The 2019 Delaware County Junior Fair’s Grand Champion Market Turkey honor was awarded to Emily Coy, a 17-year-old senior at Buckeye Valley High School. Coy’s bird went up against 42 other entries before being selected as the best of the bunch.
Malia Gibson, who is a member of the Barrels, Rails & Such 4-H Club, was named the Reserve Grand Champion Market Turkey.
For Coy, who is a member of the Barnyard Busters 4-H Club and the Buckeye Valley FFA chapter, this is her first Grand Champion winner in a showing career that has spanned nine years. In addition to turkeys, which she said she has shown for most of her years, Coy has also showed horses and dairy heifers.
Coy said she has been around animals her entire life and enjoys it, which is what led her to want to get into showing.
“It’s really fun for me,” she said of spending time around animals.
Asked why she chose turkeys as her primary show animal, Coy said both her brothers have shown turkeys as well, and watching them do so sparked her interest in following in their footsteps.
Coy said judges from year to year can be different in what, specifically, they are looking for in a champion turkey. This year, she said the judge was looking at the heart girth of the turkey, how the meat on the bird was portioned throughout the body, and also the amount of fat.
“It’s a lot of hard work. We raised them from babies,” Coy said of her and her brothers’ birds. “I sat with them whenever I could. My bird was very calm and tame. Constant food, water and light.”
As a high school senior, this year marked the final year of showing for Coy, who ended her show career with the top prize. As for her advice to anyone who is looking to get into showing or has just started their show career, Coy preached hard work and a good attitude.
“Go in there with a positive attitude, and smile at the judge,” she said. “Work with your animal. Even if you don’t win, you still did a great job because all of these 4-H exhibitors put a lot of hard work into their animals and other projects. Just do your best, and the most important thing is to have fun.”
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis.