Archive for the ‘4-H’ tag
I attended my first chicken show on Saturday, January 28, 2012.
The annual winter show was put on by the Pacific Poultry Breeders Association.
I bought my first almost show chicken at this event. It is an almost show chicken because it was in the barn where the runners up to the main ‘beauty pageant’ were displayed.
I paid a whopping USD $40.00 for the chicken I brought home. That’s a lot because at Western Farm Center in Santa Rosa, California, where I buy organic feed, you can buy a perfectly attractive chicken, fully grown, for USD $14.00.
My cousin Cynthia Christensen alerted me to this show and invited me. I am so glad I made the four hour round trip drive to the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds in Stockton, California from my house in San Francisco, California, USA.
Christensen recommended I bring my camera, and I am so thankful I brought my good camera, a Canon 5D Mark II with a 50 mm macro lens that’s ideal for close up chicken portraits. I shot the portraits with the aperture wide open to blur the background. I used only available light, so I had to set the ISO to 1600 for many of these shots. I uploaded these pictures at full 21 megapixel resolution. Click on the individual pictures to see the much larger full size version.
This is a small excerpt from the WikiPedia entry on 4-H:
“4-H in the United States is a youth organization administered by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), with the mission of “engaging youth to reach their fullest potential while advancing the field of youth development.” The name represents four personal development areas of focus for the organization: head, heart, hands, and health. The organization has over 6.5 million members in the United States, from ages five to nineteen, in approximately 90,000 clubs.
The goal of 4-H is to develop citizenship, leadership, responsibility and life skills of youth through experiential learning programs and a positive youth development approach. Though typically thought of as an agriculturally focused organization as a result of its history, 4-H today focuses on citizenship, healthy living, science, engineering, and technology programs.
Today, 4-H and related programs exist in over eighty countries around the world; the organization and administration varies from country to country. Each of these programs operates independently, but cooperatively through international exchanges, global education programs, and communications.
The 4-H motto is “To make the best better”, while its slogan is “Learn by doing” (sometimes written as “Learn to do by doing”).”
I saw other judges walking around the huge barns stopping at each cage to record information to a clipboard. The judges had their work cut out for them. The barn below contains just the runner up chickens.
Below are some of the portraits I took of some of the shockingly interesting chickens on display. Most of these shots were taken between the wire rungs of their cages, which was definitely not ideal.
I had a really fun time at this show. I never would have imagined just a few years ago that I would like this kind of show.
To conclude, here’s a picture of dozens of chicks for sale, at USD $5.00 each.