4-Hers compete in third annual Regional Chicken Show

WHITE LAKE — On May 2, the lakeside picnic shelter at the NC FFA Center at White Lake, NC was converted to a show field for the evening. A show for chickens! We had almost 60 youth ages 5 to 18 involved in 4-H and FFA from counties across the Southeast region come out to show their hens and broilers that they have been raising and caring for over the last few months.

In order to participate, the youth had to register through their school FFA advisor or their 4-H or Livestock Agent through NC Cooperative Extension. Registration for laying hens took place in December; while youth that raised and showed broilers had until early February to commit to the project. At least two required trainings were provided in each county to teach the youth about proper care, biosecurity, showmanship techniques, record keeping, and more. Three areas of competition were judged including showmanship which is the handling of the bird and being able to verbally share their knowledge about the anatomy and breed to a judge; breed which the judge compares the overall look of the bird including fullness, color, health, etc. in comparison with the other birds of its same breed; and project record books which is a written record of knowledge gained and evidence of learning through the project.

This is the third year that we have offered the Regional Chicken Project in our area. Initially, over 100 kids signed up representing Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, Cumberland, Hoke, Robeson, and Sampson Counties. Recognition and ribbons were given to all Cloverbuds ages 5 to 8 for their participation in showmanship and record books.

Ribbons were presented to the following youth for their achievements in the Showmanship and breed classes:

Jr. Showmanship

1st Luke Barber Bladen County

2nd Jacie Kinlaw Bladen County

3rd Valencia Banaduc Cumberland County

4th Sami Drake Cumberland County

5th Chase Lewis Cumberland County

Sr. Showmanship

1st Ashlyn Johnson Cumberland County

2nd Nayeli Estrada Robeson County

3rd Meagen Butler Robeson County

4th Lupita Santes Robeson County

5th Isabella Dugarte Robeson County

Barred Rock Hen Class

1st Lucas Collins Columbus County

2nd Braxton Swain Cumberland County

3rd Jadakiss Smith Robeson County

Golden Comet Hen Class

1st Rylie McDonald Sampson County

2nd Isabelle Dugarte Robeson County

3r Xzania Porter Columbus County

Broiler Class

1st Meagan Butler Robeson County

2nd Antonio Flores Robeson County

3rd Jadakiss Smith Robeson County

The youth were also recognized later for their achievements in completing required project record books documenting their individual chicken project. Winners received ribbons and cash prizes in the amounts of $15 for 1st place, $10 for 2nd place, and $5 for 3rd place. The project book winners were as follows:

4-H Project Book ages 9-10

1st Gabrielle Johnson Hoke County

2nd Chase Lewis Cumberland County

3rd Esaiah Johnson Hoke County

4-H Project Book ages 11-12

1st Jacie Kinlaw Bladen County

2nd Keegan Lewis Cumberland County

3rd Peyton Matthis Sampson County

4-H Project Book ages 13-15

1st Ashlyn Johnson Cumberland County

2nd Elizabeth Kirby Columbus County

FFA Project Book Middle School

1st Cooper Strickland Cumberland County

2nd Valencia Banaduc Cumberland County

3rd Cole Leach Cumberland County

FFA Project Book High School

1st Nayeli Estrada Robeson County

2nd Brianda Barrera Robeson County

3rd Meagen Butler Robeson County

Parents reported that their children improved responsibility and/or work ethic as a result of their participation in the Regional Chicken Project. For more information about youth livestock programming in your county, please contact your local NC Cooperative Extension Office in Bladen County at (910) 862-4591.