Berrien County fair announces changes to poultry exhibits

Published 10:10 am Friday, June 19, 2015

Although no live birds will be allowed on the fairgrounds, there will be poultry exhibits at this year’s Berrien County Youth Fair.

Earlier this month, Berrien County Youth Fair officials made the decision to cancel the exhibition of poultry and waterfowl — including egg exhibits — at this year’s event.

This decision came in the wake of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s decision to cancel such exhibits statewide to prevent the potential spread of a strain of influenza that has proven deadly to many types of birds.

Since then, fair officials have been working on coming up with alternative classes for the poultry exhibitors.

Nearly 400 youth showed poultry at last year’s fair.

The fair is offering the following poultry classes this year:

• Showmanship — Judging will be done using a stuffed bird, which will be provided.

• Interview Judging — Exhibitors must bring a photo of their bird.

The judge will ask each exhibitor questions based on their breed.

• Education Display of a Single Poultry Topic — The type of display is an exhibitor’s choice, but can’t contain any real poultry products such as feathers or eggs.

• Biosecurity Poster — Poster must creatively educate on protecting birds from Avian Influenza. All posters will be reviewed prior to being displayed in order to ensure accuracy of the exhibit.

The registration deadline for 2015 alternative poultry classes as well as the regular BCYF small animal deadline is July 1. Registration is open to any Berrien County resident, ages 5 to 20 years of age. The exhibitor age is as of Jan. 1, 2015.

Entry can be made at the fair office or online at

The Berrien County Youth Fair will take place Aug. 17-22 with the theme “Blue Ribbon Bash” in celebration of its 70th anniversary.

Similarly, the Cass County Fair will be offering a poultry show using stuffed birds. The Cass County Fair is Aug. 2-8.