Emma Postle holds up the plaque and mug she received for showing the Champion Market Chicken during the 2023 Delaware County Fair.

Courtesy | Erica Postle

Emma Postle, 11, a sixth grader at Olentangy Orange Middle School, won the Grand Champion Market Chicken Pen of 3 class at the Delaware County Fair.

“Grand Champion means the highest placing livestock entry of a show,” states the definitions by the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

This is the third year Emma has shown at the fair. She and older sister, Isabel, have 15 chickens total, received Aug. 4 from Champion Feed on routes 36/37.

The chickens were raised in a barn, said Emma’s mother, Erica Postle. The barn is on the family farm in Lewis Center, and Emma’s father David’s family has lived there for 200 years.

The contest was held on the opening day of the fair, Sept. 16, at the poultry barn. On Wednesday afternoon, the barn teardown began.

Emma is a member of 4-H club Set-4-Success. The rules note that “Exhibitors in the Delaware County Junior Fair must be 4-H, FFA, FCCLA (Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America), Scouts, Farm Bureau Youth Council, Skills USA or any Industrial Technology Club members. All exhibitors must be in the third grade and eight years of age as of January 1 of the exhibit year to make individual exhibits and must not have reached their 19th birthday as of January 1 of the exhibit year or be enrolled in the K-2nd grade Cloverbud 4-H program.”

Emma provided some written answers to The Gazette about her showing.

“They (the chickens) had a more brick shaped breast then the others, they had perfect feet, and they were a very uniform pen of 3 birds,” Emma said. The hardest thing about raising them was “constantly checking to make sure they have enough water and food; they eat and drink a lot at the end. Bathing them before fair is also hard but fun. I like picking the birds and weighing them.”

“All exhibitors must properly feed and water their stock and keep pens clean,” said the Junior Fair Handbook. “Failure to do so will forfeit premiums. All Exhibitors must provide their own bedding. Bedding must be wood shavings; cedar is not allowed. No straw can be used for bedding. All supplies need to be stored underneath cages, aisles kept clean and clear.”

Emma said this was her first win.

“I always wanted to win, especially since my sister got reserve grand champion in 2021,” she said. “I like auction and judging the most, also the rides and food! My future plans are to continue with chickens and try to win again.”

Assistant Editor Gary Budzak photographs and reports on stories in eastern Delaware County and surrounding areas.