RED LION, Pa. — Dusk at the Flory Family Farm outside Red Lion, and Regan Flory and her best friend Macie Rogers are reflecting on a long day.
Regan and Macie both showed their prize lambs at the Cumberland County Ag Expo Summer Showdown in Newville. Regan’s lamb Soulheart finished 3rd in her weight class. Macie’s lamb Dippy took 2nd in her classification.
The two 10-year-olds walk around the fence in Regan’s family pen and says to Macie, “We don’t do this for nothing.”
Regan, Macie, and hundreds of other kids in York County, and across Pennsylvania, are dealing with a summer like no other. The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply impacted their summer traditions. Major shows and auctions, like the one every year at the York Fair, have been canceled.
Losing big shows can mean kids losing out on hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in prize money and auction rewards.
“We aren’t getting as much money now,” said Macie. “We really need to win at these shows and get money back so we can get goats and sheep next year.”
The cancellation of the York Fair livestock auction can cause a negative cycle for these kids. As Macie alluded to, the money won at these summer shows often times is an investment into funding animals for the next year, and if the money isn’t there, parents are stretched thin trying to support their child’s goals and ambitions.
However, when one door closes, another door tends to open, and just as much of society has come together over the last four months, so has the livestock show community. The cancellation of bigger shows like the York Fair has led to other shows popping up across South Central Pennsylvania, like this weekend’s Cumberland Ag Expo show, or the creation of the first Kids Feeding The World auction at the York County 4-H Center, scheduled for August 14-15.
These new shows have given kids, like Macie and Regan, an opportunity to show off their kids, if you will, when it was originally thought the pandemic would take that away.
“In the end I think it’s going to be a positive thing in a strange way,” said Regan’s dad Travis. “There are going to be more opportunities for kids to do some of these summer shows, as opposed to just a county show. Some of these shows that are new this year are going to be here now for several years to come.”