Written by Carrie Jones and Alex Droneberger of Battle Creek 4-H Club
The Calvert County 4-H Livestock Auction donated 291 pounds of beef and pork to End Hunger in Calvert County on October 23, 2019. The meat was produced from animals raised by Calvert County 4-H members.
Over the last 9 years, the Calvert County 4-H livestock members have donated approximately 1.5 tons of meat to multiple food pantries in Calvert County. In the past, the group has donated meat to the Mt. Olive food pantry, Saint John Vianney food pantry, and End Hunger in Calvert County. The 2019 donation to End Hunger was one of the larger donations.
A group of 4-H members presented the donation to Calvert End Hunger. 4-H members commented that it feels good knowing that some in our community who may not be able to buy the best quality meats will be able to enjoy this fresh locally raised pork and beef.
Providing this meat to those in need in our community represents the Heart for caring and Head for wanting to do this as components in the 4-Hs – Heart, Hand, Head, and Health.
Every spring many 4-H members start working with their market projects. We feed and care for our animals to ensure they are happy, healthy, and growing well. This represents the Hands for doing and Health for taking care of the animals as the other components of the 4-Hs.
A lot of time and effort is put into our animals to have them ready in the fall for the Calvert County Fair. We show our market animals and ultimately sell them in the 4-H livestock auction. Supportive buyers come to bid on our animals. This is important for us 4-H members so we can fund our future projects, save money for school and reach other goals we may have.
While 4-Hers are hard at work raising these animals all year long for great products, a lot of thought and passion goes into raising all species of livestock. Not only are they raising their animals for their benefit, but for the benefit of the public as well. Many relationships are built during auction time, and many buyers have supported the auction for more than a decade.
Over the past years, the Calvert County 4-H Livestock Auction has donated meat to several food pantries in Calvert County, providing more than 800 meals to needy families. The 4-H members plan to continue this tradition in the future and to support those in need in the local community.
To learn more about 4-H for youth and for adult volunteers who wish to share their talents, contact the University of Maryland Extension-Calvert County 4-H at 410-535-3662 or email 4-H Youth Development Educator Elaine Long-Bailey at firstname.lastname@example.org.