By Rachel Rohm
La Habra Journal
Students from Sonora and La Habra High School, as well as the La Habra Hilltoppers 4-H Club, will be showcasing their projects and selling 80 animals at this year’s Citrus Fair, held April 30 through May 1 in El Centro-Lions Park.
This student showcase gives local students the opportunity to prepare for the county fair, and it also gives residents a chance to learn about how food goes from the farm to the table. This fair will benefit about a thousand young people in the area. Livestock will include beef steers, pigs, goats, sheep, broiler chickens and egg-laying hens.
This year, in addition to the livestock showcase and auction, students will have a place to market their floral culture and agricultural construction projects, such as barbeques, benches, and small outdoor furniture. In the Veteran’s Hall, there will be more displays and projects, including floral decorating, cake decorating and table setting.
“There is no better education than hands-on learning,” said Phil Pacia, head of career and technical education at Sonora High School and founder of the La Habra Community Fair.
The La Habra Valley Community Fair started seven years ago, but for the past two years the livestock show and auction has been a part of the city’s Citrus Fair. Pacia partnered with the Chamber of Commerce, specifically its president, Mark Sturdevant, to effect this change.
“The chamber is working to help the kids in this community be successful,” Pacia said. “That’s a huge project.”
The auction will be held in the park at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 1. Each student’s project will be sold one at a time, focusing on the student as a hard-working member of the community.
If livestock is purchased, it can be kept as a pet or project, with goats helping in weed abatement and hens laying eggs. If the buyer wants to use the livestock for meat, the auction committee will arrange for the animal to be prepared, and the product will be ready about three weeks after the fair.
The buyer will have to pay an additional processing fee.
“Our goal in the auction is to have a personal experience for the buyer and the student,” Pacia said.
While auction sales are predicted to exceed $120,000, students will just break even after all the money and time they have put into raising the livestock.
The auction allows for group buyers and even has an “add-on” program, giving donations of any value directly to the student.
Anyone interested in giving a donation to a student can either talk to the student during the fair, connect with the representative or announce their donation during the bidding process.
Another way fairgoers and potential buyers can support these students is by donating to the scholarship fund. High school seniors who are active in FFA or 4-H are eligible to apply for the scholarships, the recipients of which will be announced at the closing ceremony on the main stage.
The student showcase is a chance for residents to learn about where their food comes from while being impressed by the work the students have put into their projects. The students will be demonstrating the skills they have learned in class.
“We need you to make it a priority to come out and see what your high schools are producing, because we’re not the average high schools,” Pacia said.
For more information about the auction, visit lhvcfair.com. If you have questions about purchasing livestock or otherwise participating in the showcase, call Phil Pacia at 714-402-8062.