Our Mission

The JWBYLF mission is to serve Agriculture-related and at-risk youth in our community through scholarship and capital campaigns that will assist in influencing their futures. Since its inception in 2017, the JWBYLF has been instrumental in funding exhibitors at the California Mid-State Fair (CMSF) whose project animals have not been able to participate in the Junior Livestock Auction.

In 2018, the JWBYLF donated more than $90,000 dollars to the CMSF Heritage Foundation in the name of Hugh Pitts, a longtime supporter of both agriculture and the CMSF. These funds are designated for capital building projects to benefit youth in agriculture.

In 2019 the JWBYLF established the CMSF Legacy Project. This is the first time in the 76-year history of the CMSF there has been a fund established allowing for youth scholarship, capital campaigns and hardship funding for exhibitors. This is a monumental project that will live in perpetuity, funding these three major areas for years.


James W. Brabeck

The James W. Brabeck Youth Legacy Fund (JWBYLF) was established in 2016 following the retirement of James (Jim) Brabeck. Jim served as President and CEO of the San Luis Obispo County Farm Supply Company (FSC), a 2,700-member agricultural supply cooperative located in San Luis Obispo, CA. Jim enjoyed a long and distinguished career spanning forty-seven years at FSC, leading the cooperative through many bumps in the road to become the dominant force in farm and ranch supplies on the Central Coast of California, and creating long-lasting bonds along the way. His accomplishments at FSC include the purchase of land and the development of new storefronts enabling the expansion of FSC from one location to five, including two storefronts in neighboring Santa Barbara County.

Jim’s passion for youth has been inspired in part by his involvement in local 4-H and FFA programs and the positive impact these organizations have had in developing leadership skills in participants. Additionally, Jim has witnessed firsthand the changes that can occur within troubled youth through intervention and guidance during his forty-four years of service as a member of the San Luis Obispo County Juvenile Justice/Delinquency Prevention Commission.

The JWBYLF was founded as a result of Jim’s strongly-held beliefs and past experiences with the goal of bettering the lives of youth in both the larger agricultural community and the juvenile justice system.

While Jim has always been especially passionate about youth, he also cares about the needs of our community as a whole and has therefore given tirelessly in a variety of ways to local organizations, receiving local, state and national recognition for his efforts.

Memberships, Awards and Recognitions:

  • Active member of Rotary International and past President of the Rotary Club of San Luis Obispo
  • Former Trustee of Cuesta Community College
  • Former Chairman of the Capital Campaign Cabinet for Cuesta College’s North County Campus
  • Former Member of the Cal Poly Corporation’s Board of Directors (2 terms)
  • Former Member of the Cal Poly Dean’s Advisory Council for the School of Agriculture (29 years)
  • Founding Board Member, Chairman & Member Emeritus of the Santa Barbara County Economic Forecast Project
  • Board Member Emeritus of the Central Coast Forecast Project
  • Member of the Old Mission San Luis Obispo Finance Council (20 years)
  • Chairman of the Capital Campaign Cabinet Renovation Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa
  • Appointed Outside Director for Farm Credit West (21 years)
  • Former Member of the Mission Community Bank Board of Directors
  • Former Ambassador to Heritage Oaks Bank
  • Member of the Rabobank Customer Advisory Council
  • Member of the Board of Directors for the Community Foundation of San Luis Obispo County
  • Trustee of the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County
  • Member of the San Luis Obispo County Juvenile Justice / Delinquency Prevention Commission (44 years)
  • Member of the Grizzly Youth Academy Advisory Board
  • Founding Board Member, and past Chair of the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Advisory Board
  • Member of the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Advisory Foundation
  • Founding Board Member and Current Member of Crime Stoppers
  • Member of the San Luis Obispo County Criminal Justice Administrators Association
  • Treasurer of the San Luis Obispo Law Enforcement Assistance Foundation
  • Chairman of the California Highway Patrol Commissioners Advisory Board
  • Resolution of Commendation by the California Attorney General
  • Recipient of the FBI Director’s Leadership Award for service to our Nation’s Communities
  • Named Agricultural Business Person of the Year for Santa Barbara County (2009)
  • Named Agriculturist of the Year for San Luis Obispo County (2015)
  • Recipient of the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce’s 1987 Citizen of the Year Award


Jim is a true icon in the community and is a respected role-model for people of all ages. His kindness and generosity always light up a room.


Congratulations to the Legacy Project Scholarship Recipients

Cody Domingos
We are pleased to announce the recipient of the Youth Legacy Project Scholarship, Cody Domingos. Cody is the first winner to submit a welding project to the committee.  [LEARN MORE]


Donielle Harpster
Congratulations to Donielle Harpster for being selected as the 2021 recipient. Ashley was selected from a high qualitty pool of candidates by the award committee. [LEARN MORE]


Ashley Rosilez
Congratulations to Ashley Rosilez for being selected as the 2020 recipient. Ashley was selected from a very deep pool of candidates by the award committee. [LEARN MORE]


Isaac Lopez
We are pleased to announce the INAUGURAL RECIPIENT of the California Mid-State Fair Youth Legacy Project Scholarship 2019, Isaac Lopez. [LEARN MORE]



How It Works

The Legacy Project will be funded through donations by business, community members and other foundations. All donations will be paid directly to JWBYLF.

All donations collected will be distributed in three specific areas of concentration;


*This blind application process will be conducted online with consistency to secondary education requirements.

Scholarships will be awarded to deserving and qualified youth exhibiting at the California Mid-State Fair. Total award value will be dependant upon recipients post-secondary institution. Award value will be up to $20,000 (up to $5,000 per year).

Applicant must adhere to all California Mid-State Fair rules, regulation, schedules, deadlines, and procedures.

The CMSF Legacy Project is a non-compete project displayed at the California Mid-State Fair and no other fair, show or exposition.


Capital Campaign

Donations will also support youth related programs, capital projects or activities at the California Mid-State Fair that adhere to the Mission of the California Mid State fair and the Mission of the California Mid-State Fair Heritage Foundation.

Exhibitor Hardship Cases.

Creates a fund in which exhibitors may apply for a pre-defined hardship as a result of participation as an exhibitor at the California Mid-State Fair








  1. Who may apply?
    High school Sophomores and Juniors are eligible to apply if they are planning and eligible to participate in the California Mid-State Fair Junior Livestock Show, Industrial Education, Floriculture, Agriculture or Ornamental Horticulture or Tractor Restoration Project.


  1. What’s does the student get out of being selected?
    A scholarship of up to $20,000 over 4 years may be awarded to the successful candidate.


  1. Where do they get to show the project?
    The Legacy Project is an “exhibition only” project and may not be exhibited, shown or otherwise compete at any other fair, show or exposition other than the California Mid-State Fair.


  1. Is the project only for an animal?
    No, any species of livestock may apply for the Legacy Project. In addition, Industrial Education, Floriculture, Agriculture or Ornamental Horticulture and Tractor Restoration Project are also eligible.


  1. What happens to the project after the Fair?
    The project may be donated to charitable organizations or others applying as decided upon by the James W, Brabeck Youth Legacy Fund Advisory Committee. Livestock projects may be donated to Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County. Any project may be marketed and sold and the funds utilized for other JWBYLF programs.


  1. Are project expenses offset by this fund?
    The JWBYLF will pay all applicable and appropriate costs for raising, fabricating, restoring or growing the Legacy Project to completion.


  1. Will the recipient know they are chosen prior to the Fair?
    Yes, the recipient will be notified and announced prior to the Fair. The announcement date is June 17, 2021.


  1. How is the word getting out about the application?
    Marketing the Legacy Project and subsequent application process is going out via many various channels. 4-H Community Leaders, FFA Advisors, Counselors at schools, Social Media, CMSF marketing and other channels are being utilized. More information can be found at,, and www.midstatefair,com are all available as a source for additional information. You may also email or


  1. Do Independents qualify?
    No, independent exhibitors are not eligible for the Legacy Project.


  1. May an exhibitor show a separate animal other than the project animal?
    Yes, you may show all other project animals and exhibits per the current year published Competition Handbook.


  1. What year student can apply?
    For the current year, applicants are limited to Sophomores and Juniors in high school. These criteria may change in the future.


  1. Where are the applications found?
    Applications may be found at, or The application process is 100% electronic and may only be submitted online.


  1. Does the project go through the auction?
    Yes, the Legacy Project will be auctioned following the Parade of Champions on July 27, 2021.


  1. How are the proceeds of the Legacy Project distributed?
    Following the auction of the Legacy Project, the proceeds will be distributed as follows:
    30% of total proceeds to the JWBYLF to fund scholarship
    70% of the first $100,000 will be donated to the CMSF Heritage Foundation for capital funding
    * minus processing fees



  1. How do the scholarship funds get allocated?
    Funding for the successful candidate will do directly to the institution of higher learning they have chosen to attend. Examples are Universities, Community Colleges, Trade Schools


  1. What is the deadline to apply?
    Applications OPEN on May 13 and CLOSE June 9 each year.


  1. If selected are my entries at the fair limited in any way?
    Entries are only limited as outlined in the official published premium book of the CMSF.


  1. What must I do at the fair with my display?
    The Legacy Project must be on display at the CMSF as any other project would be. It should always be maintained and held to a higher standard than other projects.


  1. Must I be in uniform at any time?
    Yes, you will need to be in uniform during the Supreme Champion Drive, Auction and any other appropriate time agreed upon by CMSF and JWBYLF.


  1. What happens on Sale Day?
    The Legacy Project should be prepared like any other project on sale day with attention paid to detail as the Legacy Project is a showpiece and should reflect such.
    The exhibitor is expected to be in full official uniform and prepared for photos and to exhibit the project at the appointed time.


  1. Can my family give money to the fund on my behalf?
    Yes, your family, their friends and employers are all encouraged to contribute to the JWBYLF. This is possible through several methods:

               A donation of $2000 or more to the “sale day” fund

               A donation of any amount may made be made at the JWBYLF booth at the auction

               Donations may be made by mailing a *pledge from to the Community Foundation San Luis Obispo

               You may also donate online at

                              *pledge forms may be downloaded at            


  1. Can my feed store donate?
    Absolutely, all donations will be accepted as outlined in the question listed above.


  1. How and when will I get my money?
    Disbursement of funds will be direct to the chosen institution of higher education. The Community Foundation will work directly with admissions and finance to arrange payment.


  1. I already have a market lamb (or other market project) for the fair. Can I purchase another animal or build another project beyond what I am planning to enter for competition?
    You may exhibit another project providing the DNA requirements have been met according to CMSF guidelines and deadlines.


  1. What constitutes a required meeting or event I must attend?
    Examples of approved meetings would be Rotary International, Kiwanis, Farm Bureau, California Women for Agriculture, Breed Associations or other community events to promote the Legacy Project.


  1. How will I be reimbursed for my expenses?
    Any expenses not already donated may be submitted in to the JWBYLF program coordinator for reimbursement. Reimbursement may take up to 60 days.


  1. Do rabbit, dog or horse projects qualify?
    No, the Legacy Project currently does not consider these projects for the Legacy Project.


  1. Can you provide an example of how my daughter or sons funding will be paid out over four years based upon receiving other scholarships and funding particularly in the first year?
    The exact amount of the scholarship award is undetermined but will be up to $20,000. The exact amount cannot be determined until other financial aid awards are known. For example, were the JWBYLF to award $5,000 as a first-year award, this could preclude the recipient from receiving other awards or financial aid. The goal is to provide as much support as possible. Therefore, the JWBYLF will calculate the award after other award amounts are known. This is called a “gap award”, inferring the scholarship will fill the “gap” where necessary.This methodology will be true for all 4 years of the scholarship.

    All award amounts will be directed to the institution the recipient is attending in the name of the recipient.


  2. If I am in a two year program will I receive all $20,000?
    A 2-year program will receive up to $10,000 using the same methodology as defined above.


  1. Where is the money sent?
    The award will be directed to the institution of higher education the recipient will be attending.


  1. Do I need to claim this as taxable income?
    All applicable income taxes will apply per State and Federal guidelines.


  1. What happens to my Industrial Ed project or Heifer or Produce after the auction?
    All projects will be donated to an appropriate charitable or service program as identified by the JWBYLF Advisory Committee. Some projects may be sold with the money used to assist in financing other JWBYLF initiatives.
  2. I will be attending Oklahoma State in the Fall. Do I still need to attend all the required meetings? Can I skype to a meeting?
    Yes, all requirements are in full affect regardless of geographical location. To help accommodate the requirements, technology may be used in the process. For example, the student may use Skype, Zoom or other software to present to groups. In addition, the student may produce a video to be shown at approved events and used in combination with speaker phone or other technology to answer questions.


  1. Can people do add on’s for me?
    Additional monies may be collected before the CMSF, after the auction or after the CMSF. However, all donations must go directly to The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County and will be used for the JWBYLF for future events. The exhibitor will not receive any additional monies as a result of and add-on.


  1. What happens if I don’t finish my Industrial Education project, my produce does not mature, my animal is injured, gets sick or dies?
    In the eventuality one of these conditions occur, there is a back-up plan in place and the originally selected recipient will not be the Legacy Project. The runner-up will then exhibit, demonstrate, present at auction and receive the awarded scholarship.

Want to support?

Download the pledge form or contact any advisory committee member.



Advisory Committee


Jim Brabeck

Thomas Milder

Andy Carlin

Katcho Achadjian


Vicki Janssen

Ken Dewar

JoAnn Wall

DJ Pittenger


Our Partners



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