Farmers and other ag producers are the lifeblood of the communities in which we work. The Pennsylvania Farm Show, held each January in Harrisburg, provides Coterra Energy and other companies in the Marcellus Shale an opportunity to thank those who work so hard to feed us and provide us with other commodities.

While the official opening day of the Farm Show was Jan. 7, the famous Food Court at the PA Farm Show Complex was open to the public for the evening of Jan. 6.  PA Agricultural Secretary Russell Redding and representatives of Feeding Pennsylvania, the PA Dairymen’s Association and the American Dairy Association were on hand to kick off the Fill a Glass With Hope campaign with those in attendance joining him in a toast with the Dairymen’s ever-popular Farm Show Milkshakes.

Coterra was proud to be among the “Keystone Sponsors” to contribute $25,000 toward the successful initiative.

Jane Clements, chief executive officer for Feeding America provided some sobering statistics about people enduring food insecurity in the wake of the pandemic and the current economic slowdown. Since its inception in 2016, Fill a Glass With Hope has provided more than 34 million servings of milk to Pennsylvanians in need.

“This fundraiser could not have come at a more critical time. Many of our residents are facing impossible choices between buying food and paying for other necessities like medications or utilities,” Jane stated. “We are thankful for the generous sponsors who continue to ensure that we can provide fresh milk to our neighbors.” Coterra’s contribution, matched with that from at least 24 additional sponsors, helped Jane and her partnering agencies achieve a new kick-off record of $201,000.

On Jan. 10, we took part once again in the Youth Livestock Auction that follows a weekend of livestock shows to which members of 4-H, FFA, and other ag-related groups bring the animals that they have raised as projects over the past year into the ring for judging. Those who place in the top five are eligible for the auction, and seven youths from Susquehanna County brought their animals into the ring of the Small Arena for a final time that day.

The event is bittersweet for the youths, as they are parted from an animal with which they have bonded at the sound of the word “Sold.” A few families travel south for the Farm Show every year, so we get to know them personally. I’ve been doing this for 10 years and have seen these kids grow up. So, it’s important for those of us at Coterra to support these youths by bidding up and purchasing their animals to acknowledge their efforts and encourage them to continue their interests in agriculture. We had help from energy partners Rob Boulware and Lauren Adair of Seneca Resources and National Fuel.

By the end of the event, Coterra had purchased a market goat, a market lamb, and two pigs for a total of $3,375. While we didn’t get every animal that we bid on, we are happy that other businesses operating in Susquehanna County have joined us in the efforts to thank these kids upfront for their involvement in agriculture.