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Poultry judging coach honored for contributions to 4-H youth

Posted: May 15, 2012

Penn State Extension's 4-H Poultry Program has recognized a Pennsylvania county 4-H leader for her efforts in teaching youth about the poultry industry. Donna Broderick, of Lansdale, received the Pennsylvania Poultry Youth Service Award for outstanding contributions to youth poultry educational programs at the local, regional, state and national level.
Poultry Youth Service Award winner Donna Broderick

Poultry Youth Service Award winner Donna Broderick

An assistant 4-H leader for the Montgomery County Birds of a Different Feather Poultry Club, Broderick assists with educational activities that help the club's 50 members study the science of poultry. She also supports club members who receive awards or exhibit posters or animals at events such as the Pennsylvania Farm Show.

Broderick has been involved with the poultry club for nine years, but her focus for the past four years has been the club's poultry judging team, which she began. To help team members study, she created flashcards, literature and tests based on materials from the state poultry competition. She worked with team members throughout the year and helped them qualify for the state championship.

Under Broderick's leadership, the poultry judging team has qualified for the state contest four times and for the national 4-H competition twice. At the team's first national competition in 2009, it brought home first place.

Her coaching never ceased, even when the teams were at the national events.

"The night before the competition, she called a team meeting in the girls' hotel room," said Jamie Cameron, a member of Broderick's poultry judging team that competed in the 2011 national competition. "It blew our minds when she pulled eggs and broiler parts out of a cooler to practice with. We spread a tarp on the hotel floor and candled eggs and debated what made a part a whole leg instead of a leg quarter."

Cameron said that because of Broderick's dedication, the team took second place that year, and team members placed third, fourth and ninth individually.

Broderick also works at the county fair in several different roles, such as organizing ticket sales and coordinating workers for the poultry club's fundraiser. She is a certified poultry technician and helps test the county's birds for exhibition.