Woodward breaks record at Ohio State Fair

| August 7, 2019

COLUMBUS – Johnathan Woodward has been showing animals at the Coshocton County Fair for four years including turkeys, ducks, chickens, and rabbits. He has graced the arena at the Ohio State Fair for the past three years showing his animals, but this year’s Ohio State Fair was a bit different.

When Woodward took his turkey Big Bird, BB for short, to the Ohio State Fair, he was awarded Grand Champion Market Turkey. Woodward is the first person from Coshocton County to have a grand champion animal selected at the Ohio State Fair.

On Sunday, Aug. 4, he sold BB at the Ohio State Fair where he broke the record for the amount paid for a grand champion market turkey in the history of the state fair. BB was purchased by Cooper Farms, Farmer Boy Ag, Sarka Electric, Dangler Excavating, and Kale Marketing for $16,500.

“I was super excited,” said Woodward about breaking the record. “I’d like to thank them [the buyers] as much as possible for buying my turkey. I’d also like to thank Cooper Farms for sponsoring the plaques and the trophies.”

Woodward is in his fifth year raising turkeys. He said that for market turkeys, he walks them daily to help build up their breast and leg muscles and that he spends about an hour with them in the mornings and at night feeding and watering his birds.

“It’s amazing because he just works so hard,” said Jacque Woodward, Johnathan’s mom. “This is his project, and this is what he does. He’s the one out there taking care of them and feeding them. It’s so amazing that he has fixed these goals and works toward them and does them. How can we not be proud of him?”

Johnathan has had BB since the turkey was one day old and purchased it from a hatchery. Since then, Johnathan has raised and cared for the bird all by himself. Jacque said that Johnathan pays for the feed and care items needed to take care of the birds and that he built his own turkey barn. He also sells his turkeys as Thanksgiving turkeys and has his own business where he sells ground turkey. He also donates turkeys to local churches.

Johnathan said he tried to walk BB a lot to get him ready for the Ohio State Fair because there are a lot more turkeys competing at state and he wanted BB to stand out above the rest, which apparently, he did.

“It’s super cool and fun,” said Johnathan. “My favorite part about the project is showing.”

Not only did Johnathan show BB at the state fair, but he also competed in archery at state and received an outstanding rating. He still enters special interest projects into the county fair every year as well.

“It was an amazing thing,” said Jacque. “The Ohio State Fair Junior Poultry Division did an amazing job and it’s for the youth.”

Out of the $16,500, Johnathan was able to keep $3,000. The rest of the funds go toward other poultry programs at the state fair and are used to purchase belt buckles, awards, and as cash prizes.

Johnathan said he plans to save the money until he can extend his turkey barn. If he decides not to expand his barn, Johnathan said he will save the money for college where he would like to earn a degree in poultry science.

Category: People & Places

About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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