Let’s Talk Turkey – 2022 Youth Market Turkey Show

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children showing turkeys

Some of the class winners in the Ground Round of the 2022 YMTS

Congratulations to all 191 participants of the 2022 Youth Market Turkey Show held at the state fairgrounds on October 6, 2022! Youth, ages 5-18, from across North Carolina reared 3 poults (a baby turkey) that they picked up at NC State’s Prestage Department of Poultry Science (PDPS) Poultry Teaching Unit on June 21 or 22nd. The youth raised their birds until Weigh-In on Oct. 5th when they brought back their best bird to show. There were 53 counties represented from across NC from as far as Buncombe in the west to Camden County in the east.

This year Aviagen Turkeys, a poultry breeding stock company, donated several varieties for this year’s show which included Petite Whites, Large Whites, the Black Variant, and the Bronze Variant. Youth competed in three age divisions, and of these, 45 youth were Little Gobblers (5-8), 74 Juniors (9-13), and 62 Seniors (14-18) in the 2022 YMTS. There were also 5 youths each to show the Bronze and Black Variants. Dr. Olivia Wedegaertner of Zoetis judged the Lil Gobbler class, Dr. Jesse Grimes of PDPS judged the Junior and Senior classes, and Mr. Mark Paylor and Mr. Richard Goforth judged the Bronze and Black Variant classes. Youth and their hens competed against up to 15 youth in a class. The Class Winners (1st and 2nd place) were as follows:

YMTS 2022 Lil’ Gobbler Class Winners YMTS 2022 SENIOR Class Winners
Last, First Name County Last, First Name County
Bass, Easton Wilson Proctor, Kendall Nash
Franks, Grayson Harnett Walker, Houston Randolph
Anderson, David Edgecombe Hall, Faith Wake
Flick, Robert Alamance Kernodle, Aiden Alamance
Smith, Cora Stanly Floyd, Maggi Randolph
Smith, Laney Stanly Powell, Hattie Jo Johnston
YMTS 2022 Junior Class Winners Colbert, Bryleigh Nash
Last, First Name County Jessup, Laura Randolph
Jacob, Norah Wake Correll, Talton Roanne
Windsor, Joleen Rockingham Sharpe, Brooklyn Randolph
Halton, Katelyn Randolph YMTS 2022 Black Variant Winners
Walker, Carson Randolph Last, First Name County
Jacob, Zoey Wake Proctor, Ava Franklin
Dean, Caleb Catawba Murray, Jimmy Wilson
Devine, Barrett Roanne YMTS 2022 Bronze Variant Winners
Manning, Annie Nash Last, First Name County
Driscoll, Cora Wake Reinert, Sara Wake
Robertson, Sage Alamance Rudd, Kayla Wake
Forbes, Sara Beth Pasquotank
Kernodle, Lana Alamance YMTS 2022 Overall Grand/Reserve
Sanders, Kara Halifax Grand: Jessup, Laura Randolph
Hill, Keaton Randolph Reserve: Robertson, Sage Alamance
Robertson, Hutch Alamance

Each winner received a placement ribbon, entry ticket to the state fair, a goodie bag with items from NC State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) and Carolina Kettle ‘Pack Snack Chips. Also, all youth registered with the NC State Fair office will receive a premium check in a few months based on their placement in the show. The grand and reserve champion turkey, shown by Laura Jessup of Randolph County and Sage Robertson of Alamance County, will be auctioned at the Sale of Champions at 2 p.m. on Oct 23, 2022.

Many thanks to everyone that came together to make this youth opportunity possible including:  North Carolina State Fair, NC State’s Prestage Department of Poultry Science, Dr. Paige Rohlf and AviagenTurkeys, YMTS Advisory Council, NCDA’s Poultry Health Programs, NC State’s Feed Milling Education Unit, Dr. Olivia Wedegaertner and Zoetis, Turkey Talk presenters, SO MANY Volunteers, Poultry Science Club students from NC A&T and NC State, Ava Proctor (submitting winning T-shirt design), and families, agents, teachers, as well as our youth participants!

Look forward to seeing you next year; registration for 2023 YMTS opens first Tuesday in March at 9 a.m. which will be March 7, 2023!