by Katie Martin, Extension Agent – 4-H Youth Development, UT Extension Smith County
Each spring, 4-H members in Smith County have the opportunity to become involved in the 4-H Chick Chain. This activity allows 4-H’ers to receive one-day-old baby chicks to raise. The 4-H’er is responsible for feeding and caring for the chicks, and at the end of the project, they have the opportunity to show and sell their hens.
Thursday, September 25th was the culmination of over six months of hard work for eleven Smith County 4-H members. 4-H’ers brought three of their best hens, which they received as chicks through our Chick Chain program, to the Smith County Ag Center to be judged and auctioned off.
This year we had Red Star and Barred Rock hens. All of our 4-H’ers brought outstanding birds, but there were several pens that deserved special recognition. Our Grand Champion was Kacie Malone, with Abby Malone earning our Reserve Champion award. We are so proud of all the hard work that each 4-H’er put into raising and taking care of their birds.
A special thank you to our judge, Jason Evitts, and our auctioneer, Brian Harville. We would also like to give a special thank you to Smith Farmers Co-op for purchasing almost every single pen and donating them back, plus providing a bag of laying feed to all our buyers. Most importantly, thank you to the parents and community supporters that attend this event, purchase birds, and help to make it a success.
The 4-H Youth Development Program delivers programs through cooperative efforts of the University of Tennessee, Tennessee State University, and public and private sector volunteers. 4-H educational programs are offered to all youth, grades 4-12, on an age-appropriate basis, without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or disability. For further information concerning the many opportunities that 4-H has to offer the youth in Smith County, call 735-2900.