Corner Column

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This week we are going to take a slight break from talking about, well, you know what, to talk about chickens.

Specifically the young people in Wood County who have raised their chickens for the broiler show of the Wood County Junior Livestock Show.

They were supposed to have that show last weekend, but, as with everything else, it has been postponed.

If you know a little about raising chickens to show, and that’s how much I know about it – a little – you know that there is a time limit. The students pick up their chicks a certain number of days ahead of the stock show and then see who can do the best job raising them, selecting the three best to show.

So when the livestock show had to be postponed, that didn’t work for the chickens, who frankly have an expiration date.

So the plan was to go ahead and show them April 8 even though the rest of the show was pushed back to April 16-18 and then possibly April 30-May 2.

But even that wasn’t going to work, so the county ag teachers banded together last Tuesday to gather all the chickens and also be their handlers for the judging.

The show was broadcast online, and the result is that we now have this year’s broiler champion for Wood County, Michael Miller. At one point 160 were viewing the show.

I’m sure that has to be a first, live broadcasting a chicken show from a local county stock show.

It’s been interesting to watch school board, city council and county commissioner meetings online, but who could have predicted watching ag teachers take turns exhibiting their students’ poultry for the judge to determine the grand and reserve champions.

At least one got a little extra souvenir from the wrong end of the bird.

This is just one more example of the imagination and perseverance of our teachers trying to make this online learning thing work as well as it can.

They do need a gentle scolding for perhaps not always being a full six feet apart, especially on the day the county’s first COVID-19 case was announced.

But their hearts were definitely in the right place.

This is just another example of the kinds of upset this pandemic has brought upon our lives, and the memories our students are being cheated out of through no fault of their own.

No, it isn’t fair, and in many cases, there really isn’t a good way to make up for it.

Our youth are having to learn some pretty tough lessons at a far too early age.

But hopefully what they will take away from all this is not just the negatives, the unfairness, but the experience of seeing folks around them having to come up with new and different ways of doing things without a lot of time to figure them out. Those are lessons that will definitely serve them well as they venture into a future that is always unknown, but especially now.

Being able to think on your feet, improvise, and come up with a workable, if not ideal, solution is a lesson whose value may not be known for years, but will no doubt prove important.