CHARLOTTE, Mich. — Charlotte FFA members overcome adversity to exhibit their hogs at the 2020 Eaton County Fair. Many of the FFA members purchased their hogs in early March before the official shut down orders become in effect. During the first few weeks of the quarantine, Charlotte FFA Advisers Nick Thompson and Katie Kelley went to the school every day to feed and clean pens for all of the pigs their students purchased. During that time they posted video updates of the hogs on our chapter facebook site. After a few weeks, school administrators needed to close the school barn. Mid-April Mr. Thompson put out a request to the local community asking for barn space to temporally house some of the pigs so the students could work with them to complete their projects. Within an hour, 10 area farms took in over 30 pigs owned by 14 of the Charlotte FFA Hog Show Team.
“It was overwhelming to have multiple offers within the first hour of my request” said Thompson. The support from the local community towards our kids is awesome he added. We are really excited that our FFA members could complete their Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE). During Covid, going to the barn and caring for their animals was one consent for them. They learned about animal health and nutrition but most of all resiliency.
On Thursday July 16, the Charlotte FFA members will have a chance to exhibit their hogs at the Eaton County Fair in a exhibitor only show and sell them online starting at Friday July 17 at 7:00 am – Saturday July 18 at 10:00 am.
One of the local farmers that offered his barn is Seth Cords. In the past his kids used to show pigs and this year his son only wanted to show cattle and had two empty pig pens to house four of the FFA pigs. The Cords’ family had a special bond with one of the families that is temporally housing their pigs at their farm. In 2016 they gave scholarship in memory of their daughter that passed away to Lauren Wilson to help her support her first year showing pigs at the Eaton County Fair. Four years later Lauren is now a Pre-Vet student in college. Over the last few years she became one of the leaders in the hog barn at the Eaton County Fair.
If you are interested in supporting the Eaton County Fair Youth Exhibitors, you can support the online auction at www.eatoncountyfair.com
Companies or individuals can purchase beef, sheep or hogs and they can choose to donate it to the Greater Lansing Food Bank help “Meat the Needs of Eaton County”. At the end of the fair,
Eaton County fair volunteers transport the animals to a local processor and it is later distributed through food banks in the local area.
In addition to supporting the Food Bank project, buyers can purchase meat for their own freezers or choose to purchase the meat to share with their employees.
For those that aren’t interested in purchasing animals, but want to support the kids you can contribute a premium donation through the Add-On Bid option online, the donations directly support the youth on top of the sale price of their animals.
More information about the Eaton County Fair Online Livestock Auction can be found at: http://eatoncountyfair.com/
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