When Nipomo FFA chapter member and sheep breeder Emily Ward learned that the 2020 Santa Barbara County Fair was canceled due to COVID-19, she opted not to participate in the virtual auction that was held in June, but she plans to participate in a second one slated for this summer.
It's still too early to determine if the 2021 County Fair, slated for July 14 to July 18, will happen, but a virtual auction already is in the works, according to Kevin Merrill, who sits on the fair's board of directors.
"We're just putting it out there now, trying to get an idea of how many kids will participate," Merrill said. "We want to make sure that the kids who have an animal participate and there's some way of being able to sell those."
Each year, local FFA and 4-H youths have the opportunity to sell livestock during a three-day event at the annual fair. FFA and 4-H members typically work to arrange potential buyers and processing well before the auction. On average, about 2,000 animals are sold during the auction.
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