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4-H clover Learning about leadership and birds

4-H'ers Brian Pierce and Morgan Molitor teach Poultry 101.
4-H'ers Brian Pierce and Morgan Molitor teach Poultry 101

4-H'ers in Benton County are demonstrating how far passion for learning can take you. Morgan Molitor, Bryant Pierce and Austin Molitor are interested in poultry. Through 4-H project learning, they have learned so much about these birds that they are sharing their knowledge with others.

Recently, they shared their poultry passion with youth and adults, in a 4-H workshop called “Poultry 101." Backed by a slide presentation, Morgan, Bryant and Austin started with the basics, noting the differences between market chickens and production chickens, both white egg layers and brown egg layers. Then they dug deep into the finer points of breeding and market pens for ducks, geese and turkeys, guineas, pigeons and doves. Their workshop included taking participants to a hatchery so they could see chicks hatching, as well as chicks at two weeks and four weeks old. The workshop concluded with a session for participants to plan their own hatcheries.

Developing Poultry 101 was a group project for the three talented youth. Morgan, a ninth-grader, and sibling Austin, a seventh-grader, live in Sauk Rapids. Bryant is a ninth-grader from Foley.

“I was excited to see all of the enthusiasm and excitement”, Morgan said, sharing credit with her co-teachers. “It was definitely a group effort for the event with Austin and Bryant.”

A chance to lead

Morgan has distinguished herself as both a poultry enthusiast and a leader. She serves on the Minnesota 4-H State Fair Animal Science Project Development Committee's poultry sub-committee, which plans and runs 4-H events during the fair. Serving on the PDC is an honor given to very few youth across the state. Morgan was one of several applicants.

She was elated and a little nervous to serve on this committee, according to local 4-H educator Ann Olson. But Morgan has represented Benton County with knowledge and confidence, making Benton County 4-H proud. 

At her first PDC meeting, Morgan brought a list of ideas for improving the youth experience during 4-H Poultry shows. Some of the improvements were adopted right away. Others will take some time to work through - such as her idea to allow market poultry projects into the Purple Ribbon Auction.

Morgan plans to expand her teaching experience by offering a statewide poultry clinic next year. And she will learn more about civic engagement during a summer trip with 4-H Citizenship Washington Focus.

“4-H has given me leadership skills and confidence I never knew I had,” Morgan said.

Morgan, Bryant and Austin are just three of the dynamic youth who are doing amazing things in 4-H. Find out more about the 4-H Poultry Project, youth leadership opportunities and how to join 4-H.

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