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HOUSTON – After months of preparing their broilers and turkeys for the world’s largest livestock show and rodeo, Texas 4-H and FFA members efforts’ were rewarded, Thursday, March 16, during the Junior Market Poultry Champion Selection at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

Buckholts FFA member Cooper Meinards, 16, earned Grand Champion Pen of Broilers. In his fifth year competing at the Show, Meinards said he has had help making it this far.

“A lot of people have been an inspiration, but Lana McDurnam got me started showing,” Cooper said. “She’s known me a long time and is a good family friend.”

The Reserve Grand Champion Pen of Broilers was shown by Kamryn Till, 11, of Wharton County 4-H. The Nada, Texas, native said her biggest challenge this season was getting up in the mornings, but it taught her responsibility.

“This season has been stressful,” Kamryn said. “It’s a lot of work, [but] it feels pretty awesome.”

Thomas Oman, 12, a Taylor 4-H member, exhibited the Grand Champion Turkey. Showing turkeys is an Oman family tradition that Thomas is proud to continue.

“It’s fun and has been in my family since my dad was young,” Thomas said.

First-time Show competitor, Hewston Lochte, 9, won Reserve Champion Turkey. The Wrede 4-H member thanked his dad for helping him achieve this accomplishment.

“My biggest inspiration is my dad,” Hewston said. “He helped me take care of the turkeys.”

Exhibitors will sell their broilers and turkeys in the Junior Market Poultry Auction, Friday, March 17, at noon.

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is a Section 501(c)(3) charity that benefits youth, supports education, and facilitates better agricultural practices through exhibitions and presentation. Since its beginning in 1932, the Show has committed more than $430 million to the youth of Texas. For more information, visit rodeohouston.com and connect with #RODEOHOUSTON online via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube for all of the latest news. The 2017 Show continues through March 26.

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