community are making donations as well, which the Foundation is considering using toward livestock scholarships for ag-focused seniors going to college this year.
Youths will have an opportunity to show their animals to be judged on their showmanship. Neither the show nor auction are sanctioned by 4-H, but Foundation members like Bewley, who leads the North Jackson 4-H Club, are looking to 4-H for guidance.
Youths need only to complete their 4-H project books to meet their requirements this year. The show and online sale offer additional options. Some youths have already secured buyers for their animals and will only show. Youths who do not show can still sell their animals via the Virtual Livestock Auction.
We encourage you to help us help the dedicated youths of Susquehanna County by awarding their perseverance during this pandemic with an online bid. They have missed out on a lot this year, and this is a great opportunity to keep them engaged in agriculture.