4-H contest brings chickens, crafts to Toyota Park A taste of country life in Chicago at 4-H competition
Saturday, June 27, 2015
Chicago Tribune by Marwa Eltagouri
The small fair in the parking lot of Toyota Park boasted all the fixings of a typical carnival: noisy games, young girls hula-hooping while balancing their cotton candy sticks and the occasional whiff of buttery popcorn.
Around the corner from the bounce house, though, was a more curious scene. An 18-year-old sat in a lawn chair, texting on his phone while a large chicken nestled in his lap.
"Edward? Oh, he's so calm," said Malcolm Hawkins, raising the chicken to his face and ruffling the bird's breast feathers. Edward is one of Hawkins' seven chickens, which he alternatively houses at his former high school and his Auburn Gresham house.
"They live in the garage right now because I don't have a chicken coop yet," he said. "But I'm working on it."
Hawkins was one of about 200 children and teenagers in Bridgeview on Saturday for the Cook County 4-H Fair, a youth competition that judges hundreds of wildlife, gardening and farming projects.
While the 4-H program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is often associated with rural activities, the competition caters to Chicago's urban community by offering competitive categories in visual arts, woodworking, cooking, cake decorating and leadership, said Marilu Andon, youth development educator for the Cook County division of 4-H.
The daylong competition is open to youths ages 8 to 18 and consists of 4-H clubs from communities across the county. More than 1,000 projects were on display Saturday, including plants, birdhouses and sculptures.
Hawkins' project display consisted of several chickens in cages.
He said that his project is part of the animal science category, where judges assess how well competitors can care for farm animals as pets. Last year, Hawkins received the grand champion prize, which won him a ticket to the 4-H state competition.
He said that he first became interested in chickens during his sophomore year at Chicago High School for Agricultural Science, from which he just graduated. A teacher approved Hawkins' purchase of a chicken, which came shipped to him in a box.
"Since then, about seven people have dropped off chickens to me. People who had chickens but couldn't care for them, that sort of thing," he said. "And sometimes, I'll see a chicken that's just really pretty, and I have to have it."
In addition to chickens, Hawkins is interested in horses, which he learned how to care for and raise at school. He plans to attend Black Hawk College in Moline to study equestrian science.
"My end goal is to have a farm," he said.
Senior Emma Hasty, also a CHSAS student, has been participating in the 4-H fair for several years. While she lives in Chicago, she boards her horse, Jack, at a farm in Monee. She visits him every other day.
This year, she decided to enter a drawing in the visual arts category, as well as a few cactuses in the horticulture category.
"4-H allows me to do something with anything I'd like to," she said. "If I get too involved with my horse, then I can participate in the arts."
Cannabis, gambling taxes to boost county amid long-term budget woes Thursday, July 02, 2020 The Daily Line Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what’s happening Thursday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area Thursday, July 02, 2020 Chicago Tribune 'Going To Do The Best We Can': Cook County Adjusts Outreach Strategy For US Census Due To COVID-19 Thursday, July 02, 2020 WBBM Radio Why local school districts are lining up against Fritz Kaegi Thursday, July 02, 2020 Crain's Chicago Business How COVID-19 threatens health care in Cook County Thursday, July 02, 2020 Crain's Chicago Business Cook County’s new website shows nearly half of census funds spent on advertising, marketing Wednesday, July 01, 2020 Chicago Sun-Times Forest Preserves of Cook County opens more in Phase 4 Wednesday, July 01, 2020 Daily Herald Dart, other county sheriffs demand state prisons start accepting inmates again Wednesday, July 01, 2020 Chicago Sun-Times A COVID-19 surge in your county? New Illinois website offers ways to check. Wednesday, July 01, 2020 Chicago Tribune Chicago, Cook County, Illinois raise minimum wage Wednesday Wednesday, July 01, 2020 The Daily Line Illinois ends June with about half the daily COVID-19 deaths and new cases as in peak month of May Tuesday, June 30, 2020 Chicago Sun-Times Kim Foxx confirms office will err on side of dismissing cases related to protests, curfew Tuesday, June 30, 2020 Chicago Sun-Times Kim Foxx plans to drop charges against those violating curfew, Fox 32 news reports Monday, June 29, 2020 Chicago Sun-Times Illinois minimum wage increases take effect July 1 Monday, June 29, 2020 ABC 7 Eyewitness News Home property taxes still rising despite bigger hike on business Monday, June 29, 2020 Crain's Chicago Business Illinois announces 15 additional coronavirus deaths, lowest one-day total since March Sunday, June 28, 2020 Chicago Sun-Times Former county health chief: Racism common factor in deaths in ’95 Chicago heat wave, COVID-19 Sunday, June 28, 2020 Chicago Sun-Times ‘And She Could Be Next’ profiles grassroots political heroines of the moment Sunday, June 28, 2020 Chicago Sun-Times Amazon to open two new fulfillment centers in south suburbs Saturday, June 27, 2020 Chicago Crusader
Cook County courts reopening July 6 Friday, June 26, 2020 Crain's Chicago Business
all news items