Harrisburg, Pa. – What’s good for the goose was good for the duck, too, as waterfowl garnered Supreme Champion and Reserve Supreme Champion titles at the 2010 Pennsylvania Farm Show on Saturday, Jan. 8.
This year’s supreme champion of show was an American Buff Buff goose exhibited by Angela Faulkner of BamaJam Farms, Sayre, Bradford County. This goose was first proclaimed Champion Medium Goose, then Grand Champion Waterfowl.
The Champion Heavy Duck, a Rouen, captured the Reserve Supreme Champion of Show. It was exhibited by Keith Lutz of Robesonia, Berks County.
Judges Gary Overton, Paul Kroll, Jamie Matts and Curtis Oakes sorted through the over 1,900 avian animals. Kroll commented on the difficulty of evaluating which entries would take champion honors.
“Sorting the top animals is a question of apples versus oranges. Each animal is evaluated against its ideal species and breed character,” said Kroll. While evaluating animals of the same species and breed can be tough, comparing apples to oranges is even tougher. He also noted that the four judges were in agreement during this final evaluation – and that it took four pairs of eyes to spot even the most minute flaws in breed character that separated those top animals.
“This show has come a long way in 20 years,” he said, acknowledging the work of Phil Clauer, a Penn State instructor and Farm Show poultry program coordinator, in increasing the quality of the poultry entries. “And the quality of stock is very high.”
“It’s one of the highest quality shows in the region, and on par with the best state fairs and exhibitions,” said Greg Martin, Penn State extension educator. “More than 2,000 were entered – the highest in the past 10 years. We’ve doubled our turkey numbers, and we exhibit more waterfowl compared to other area poultry shows. We actually had to restrict numbers in some divisions and classes – the first time ever for the poultry department.”
The row of champions features birds from high schoolers and grandfathers. A white-crested black Polish bantam belonging to Cleon Cassel, grandfather of nine, not only garnered Grand Champion Bantam honors, but also Champion All Other Comb Clean-legged Bantams. He got his start in high school, when he purchased chickens, using their feathers in tying flies for fishing. Except for a hiatus in college, Cassel has always had chickens.
Cassel has a rule that teaches his grandchildren the value of the work involved in raising chickens: if they want to show chickens, they must first purchase birds, breed them, and raise the offspring, which can then be shown.
Another young 4-Her, Josh Cassar, exhibited his light brown single comb leghorn that received Champion Large Fowl honors, in addition to champion Mediterranean. This 16-year-old from Lansdale, Montgomery County, who owns 30 birds, has only been raising them for three years. He is a member of the 2009 National Champion 4-H Poultry Judging Team, and was the second-high individual in the nation. “I was speechless,” he said about the win. “I never thought I’d get this far!”
“It’s very encouraging that young kids are showing birds, going on trips to poultry events, and being competitive in the industry,” said Martis, who mentioned that poultry is the second-largest animal industry in the state behind the dairy industry.
“This year, the winner’s circle was filled with 4-H kids, not just the older guys that are into the hobby. Many 4-Hers attend Penn State, minoring in poultry science and going on to be successful in the poultry industry because of their experiences here,” added Martis.
Champion American Class – Jack Tickle, Saltsburg, Indiana Co. Breed: New Hampshire
Champion Asiatic Class – Katie Ann Buss, Germansville, Lehigh Co. Breed: Longshan Black
Champion English Class – Thomas Buss Jr., Germansville, Lehigh Co. Breed: Orpington Black
Champion Continental Class – Angela Faulkner, Sayre, Bradford Co. Breed: LaFleche Black
Champion All Breeds Class – Timothy Nagle, Annville, Lebanon Co. Breed: Sumatra Black
Champion Feather Class Legged Bantam – Christopher Rob, Latrobe, Westmoreland Co. Breed: Cochin Black
Champion Rose Comb Clean Legged Bantam – Matt Bishop, Myerstown, Lebanon Co. Breed: Rose Comb Black
Champion Single Comb Clean Legged Bantam – Jack Tickle, Saltsburg, Indiana Co. Breed: Plymouth Rock Silver Penciled
Champion Old English Game Bantam Class – Jodi Musick, Latrobe, Westmoreland Co. Breed: Old English Wheaten
Champion Modern Game Bantam Class – Katie Ann Buss, Germansville, Lehigh Co. Breed: Modern Game Black Breasted Red
Champion Heavy Goose – Thomas Buss, Jr., Germansville, Lehigh Co., Breed: Embden White
Champion Turkey – Christian Fuller, Beach Lake, Wayne Co., Breed: Bronze
Champion Light Goose – Thomas Buss, Jr., Germansville, Lehigh Co., Breed: Chinese White
Champion Bantam Duck – Daulton Lape, Lebanon, Lebanon Co., Breed: East Indie Black
The Pennsylvania Farm Show is the largest indoor agricultural event in the nation, featuring nearly 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 209 commercial exhibitors. The show runs Jan. 8-15 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center in Harrisburg. Admission is free and parking is $10. Visit www.farmshow.state.pa.us for details.
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