On Monday night at the 2015 Fayette County Junior Fair Poultry Showmanship show, Zach Potts was named overall showman in the turkey category, Drew Black was named overall showman in the duck category, Quinton Waits was named overall showman in the goose category, and Dylan Page was named overall showman in the chicken category.
This year’s poultry show featured stuffed poultry and pictures of ducks, chickens, geese, and ducks, instead of the contestants’ live animals after the Ohio Department of Agriculture banned the exhibition of poultry and water fowl at all county fairs and the state fair in an attempt to keep the Avian Flu from spreading. “I’m really happy,” Page said. “It was weird not using my real chicken though.”
The directive includes all other gatherings of birds for show or for sale, including auctions and swap meets.
“We appreciate (Department of Agriculture) director Daniels’ leadership in protecting Ohio’s poultry industry,” said Bruce McPheron, vice president for agriculture administration and dean of the College of Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. “We are committed to providing 4-H youth with a positive learning experience about poultry, and believe that can be achieved without live animals being present.”
“4-H is about fun, but underneath it all, it’s about learning and education. Our members who have chosen poultry projects this year have a fantastic learning opportunity in front of them,” said Tom Archer, state 4-H leader for the OSU Extension. “Yes, they won’t be showing a live animal, but they will be learning about how a disease can affect an animal and an industry. We will provide other creative ways for our members to show what they have learned about poultry at our county and state fairs.”
The poultry showmanship show was judged by Larry Lokai, from Urbana. Lokai is a 1967 and 1973 graduate of The Ohio State University and retired after 30 years teaching agriculture. Lokai also has 30 years of experience advising 4-H.
This is Lokai’s 48th year judging at junior fairs, where he will judge at 13 fairs across Ohio. Lokai has judged in 82 fairs in 82 Ohio counties and 92 different shows in California, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Indiana.
Lokai is also known as “The OSU Buckeyeman.”
Reach Kellee Bonnell at (740) 313-0355 or on Twitter @newskelleebee.