As I sit here the night before our trip to the Ohio State Fair I decide I should lay out everything I need to take in the morning. Pink Chicken socks … check! Favorite Meyer Hatchery tee … check! Looks like I am ready to dive into some fair food (I mean watching some great fair projects compete for the Highest honor of Grand Champion at the State Fair). The poultry meat class shows (Market Turkeys and Broilers) start bright and early at 9:00 am and we will have an 1 ½ hour ride there. All of our goodie bags are made and ready to take to the hard working kids who share a love of poultry, just like us. These kids have spent months learning, preparing and raising their market animal to make it to this point.  It’s the big show, THE STATE FAIR!  

Whatever state you reside in, it’s a big deal. These projects show that these kids care what is in their food source and are a generation bringing back some of the simplicities of daily life into a very modern technical world. They are also learning about responsibilities, passion of a hobby and also concern for another life and the bonus is to do it with the people they love, their families. Wow! These are big moments.
Fair day has finally arrived!  I awoke from dreams of burgers made with glazed donut buns, deep fried Buckeyes (us Ohioans relish making a tree dropping into a dessert), and fair fries. YIKES, I digress again.  Ben and I meet at the Hatchery to drive up to the fair. We have plenty of time to chat we discuss how excited we are to go to the fair.  Who doesn’t like fair season in Ohio?  As we are driving,  Ben asks me whether or not we would make our stop at the petting zoo for me to meet up with a very sweet camel named Sammy. Sammy and I had a fling last year. It started with a kiss. As you see, the fair really has something for everyone.  We finally get to the Ohio State Fair. The fair is huge! We have tons to see after the show.

Ben and I find the massive poultry barn where the shows will be held. Since Meyer Hatchery is a sponsor of the show, the barn is decorated with our logo and all of our scarlet coop cups for the cages.  (yes, it is scarlet in Ohio… not red, never red). We watch the broiler show. This is great!  Each kid has an additional handler for their pen of birds on display.  The judge walks to each child and asks them questions about their projects and looks at the animals. All the birds are very well taken care of and are great examples of your food source.  Even the tiniest child shows their bird with finesse. It is an action that you can tell has been practiced many times. As I look at all of the kids I feel so proud of each and every one of them. They all look so together in their freshly pressed shirts and show coats, dressing the part. They all nailed it!  The judge then places each of the children/chickens in order of their placement for this particular class.  Everyone looks happy to be there. Placement doesn’t make a difference to their shining faces.  In these simple moments, we are all connected. That is something I love. If everything was just this simple.

All the shows have been completed and Ben and I have lots of conversations with some great people. Our next stop will be the building where our chicks and turkeys have been hatching each day in a fun display put on by the Ohio Farm Bureau Land and Living display. What an opportunity for children to get to watch a baby chick hatch into the world.  We feel very lucky to be a part of all of this and hope to be invited back again next year. Now we are off to my date with Sammy and to see what fair foods we can consume! Diets are off, entering a no judge zone!  Wish us luck!   

Meyer Hatchery would like to acknowledge all of your hard work and perseverance in completing your 2017 poultry project.  We have seen firsthand our youth’s enthusiasm and love of poultry. We hope you continue to inspire others with your dedication for years to come.
~Cheryl and All of us at Meyer Hatchery