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Youth Market Turkey Show

en Español

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The Youth Market Turkey Show is an opportunity for youth to raise and show a market turkey at the N.C. State Fair. The competition is open to any NC youth between the ages of 5-18 who will be in grades K-12 on the day of the show. The youth will register in March, pay a $20 entrance fee, complete their Showorks & W-9 registration forms by May to be eligible to pick up three poults at the university in June. From this point, youth will rear their birds at home, and then bring back their best market turkey to the N.C. State Fair show in October.

Apply for the 2023 NC State Fair

Livestock Scholarship!

If you have shown a turkey at the Youth Market Turkey Show, you are eligible to apply for the NC State Fair Livestock Scholarship each year you are enrolled at an institute of higher learning at a minimum of 9-course hours per semester. This includes community colleges and technical schools. You may receive this scholarship a maximum of four times. Applications due by March 1, 2023.

*Look for applications on NC State Fair website

2023 YMTS T-shirt Design Contest

The winning design will be announced soon. Thank you to all who submitted their artwork.

Congratulations to our past T-shirt Design Winners: 

      2023 YMTS T-shirt design co-winners: Meredith Poole and Valerie Poole 

2022 YMTS T-shirt design winner:  Ava Proctor

2021 YMTS T-shirt design winner: John Tucker

2020 YMTS T-shirt design winner: Camille Clark

2023 YMTS Pen Sign Contest

art pallettrophyturkey cartoonArt/Pen Signage Contest Rules 
     1) Anyone participating in 2023 YMTS is eligible to enter. The prize will be Ribbons, T-shirts, and Free & Guaranteed Registration for next year’s contest.
     2) Award will be given to the most creative, eye-catching signage for each of the Lil Gobbler, Junior, and Senior Age Categories.
     3) Sign should be made a standard 12″ x 6″ size (this is the size of a license plate), made of turkey-proof material like wood, heavy plastic, or heavy cardboard, and displayed in the upper part of the pen. Make sure to have some way to secure the sign to the pen; examples include predrilled holes and zip ties. Not responsible for loss or damage of signs; remember to hang signs out of reach of curious turkeys. Extra credit is given for upcycling/recycling materials.
     4) Information that needs to be on the front of your sign is Your Name, Age, Number of Years you have been doing the YMTS, and Turkey’s Name. Everything else is up to your artistic license.
      5) Sign will be judged night of Oct. 5th; you must bring and install your sign the day of Weigh-in.

YMTS Youth Ambassador Program

Congratulations to our first Youth Market Turkey Show Ambassador, Maggie Blevins from Davidson County for the year 2020. She did a terrific job under most unusual circumstances! Each year, we are looking for 1-2 youth to be Ambassadors. Please nominate an outstanding youth that would like to learn more about the inner workings of Poultry Youth Programming.

Important Dates

YMTS Weigh In – October 4, 2023, Wed, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Each participant’s turkey can be dropped off at the State Fairgrounds Kelley Building between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.; the date will be finalized by TBD. Drive into the fairgrounds through Gate 4 on Youth Center Drive to drop off turkeys. When you arrive at Gate 4, signage will indicate where you will need to go.

Your bird with be checked for health and weighed. Your turkeys must be transported with bedding like shavings/straw (non-slick surface) to prevent slipping. Birds with infections or weighing less than 12 lbs. will not be accepted for show and will be returned to the exhibitor. Once birds are accepted, they will be numbered with a leg band and put in their pen. You will be asked to bring feed and water and provide it for your bird.

2023 Youth Market Turkey Show – October 5, 2023, 9 a.m.

The show starts at 9:00 a.m. in North Carolina State Fairgrounds Kelley Building


**Registration opens every year the 1st Tuesday in March at 9 a.m.**

The first day of the 2023 registration will be Tuesday, March 7 at 9:00 a.m. Please be sure to have the following information for each participant: full legal name, county of residence, physical address including city, state, zip code, age, and T-shirt size. Please note, this year ages will be based on a January 1st cut-off (rather than June 1st cut-off used in past years).

The age divisions, based on age as of January* 1 are:
Lil’ Gobbler (5-8)
Junior (9-13)
Senior (14-18)



Registration for 2023 YMTS is now closed

all spots including waitlisted are full




A special thanks to the Prestage Department of Poultry Science at NC State University for helping to make this event possible.

Thank you to Aviagen for providing poults for each participant in 2022 YMTS.

For additional information contact

Dr. Mary Fosnaught

Phone: +1 919.515.5529