Eastern States Exposition (ESE) donated premium beef from a prize 4-H steer to Springfield’s Open Pantry and Friends of the Homeless. Acting on behalf of the Exposition and its Board of Directors, ESE President and CEO Gene Cassidy bid on and purchased the Highly Commended steer at the 4-H Beef Auction, held during The Big E.
The 1,395 lb. cross-bred steer was raised by Victoria Briggs, of New Hampshire, who purchased the animal as a calf and spent a full year growing it to market weight to participate in the four-day 4-H Beef Program at the Fair.
Cassidy said the donation not only helps feed the hungry, it promotes the Farm-To-Table initiative and brings the importance of agriculture in our daily lives to the forefront.
“As stewards of a 103-year-old agriculture and education institution, our mission calls us to raise awareness of the importance of agriculture and production livestock, and how we rely on farmers, and future farmers to produce and harvest food for our tables. What we are eating and how it is produced is of the utmost importance,” Cassidy said.
“So thankful to Gene Cassidy and the Eastern States Exposition’s outreach for this very thoughtful and generous donation to our Friends of the Homeless and Open Pantry. This will go a long way in helping those in need ‘to get back on their feet,” Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno said.
Donna Woolam, ESE’s director of Agriculture and Education, said, “The Exposition’s 4-H animal agriculture projects support youth and the 4-H Beef Sale rewards their efforts through the annual auction. The hard work of these young aspiring agriculturalists is rewarded.”
The 2019 4-H Beef Sale presented 25 steer for sale to area buyers which included restaurants, businesses, colleges, farms and individuals. The sale culminated in more than $80,000 in total sales that directly benefit the participating 4-H youths who use their money for college, or to purchase another steer for the following year’s program.
Next year’s Big E takes place September 18 - Oct. 4. The 4-H Beef Auction is Monday, September 28 and is open to the public. Please join us at 6 p.m. in Mallary Arena. Those interested in bidding on steers may contact our Agriculture Department in advance of the sale at 413-205-5011 or stop by the registration table at the event. Arrangements may be easily made to process purchases. Many businesses and individuals have joined together to purchase a steer as well.