For most of the 2020-2021 program year, 4-H projects have had no choice but to conduct meetings virtually due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. In May, 4-H projects were permitted to hold in-person meetings at a limited capacity. The Ventura County 4-H Poultry Project seized this opportunity and held a competitive Poultry Show with various competitions on Saturday, June 26th, 2021.
In order to gear up for the day's competitions, a “Training Day” was held a week before on June 19th. At the Training Day, project members learned about all of the different competitions that were being offered at the show, what was required of them to enter each of them, and were given a final opportunity to practice their poultry showmanship skills in a group setting (something that the project members have been working on both in-person and virtually for the entire program year). Participants also had the option to create a decorated egg to submit for judging at the show.
On competition day, Project Leaders and Junior/Teen Leaders, like myself, were there bright and early to get everything set up and ready to go. Although this event was just a small, project-level show, everyone in attendance took it very seriously. The project members dressed in their 4-H Whites and the showmanship judge has over 30 years of experience in 4-H poultry.
The first competition of the day was the poultry showmanship. Showmen all lined up with their hens, roosters, cockerels, and pullets, and waited for their turn to show. Each showman performed their examination one at a time and received valuable feedback from the judge. Showmen showed their birds one by one, and the showmanship was treated like a real competition; even placement awards were given out.
In addition to the showmanship, there were other competitions that day some of which included posters, egg judging, and a decorated/painted egg art expo. In conclusion, everyone learned a lot about poultry and had a fun day with in-person 4-H activities. Last but not least, a big thank you to Jennie Willoughby, Mary Ellen Belik, and Kitty Beckmann of the Santa Rosa Valley 4-H Club for making this event possible for the Ventura County 4-H Youth!