UW Grant Helps Hatch Poultry Operation-Update

UW Grant Helps Hatch Poultry Operation-Update
Posted on 11/13/2019
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With Thanksgiving dinner approaching, the second part of an Indian Lake High School/Ohio Hi-Point FFA project is winding down.  

FFA member Allix Cotterman has been raising turkeys on campus this fall. They arrived as poults in August. The turkeys are now fully grown and about to be processed, so they can be served on plates this holiday season. 

Cotterman says raising the birds has definitely been a learning experience. 

“The turkeys are larger and much more aggressive than the chickens I had in the summer. We’ve had to come up with ways to keep them from pecking each other all the time,” she explains. 

Cotterman, with help from several of her fellow FFA members, has fed, watered and cared for the turkeys all fall. A few had to be moved out of the flock to keep them healthy. 

ILHS/OHP FFA Advisor Tanner Schoen says the FFA received a $4,000 two-part Impact Grant from the United Way of Logan County in the spring. Part of the money was used to purchase feed and bedding for 150 chickens. Cotterman raised those chickens over the summer and won Grand Champion at the Logan County Fair. The remaining chickens were processed and more than 500 pounds of meat was donated to local food banks. The rest of the grant money was used to purchase the turkey poults and supplies to raise them. 

Cotterman was able to pre-sell 25 of birds to local buyers and the other half will be donated to area families who need a turkey for their Thanksgiving or Christmas meal.

The project is part of Cotterman's official supervised agricultural experience for FFA. 

A United Way grant will help the Indian Lake High School/Ohio Hi Point FFA Chapter hatch a more extensive chicken and turkey raising operation.

The Logan County United Way Allocations Committee recently awarded the ILHS/OHP FFA Chapter a grant for $4,000.  United Way Director Dave Bezusko presented the check during the March Indian Lake Board of Education Meeting. 

FFA Advisor Tanner Schoen explains the money will be used to purchase food and bedding and supplement processing fees for their chicken and turkey raising efforts on campus. 

Last summer a handful of his students raised chickens in the FFA shop area. Students showed them at the Logan County Fair and won the prizes for both Grand and Reserve Champion. Their success and interest in raising the birds led Schoen to expand on the idea. 

He says, “It’s getting kids, a lot of those who don’t come from farms, a chance to actually be a part of food producing.”

Earlier this year, the Logan County Farm Bureau awarded ILHS/OHP FFA a $7,350 grant to construct a “Chick-N-Hutch” building to house a poultry operation. 

Schoen says the students will be able to raise roughly 160 chickens starting in late May. About 40-percent of the chickens will go the Logan County Fair. The rest will be processed and given to local food banks. Schoen estimates they will be able to donate approximately 500-pounds of chicken. 

Once the chicken projects are complete, Schoen plans to purchase 50 turkey chicks or “poults.” The students will raise the poults through out the fall. They hope to process and sell half the turkeys to customers. The other half they plan to donate families who might need a turkey for Thanksgiving.  

Schoen hopes the success of the program will lead to local sponsorships or further grant opportunities.