Sunday, September 1, 2013

4H day in Elliott County, Kentucky, part 1

post #153
      Thursday was such a treat for me.  After many years of not being around for the 4H day or it being too hot or some other lame excuse on my part, I was determined this year to fit it in.  It seems I managed to wait until the new shelter was built  -- it was completed Wednesday!  Very classy.  The morning light was overcast, usually a photographer's dream.  Light but not bright and contrasty.  And also not as hot a day as it could be.
      The day starts at 10 a.m. and lasts 10 hours, starting with the displaying of multiple animals, with one school bus at a time coming to see the animals and watch the kids as they finish the preparations.  This gives all the elementary students in the county a chance to see the 4H program in action.  And ours is a rural county where the three elementary schools are separated by many miles of driving. 
My only shot of the new shelter at the Extension Office, but since most of the activity is by short people (KIDS) it looks deceptively quiet!

My neighbor Natalee's three hens

These two sisters are displaying rabbits AND chickens.
(Please notice that all three hens are in focus!  This is not easy to do with chickens, at least not for me.  Just saying.)
      By 3:30 p.m., it was time for the showing of the animals, starting with goats, and continuing with beef cows, pigs, rabbits, chickens and sheep!  After the ribbons are awarded, the 4H members take part in the interview part of the competition.  They are asked about their work and their animals. 
      Today I am showing just the chicken competition.  I do know some of the players here, so most of my photos from the day include them, but not all.  The young boy with his black and white hens really impressed me with his self-assurance and poise, so I took several photos and then later found out his name is Terrence.  He is a month into first grade.

looking down the line of competitors to the other end, far away

         The 4H participants bring three hens in a cage for the judging, and they are then instructed to hold one of them.  These kids all know the routine by now.  
        Natalee, shown below, and her hens won second place, called reserve grand champion.  Terrence won the grand champion!  Congratulations to you both! 

Natalee in the winner "circle", having her photo taken

         By 6 p.m. it is time for the sale of the grand prize winners; buyers come from quite a distance to bid.  I have to confess that this year I decided I needed to go home by late afternoon, so I wasn't there with my camera.  But next year I will know more what I am doing, and I will then concentrate on the last two parts of the day. 

        Next week: part 2!  Beef cows, sheep, rabbits, and more hardworking 4H members.  

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