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Agriculture Showcase/ 4-H Chick Chain Event planned

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

The Chilton Research and Extension Center and the Chilton County Extension Office will host the 2019 Showcase in Agriculture/4-H Chick Chain Show on Aug. 17 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Extension Agent Gay West said this will be the first time the two groups come together for such an event.

“We thought it would be nice for people who may be waiting,” West said. “If they are buyers and they are waiting on the end of the show for the sale, they could go and be doing some other things while they’re waiting. Or, if children are finished with their part in the show, they can go and maybe take a tour of the farm or see some of the other things that are going on.”

Admission to the event is free. However, chickens from the 4-H students will be auctioned off.  The Master Gardeners will also have a plant sale going on.

The Research Center will be having informative programs on preventing and controlling fire ants as well as the projects the center has done on growing figs and plants that can be used to attract pests away from crops.

Tours of the center’s North Farm, featuring  kiwifruit, grapes and Chilton County peaches, will be provided.

The Master Gardeners will be available to answer questions and will make a presentation about Native Alabama Plants.

West said she thought the joint event would draw more people to the Chick Chain event, including some that may not have participated in the past.

“I think it will be good publicity for our program,” West said.

4-H students began their Chick Chain project in April. Students were given 10 baby chicks to raise through the summer.

“They bring two of their chickens back to be judged based on the breed standards of the breed that they have chosen and also to sell the birds,” West said.

Funds raised through the sale of the chicks helps make the program possible year after year.

Students invite those who may be interested in buying chickens to the sale.

In addition to learning how to keep a chicken healthy, students also learn business by keeping track of how much they spend on feed and potentially selling the other chickens not sold at the auction.

“They develop a sense of accomplishment by learning to do things themselves,” West said.

4-H staff meet with the students once during the summer to check on how things are going.

Attendees can also visit the Master Gardener demonstration garden, which features a number of best practices and creative designs as well as a swing, hopscotch and shaded sitting area.

The Research Center, in partnership with Auburn University, conducts experiments and projects focused on crops in order to give farmers advice and information on what works well in this region.

The Chilton Research and Extension Center is located at 120 County Road 756 in Clanton.