Local organization supporting agricultural students, food aid programs through purchases at the Santa Barbara County Fair

SANTA MARIA, California — The James W. Brabeck Youth Legacy Fund (JWBYLF) announced Tuesday that it will expand its reach by supporting local agricultural students, as well as area food aid programs through its participation in the upcoming Santa Barbara County Fair

The nonprofit was founded in 2020 to help support junior livestock exhibitors at the California Mid-State Fair in Paso Robles.

According to JWBYLF, its mission is to serve agriculture-related and at-risk youth in the community through scholarships and capital campaigns that help influence their future.

“The goal of the buyers’ coalition is to bring together members of the community who want to help exhibitors but don’t necessarily want to buy an animal for themselves, either because they can’t afford to pay for an entire animal or because they can’t. don’t have a way of taking a whole animal for themselves, or aren’t interested in having an animal processed, or anything like that,” said JoAnn Wall, committee chair of the JWBYLF Buyer’s Coalition. “So how do we help children who exhibit at the fair, but are not active bidders themselves?”

For students, they said having the JWBYLF at the Santa Barbara County Fair would ease the often stressful process they face during the auction.

“With the foundation coming in and with all the support for all these people coming out, it’s pretty amazing to know that everyone is getting a chance to buy their animal and have a great scholarship,” said Pioneer Valley student Issael Guerra.

Just like during the first two years at the California Mid-State Fair, JWBYLF will also help local food aid organizations.

“We’re taking 100 percent of those funds and then going to buy these animals from these kids who have applied, so we’re always looking for help,” said Gabriel Ponce, chairman of the agriculture division at Pioneer Valley High School, who is also at JWBYLF. is. “The animal and the meat that comes from their animal is going to help families in our own community and that’s pretty cool and special.”

Animals purchased at the Santa Barbara County Fair are donated to nonprofit food aid organizations, including: Meals that connect

“The seniors will be delighted with the gift of this meat,” said Elias Nimeh, director of Meals that Connect in a press release.

Meals That Connect added that it provides more than 1,000 daily meals to those in need across the area.

The Santa Barbara County Fair takes place July 13-17 at the Santa Maria Fair Park. After being canceled for two years due to COVID-19 or filmed in a modified format, this is the first traditional fair since 2019.

“I’m pumped,” Ponce said. “I’m excited to be back and I hope our community is excited and I hope everyone comes out to support all of our children.”

While the fair officially opens its doors to the public on July 13, all agricultural students must have their animal projects in the Santa Maria Fairpark on Sunday, July 10.

“What we do is help create tomorrow’s leaders by giving them a positive stock market experience,” said Wall. “Part of that involves reaching out to buyers in their community, reaching out to us and just making them aware that there are people out there who really support them and their efforts and encourage them to continue with this.” to go.”

For more information on James W. Brabeck Youth Legacy Fund, click here

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