'I just wanted to cry': COVID-19 cancels youth livestock shows, disappoint abounds


Sean Sauro, Lancaster Online (PA)

Sep 8, 2020


Late last month, 19-year-old Emma Musser made it clear — the COVID-19 pandemic largely ruined her senior year.


A virus-related shutdown cut short her final year at Elizabethtown Area High School, eliminating any chance of attending a traditional prom or graduation, Musser said, remembering the springtime disappointments.


Still, the East Donegal Township teen had summer to look forward to, guessing the number of coronavirus cases would be down drastically in time for local farm shows and fairs, where she’d have a final chance to show off livestock in youth competitions.


That prediction was wrong. Musser learned in May that the Elizabethtown Fair was canceled for the first time in 46 years.


“I remember I was sitting in my dad’s truck, and I saw it on Facebook,” said Musser, who’s shown animals in youth competitions since she was 8 years old. “I just wanted to cry.”


And she wasn’t alone, with the ongoing pandemic leading to fair and farm show cancellations across the region.


By mid-August, organizers had canceled the Manheim Farm Show and Ephrata, Elizabethtown, New Holland Farmers, Denver, Solanco and York fairs.


Many children and teens show animals at more than one of those annual events, and their cancellations spelled a potential loss of both money and time.


‘Probably not going to make profit’ ...


‘It’s affecting the long term’ ...


‘An investment in the future’ ... 


‘Ag will find a way’ ...


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