Written by Cindy Kinard, Youth Leader Florida

A leader is an everyday person with a genuine desire to teach others about the poultry fancy. They should be able to maintain records. They should have the ability to work with other group leaders such as 4-H, FFA and county and state fair small animal directors. (These group leaders are already in place for the most part and only need to be educated about the fancy.)

They should be able to attend several shows, county fairs and state fairs within their own state and to generally be available for information. Should group leaders need help locating birds for their youngsters to show.match them up with reputable breeders. Does the county fair director need to know how to set up an attractive poultry area...share ideas with them.

The FFA group needs to learn poultry basics...conduct a clinic or teach their leader. The list could go on and on.

To put it another way; the Standard of Perfection for judging youth leaders is as follows:

Face: Always smiling and alert, without tendency to get hackles raised or use spurs.
Hands: Working (no cuts for being dirty).
Feet: Moving
Weight: All sizes and weights are accepted.
Breed & Variety: There will be various shapes, types and colors...being distinctive is encouraged.
All are shown with defects and the only DQs are mean spirited or lazy.
Rewards: The reward is always the Super Grand Champion feeling that comes with the knowledge that you have succeeded in helping others.

If your state does not have a leader, consider doing it. There are still some states that have not located a youth representative, leaving the youth exhibitors with the support of their local 4-H or FFA leaders only, but no direct contact with the fancy. You could be the missing link in the chain that would connect local youth with the national organization and give them the support they need to be successful in their hobby.

If a youth representative is already in place, you may still be an associate leader or offer your assistance to any of the leaders already in place.

Want suggestions? Hatch chicks for 4-H or FFA children, volunteer to teach a seminar or clinic or to assist in teaching a class at a clinic, take some kids to a show, become a tester for the youth program. Set up a table at a show or fair, demonstrate how to build cages for a group, incubate eggs for the fair, sponsor awards at a fair, donate a little time at a fair.
While a few hours of our time, a few dollars, a few eggs, chicks or birds may not seem like much to us, they can make a huge difference in the life of a child. You can be make this difference!!