County Fairs Bring Out the Best in the Community

4-H exhibitor Mason Gorecki (left) sells his 246-pound pig to Joe Pues of EGI Mechanical and donates all proceeds to the Diemel family. ( Linda Peeters )

I came across an article in on Drover’s homepage highlighting a 4-H members generous contribution to a grieving family. Mason Gorecki, an 11 year old 4-H member from Wisconsin, donated 100% of the proceeds from his market hog to a local family suffering after the disappearance of 2 of their family members. The 246 pound hog sold for $42/lb. A total of $10,332!!

The Diemel brothers of Diemel Cattle Company went missing on July 21 while in Missouri on a business trip. On July 28, a Braymer, Mo., man was charged in connection to their disappearance. Although officials do not know where Nick and Justin are yet, it has changed from a missing person’s case into a death investigation.

I’ve spoken previously about the positive impact of the county fair on both the community and the exhibitors. We are coming off of our latest county fair and I am so proud of the 4-H and FFA kids. They spend their entire summers caring for animals that are their projects. Our kids in particular had both cattle and lambs at the county fair. It was truly an exhausting, yet rewarding year. One of the most rewarding parts for the kids was the auction of their animals. To be able to be financially rewarded (handsomely i might add) is a great way to teach them that hard work truly pays.

This is why I am so impressed by the sacrifice that this young man made. Just like all 4-H/FFA kids, he worked for months with his animal to bring it to the county fair, show it, and then sell it to the highest bidder. However, this young man felt a personal responsibility to care for a grief stricken family. He saw past whatever compensation he may gain from his hog to realize there was a family need. I’ll admit, I know I myself would have a very hard time making the decision he did.

The sacrifice did not go unnoticed by the local community. They ponied up and bid this hog up to $42/lb. For reference, a hog at auction would bring somewhere around $0.80/lb. The community recognized the need around a local family. While they realize that this monetary compensation is just a small condolence in the potential loss of their family members, they did what they could for them.

In my last post , I spoke of the importance of the ag community responding in times of grief. Its well understood that empathy, more than sympathy, helps all of us in the grieving process. We have allow ourselves to be vulnerable so that others my share their own feelings with us. It is crucial to know we are not alone. I think this is nowhere better understood than in the ag community. When one family takes a loss, it affects everyone. It’s gestures like the one that was made by this 11 year old young man that helps us keep our faith in humanity. I have no doubt that his thought process in making this process was catalyzed by the experiences he has learned in his time in 4-H. It can really bring out the best in us.

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One thought on “County Fairs Bring Out the Best in the Community

  1. Jason you amaze me! You have some great talent in writing! You are a good, honest and hardworking man! So glad you married my daughter and had 4 awesome boys! Best of luck in your endeavors!

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