XENIA — Cluck, quack, cock-a-doodle-do — several 4H and FFA participants put their best feathers forward July 29 as they showed their poultry to a judge in a variety of categories in hopes of being crowned a champion.
For Hailie Chambliss, it’s her eighth year stepping up in hopes of earning a high placement for her hard work throughout the last year. But for Addison Smart, it’s her first year participating in 4H and she took away something larger than a winning title.
“We moved to a farm and I wanted to see how chickens are,” said Smart, explaining how she initially got involved in 4H. “My step dad asked if I wanted to do 4H with chickens.”
So she joined Clover Buds 4H Club and has been working on the farm ever since taking care of her four chickens and getting them ready for the Greene County Fair. While she said she had fun most days, it was challenging to adjust her routine to include the chickens in her day-to-day actions.
“I liked that the chickens got used to me,” said Smart. “I liked that I could handle the chickens.”
She hasn’t decided yet if she will show chickens again next year, but expressed an interest in taking care of the smaller bantam chickens. Her dad, David Smart, said he was proud of his daughter and has observed her grow and mature in many areas upon joining 4H. Her step dad, Brian Malin, also expressed pride in Smart’s hard work throughout the last year.
Jamestown citizen and Ross Champs and Greeneview FFA member Hailie Chambliss takes care of 80 chickens, two sheep, ducks and geese between three barns on her family farm. She wishes to become a large animal veterinarian when she grows up and said 4H helps her be involved and know how to take care of them.
“If they’re hurt, I try to take care of them myself,” Chambliss said.
Her day starts off with feeding and watering her animals and continues in the evening after school. When the Greene County Fair kicks off every year, she shows hens, geese and sheep. She favors showmanship competitions because “it reflects on you — how well you took care of and know your animal.”
“Ask questions,” Chambliss advised new 4H participants. “Don’t be afraid to talk to people and get out there — look up to the older people.”
Contact Whitney Vickers at 937-502-4532.