BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Whether it was raising animals or just assisting her dad out on the farm, Abigail Freeman has been in the agriculture industry since the day she was born.
“I’ve been a part of the Future Farmers of America technically all four years of high school, but my dad is an ag teacher so I’ve been involved, pretty much for 17 years,” said Freeman.
Which makes the Foothill senior’s final auction all the more bittersweet.
“It is tough,” said Freeman. “This year was supposed to be your best year, where you have the most fun.”
Now students like Freeman have to come to their school farms at scheduled times to ensure social distancing. She says the change has made her miss the camaraderie with her fellow classmates.
Foothill agriculture teacher Sierra Hawkesworth says the decision to hold the event virtually was crucial in helping Abigail and her friends navigate this difficult period.
“I’ve had some of my students tell me, ‘like it’s been the highlight of my day because I get out of the house, and I get to see my animal and interact and take care of them,'” said Hawkesworth.
Still, organizer Dawn Stornetta says this year will look a lot different. She says offers will be placed online and will run similar to an eBay-style auction. Students participating competition portion will send in pre-recorded videos for the judges to review and decide the winners.
Stornetta says the bidders can now sign up online, offering different options for those who want to purchase an animal and support these 4-H and FFA members.
“I urge everyone to get onto that sale and support these kids by bidding on their animals on whether it is that you want to process the animal or you want to donate to the food bank,” said the Livestock Supervisor.
Grand Champions will be announced virtually on Sept. 30, according to the Kern County Fair. The virtual livestock auction will take place October 1-3.