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Rowan Cooperative Extension hosts events at county fair

By Laura Allen

4-H Agent

The Rowan County Fair is over for this year, so now it’s time to highlight some of the successes of the fair.

Rowan County Cooperative Extension hosted two agricultural events during the fair. The goal was to provide agricultural opportunities for youth in our community to learn and grow in the area of agriculture.

The Broiler Project was open to any youth ages 5-18 in Rowan County who was interested in raising chickens for meat production. These participants signed up for the project, joined 4-H and were each given 6-day-old chicks on July 31.

Each 4-H’er took his or her chicks home, provided housing for them, and cared for them by maintaining their feed and water and providing basic day-to-day care. During the project, each 4-H’er filled out a 4-H Project Record Book, detailing the work they did with their birds. These books will be entered in 4-H competition later in the year.

At the end of eight weeks, all of the chickens were brought to the Rowan County Fair to be weighed and entered into competition. The weights of the top three heaviest birds for each 4-H’er were added together to get a pen of three total weight. Birds were also judged for uniformity by Extension Poultry Specialist Lauren Greene.

 Those who participated in the broiler project included Grey Causby, Griggs Causby, Talton Correll, Taylor Miller, Alyssa Mills, Jonathan Mills, Grace Powlas, Megan Powlas, Joshua Wilson, Lydia Wilson. Congratulations to Talton Correll for winning Grand Champion and Grey Causby for winning Reserve Grand Champion.

After the show, the broilers were processed, with up to three carcasses being donated back to the 4-H’er and the remaining carcasses donated to Rowan Helping Ministries.

 The Special Show was held on Thursday, Sept. 20, in the barn arena of the fairgrounds. Twelve local students with special needs participated in this event, where they were able to interact with a market lamb and then participate in a lamb show. These 12 participants were from Rockwell Elementary School, South Rowan High School and Southeast Middle School.

A total of 15 youth with sheep experience from FFA, 4-H and livestock showing families volunteered their time to assist with this event. Each participant was paired with at least one youth volunteer who taught the participant about the sheep and how to show it. Each participant also chose a name for their sheep.

During the show, Sara Drake, Davidson County Livestock Agent, served as the judge. She interacted with each participant individually to talk to them about their lamb and their showing experience. At the conclusion of the show, each participant received a blue ribbon and a sheep medallion to wear around their neck.

Both of these events showcased youth, agriculture, learning and fun during the Rowan County Fair.

If you are interested in participating in these events next year, or if you want more information about Rowan County Cooperative Extension or 4-H opportunities, please contact 704-216-8970 or laura_allen@ncsu.edu.

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