Organization members go to Mid-State Fair to buy 4-H member Zoe Davis’ pig at auction

PASO ROBLES — The Paso Robles Police Officer Association (POA) headed to the California Mid-State Fairgrounds early on July 30 to bid at their first auction for a fair animal project. 

POA officers congratulated second-year 4-H member Zoe Davis on being their first California Mid-State Fair Junior Livestock auction winner. 

“It was a great experience,” said Detective Elizabeth Place, who did the bidding on Davis’s show pig — it was also Place’s first time bidding at an auction.

The initiative to purchase a fair animal started earlier this year when POA officers wanted to sponsor a fair animal for a student who cannot normally afford to raise an animal for the fair. This year, the team decided to start small and called on all fair kids to come to the Police Department in their show whites with buyer’s letters in tow for a chance to earn an ‘add-on’ to their auction price.

“Initially, the response was great. I didn’t know how much it spread,” Place said. “I think everybody knew about it by the end of the day.”

Over 100 4-H and FFA members came to the PRPD for a chance to speak with officers for a chance to earn the add-on. Members from all over the county asked to be involved, and Place says there was no way they could deny the kids, so the add-on sponsorship was opened to more than just Paso Robles fair kids. 

“To be able to meet the youth that we’re going to end up having to engage with and contact, and hopefully it will always be in a positive way. It was good to meet them,” said Place.

Officers wanted to know three things from the members: how they became interested in showing, what they wanted to do with their add-on money, and a fun fact about their animal. POA ended up giving each 4-H and FFA member an add-on sponsorship, totaling $4,700.

According to Place, the POA was looking for more ways to get involved with the community and appreciate the small town we all know and love. They thought, what better way than to get involved with the hard-working fair kids.

Place was amazed at all of the knowledge the students had about their animals. She said the POA decided they would purchase one of the fair animals with their left-over funds for the project.

POA raises funds through community member donations and their annual golf tournament in May. Next, the organization hopes to sponsor a fair animal for a 4-H or FFA member and make the project an annual tradition for the department.

“It reminds us that there is a positive of law enforcement,” Place added.

The POA is looking forward to creating more traditions with the community, including their first “Shop with a Cop” happening this December.

Featured Image: POA officers following their auction win from left: Sgt. Joshua Hermanson, Zoey Davis, Detective Elizabeth Place, Detective Adam Ketchum, and Officer Walter Canizalez. Contributed Photo