The Susquehanna County 4-H Livestock Sale held during the annual Harford Fair is a special time of year for youths and young adults from around the region. The sale creates an opportunity for participants to showcase the hard work they’ve put in this year to prepare their steers, pigs, lambs, and goats for the auction. Those in attendance this year witnessed a lot of excitement as buyers were very active in bidding, often above market value. The 4-H participants saw significant financial rewards, and they often use these dollars towards furthering their education. If it isn’t a record year for the auction it certainly felt like it.
During the auction, something unique was unfolding that will have a tremendous impact on the region’s vulnerable populations moving forward. After a few years of planning, the logistics were in place for a pilot program to support CEO Weinberg Northeast Regional Food Bank efforts to end hunger in Northeast Pennsylvania, especially here in Susquehanna County, through livestock donations.
Gene Brady, Executive Director of CEO Weinberg Northeast shared, “Not only does this donation mean quality food for families in need, but it is the beginning of a new avenue for concerned individuals, companies and groups to invest in local agriculture and feed the hungry. We are eager to receive this generous donation!”
Coterra, RLE Enterprises, Congressman Dan Meuser, and Congressman Keller joined together to fund the purchase of a steer and a pig. The steer raised by Marcus O’Dell, a member of the Delmonico’s Livestock 4-H club weighed in at 1125lbs. The pig raised by Madison Sebring, also a member of Delmonico’s Livestock 4-H club, weighed in at 255 lbs. and received reserve grand champion accolades.
“Agriculture is Pennsylvania’s number one industry and I always look forward to supporting the next generation of family farmers who work hard to put food on the table for the people of PA-12 and our entire nation,” said Congressman Fred Keller.
These animals will be processed at Waldron Meats, a USDA Certified facility, and distributed through CEO’s network to food banks and soup kitchens throughout Susquehanna County. There are regulations and financial considerations that prevent organizations like CEO from taking meat directly from livestock auctions, despite the animals being raised to the highest standards by auction participants and handled in the highest regard by regional butchers. Extra efforts were made to insure all the logistics were in place this year to make the pilot program a success.
Next year CEO and Coterra are looking to expand the number of companies and donors participating in this program to further increase its impact for those in need across Susquehanna County and the region.