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2019 4-H Chick Chain Project

baby chick in grassWell’s FRM was one of my favorite places to go with my dad when I was a little girl…especially when baby chicks arrived.  With spring right around the corner, local feed stores will be getting shipments of baby chicks soon.  Have you thought about raising baby chicks but are unsure how to?  Then join us in the 4-H Chick Chain project!

4-H Chick Chain teaches youth how to raise baby chicks to laying age using science-based best practices.  At the end of the project, youth compete in a showmanship and skill-a-thon contest to test their knowledge and also exhibit their birds for judging and awards.

You’ll purchase or hatch your own chicks during the month of March 2019.  The number you choose to purchase or hatch is up to you, but we recommend that you begin with at least three chicks.

Chicks must be from the following breeds:

Child holding baby chicks in his hands.

Chicken breeds have unique needs and personalities. Do some research before you choose your breed.

  • Australorp
  • Barred Rock
  • Brahma
  • Jersey Giant
  • Leghorn
  • Orpington
  • Rhode Island Red
  • Silky
  • Welsummer
  • Wyandotte

The 4-H Chick Chain is designed to take you step-by-step through the process of raising your birds to healthy laying age.

There is an orientation webinar and a hands-on workshop to get you ready for the show you’ll attend during the summer.  Your 4-H Agent or project volunteer can also make a home visit to check up on your progress.

4-H Chick Chain is open to all youth ages 5-18 who are enrolled or enroll as new members in 4-H.  Enroll now.
Registration opens March 1 and closes March 31 in 4honline.
Families can share a project, but each youth should be individually registered.
Members who participated in the 2018 4-H Chick Chain project can register as a returning production project.


  • 2019 New Project:  $20
  • 2018 Returning Production Project:  $10

To learn all about the project, read the 2019 4-H Chick Chain Youth Project Guide.

If you’re an adult with a love of poultry that you’d like to share with others, consider becoming a 4-H poultry project leader.  Our programs include 4-H Embryology in the Classroom, 4-H Chick Chain, and 4-H livestock clubs.  Visit to find out more.  To learn more about 4-H in your county, contact your local UF/IFAS Extension Office.

Still have questions about 4-H Chick Chain?  Contact project chair – Julie P. Dillard – or call 850.638.6180.  

youth display their awards

Best of Breed winners from the 2018 4-H Chick Chain.

Looking for 4-H Leadership Opportunities? Join us at Third Exec!

My very first Executive Board I was terrified! The thought of having to meet new people from across the state of Florida and having to plan an event made my stomach weak. Little did I know that my best friends would come from 4-H Executive Board weekends. I was able to make connections with people I never thought I would ever talk to, and I am so grateful that 4-H is the place where I am able to continue to make lifelong friendships. So don’t miss the chance of a lifetime.

What is the 4-H Executive Board?

Group of youth sitting on floor talking

Learn more about 4-H state events at Third Exec.

The Florida 4-H State Executive Board consists of four delegates from each of the 13 4-H districts, up to 30 Executive Board Appointees, and the eight Florida 4-H State Officers. The members attend working committee meetings at Executive Board Weekends, where they offer input into our state events. Committee members also play a vital role in the implementation of those events. Other committees work on planning and implementing a state-wide community service project, fundraising, parliamentary procedure education, entertainment, and communication/marketing.

Youth in costume contest

Work hard…play hard!

The Florida 4-H State Executive Board invites youth (4-H ages 13-18) to immerse themselves in the planning process behind state events including 4-H University, 4-H Legislature, 4-H Day at The Capital and Intermediate State. First and Second Executive Board sessions are reserved for those delegates appointees and state officers only, but any 4-H member can attend Third Executive Board.

Join us at Third Executive Board!

At Third Executive Board, you can expect to learn more about events you may not be familiar with. Throughout the weekend, you’ll also have to opportunity to participate in state-wide service projects, the Ways and Means fundraiser, Parliamentary Procedure contest, camp-wide games, dances, and more. The weekend of Third Executive Board is one like no other!

“Executive Board is the 4-H event that has something for everyone. It’s more than just ‘everybody is welcome.’  It’s that the event was made for them regardless of who they are or what background they come from.”
– Jared Heady – 4-H Executive Board Member, Walton County.

4-H friends are the best friends!

Third Executive Board will be held at 4-H Camp Cherry Lake in Madison, FL, on March 1-3, 2019. The cost for non-Executive Board Members is $120, and $110 for Executive Board Members. Registration for this event opens February 1, 2019 and closes February 22, 2019 in 4honline.

I hope to see you at Third Executive Board to make memories that will last a lifetime!

picture of 4-H state officer, Kata Muellerleile

Kata Muellerleile, Florida 4-H State Council Reporter 

Special thanks to Kata for being a guest writer this week! 

For more information on 4-H in your county, contact your local UF/IFAS Extension office.  

Say CHEESE! Exploring Dairy Science

Youth in a cheese making workshop

Can making mozzarella cheese really help you find your future career?

As an Extension Agent, I’ve attended numerous 4-H events through the years. Recently, I co-taught workshop at the National Youth Summit on Agri-Science at the National 4-H Center.  Along with 4-H Dairy & Poultry Science Specialist, Chris Decubellis, FCS Agent, Jill Breslawski, and Dairy Regional Special Agent, Coleen Larson, we instructed 53 teens from 23 states in our two workshops!

Careers and Cheese…There’s a Connection!

Teens were introduced to agri-science during the keynote address by Mr. Ted McKinney, the Under Secretary of Agriculture for Trade and Foreign Agriculture Affairs. Summit sessions included introductions to career options and agri-science hands-on workshops.  The questions and levels of interest were refreshing. I was most impressed with a young lady who expressed hesitation about attending the summit – she thought it would be solely farm-based topics.  After she participated in our Exploring Dairy Science workshop (incorporating a presentation on a wide variety of careers available in the Dairy Science field and a hands-on activity making mozzarella cheese), she inquired about my career.  As we discussed the vast realm of degrees one could hold to work as an Extension Agent and the wide variety of jobs available in Extension, she then shared she had found some direction for her future study in college when she entered as a college freshman in the fall of 2020.

Look Past the Title

Witnessing teens discover fields of study that meet their interests is the best reward!  These type of 4-H youth opportunities help teens in so many ways.  I encourage all 4-Hers to look past an event title, explore the event opportunities and keep an open mind. It could be a life changing experience!

For more information on 4-H in your county as well as state and national level events, contact your local UF/IFAS Extension office.  Learn more about the Florida 4-H Dairy project.

This  article was written by Marie Arick, UF/IFAS Extension Liberty County, County Extension Director & Family/Consumer Sciences Agent.

Putting Hands to Larger Service into Action

Hands to Larger Service…a perfect description of the amazing teens of the Jefferson County 4-H Teen Council.

Teens stand with yard tools in front of a yard they are cleaning.

The hardworking Jefferson County 4-H Teen Council.

The naturally curious Jefferson 4-H County Council put their best foot forward as they volunteered in Panama City on Saturday, October 20. The teens spent the entire day moving and piling tree limbs, garbage, housing debris and miscellaneous items.  These resilient teens worked around utility workers, fallen power line, utility poles and even worked through the rain.

“It was very devastating,”  said Sierra.

Sarah added, “The devastation that we saw was unreal compared to what we’ve seen broadcasted on the news.”

“It was just amazing to witness,” Crandall added.

Youth cleaning up yard debrisAfter spending the day in Panama City, Jada Mosley says that the trip home to Jefferson County served as a time to reflect on all they had witnessed in the city. “I was very grateful,” said Jada.

“These teens have displayed practical application of Extension’s youth leadership to the Disaster Relief efforts. They displayed service above self,” reports John Lilly, Jefferson County Extension Director.  “This experience gave the council real-world hands-on learning that will prepare them for future disasters.”

People pose as a group

Homeowner and Bay County 4-H Agent with her clean-up crew.


Hurricane Michael was particularly hard on the Extension family because it affected so many of our own – including every member of the UF/IFAS Bay County Extension office.



John Lilly, Jefferson County CED & 4-H Agent

Special thanks to John Lilly, UF/IFAS Jefferson County Extension Director & 4-H Agent for providing this article and pictures.




2018 4-H Chick Chain Results

2018 4-H Chick Chain

The final link in the 4-H Chick Chain project closed on Saturday as 4-H members from the northwest extension district participated in a showmanship and skill-a-thon contest and brought their best birds for judging.

Skill-a-Thon Seniors

Skill-a-Thon Juniors

Skill-a-Thon Intermediates

Showmanship –  This tests youth on how knowledgeable they are about the care, nutrition and health of their project and how they handle their bird.

Junior Showmanship – 1st Taylor Anderson,
2nd Tucker Padgett, 3rd Emma Weeks

Intermediate Showmanship – 1st Catherine Proud, 2nd David Marr, 3rd Brodie Price

Senior Showmanship – 1st Kearsten Dalton, 2nd Hailey Dalton, 3rd Brayden Price


Best of Breed winners

Exhibition – How the youth fed and cared for their projects was also put to the test as the birds were judged on breed characteristics and production potential.

Best of Breed Barred Rock – JaceBryan Broxson

Best of Breed Buff Orpington – Ethan Thornburry

Best of Breed Cochin – Brooks Marr

Best of Breed Cuckoo Maran – Kearsten Dalton

Best of Breed Speckled Sussex – Emma Fore

Best of Breed White Leghorn – Bella Price



Overall Grand Champion and Reserve Champion

Grand and Reserve Champions

From the Best of Breed winners, an overall grand champion and reserve champion were named.

Overall Reserve Champion – Emma Fore

Overall Grand Champion – Bella Price







Best of Show Production Bird

Best of Show Production

Youth who have participated in the 4-H Chick Chain in 2016 and 2017 also brought their best production birds to be judged.  Birds were judged on production elements.

Best of Show Production – Brayden Price








Skill-a-Thon Juniors

Skill-a-Thon Intermediates

Skill-a-Thon Seniors

Skill-a-thon is a hands-on way to test general knowledge of poultry including identifying breeds, setting up a brooder, reading a feed label, identifying common poultry diseases and identifying parts of the chicken.





Photography Top Senior


Our newest category youth this year included photography.  We had several entries featuring the birds at all ages of the project.

Best of Show Photography Senior – Hailey Dalton






Cloverbud Exhibitors


Our Cloverbud 4-H members are an important part of our project.  Even though they are non-competing, they participated in every aspect of the show, skill-a-thon and project books.

Be sure to like the 4-H in the Panhandle Facebook page to get the latest information on when registration for the 2019 4-H Chick Chain project will open.  There’s also a comprehensive list of all of the award winners from this year!

Thanks for participating