Drew Black, a Miami Trace Middle School student, received four top honors Wednesday during the 2016 Fayette County Junior Fair Poultry Show.
Black was named the overall duck showman, grand champion duck, overall best of show breeding bird, and the overall reserve champion for turkey. Earlier in the week he was named the grand champion for market turkey.
He said he has a passion for showing birds.
“I love showing poultry and I love taking them around to shows so other people can see my birds and how much I love them,” said Black.
This is his fourth year showing poultry. He said he has had birds since he was 5-years-old.
“I have always loved birds. I begged my parents to get me chickens. When I was 5, my neighbor knew I wanted chickens so he gave me laying chickens,” said Black.
He said he didn’t work them or show them, but he started using them for eggs.
“I was just so excited to finally have birds,” said Black. “When I got old enough to be in 4-H, I started showing chickens and I have just loved it ever since.
He said it is his last poultry show of the fair, but in November he will be at the Ohio National Poultry Show in Columbus. He said he hasn’t won there, not yet anyway.
“There are a lot of really good birds there and a lot of breeders who have worked with birds for a long time,” he said. “I was lucky enough to meet one of the winners who had a bantam bearded silky. It inspired me to continue. You just keep working harder and harder to get the best bird.”
The 11-year-old said he’s already looking at where he wants this hard work to pay off. At the Ohio National Poultry Show, he said he came across information from the American Poultry Association about scholarships at an Arkansas college for people who wanted to have a career in poultry.
“I was thinking, because some colleges offer scholarships in poultry majors, and sometimes they guarantee a job after graduation, maybe I can get a scholarship for poultry,” said Black. “I’d like to maybe someday have a career in poultry and do what I love.”
He said at home, he has about 53 chickens.
“I breed my birds and hatch the eggs and sometimes sell the chicks, or raise them and sell the adults to people who want to show,” he said.
They aren’t breeding now, because they are traveling around showing, but will be breeding over the winter.
He said his parents and other members of 4-H have helped him along the way to his success.
“They help to take care of the chickens and support me. A lot of the older people who show poultry in 4-H, they have helped me through my poultry shows over the years. They are really great people and really great showmen, and have some really good birds,” said Black.
Reach Ashley at the Record-Herald at (740) 313-0355 or on Twitter @ashbunton