Sixth-grader thankful for feast, 4-H and family

Sixth-grader thankful for feast, 4-H and family

Berkley Corey, 11, a sixth-grader at Springfield Intermediate School, holds a pair of chickens that she is raising as part of her 4-H project. She has five chickens, which live in a pen behind her mother’s house in Boardman. Berkley wrote a giving thanks letter to The Vindicator in which she said she was thankful that her parents got her involved in 4-H. Staff photo / R. Michael Semple

NEW SPRINGFIELD — When it comes to being thankful, especially during the holidays, Berkley Corey’s plate is quite full — including being privy to a $950 Thanksgiving feast.

Making today’s pricey dinner possible for Berkley, 11, was that her grandfather, who works for Ohio One Corp., cast the winning bid of four bidders during an auction earlier this year at the Canfield Fair to buy a pair of market chickens.

The birds will be the main course for the family dinner, for which Berkley expressed excitement and thankfulness.

Nevertheless, Berkley’s gratitude doesn’t stop at the dinner table.

Beyond the traditional family meal, Berkley is perhaps most grateful for the chickens she is raising, as well as to her parents for encouraging her to join her 4-H club.

“I love showing my chickens,” Berkley, a Springfield Intermediate School sixth-grader, said. “I’ve won many blue ribbons for that.”

She shared her thankfulness by sending the newspaper a submission for its annual Giving Thanks effort.

Berkley recalled having scant knowledge about 4-H when she became a member about three years ago. Sparking her interest and immersion in the nonprofit youth development organization, though, was largely that “my parents grew up in it,” she explained.

Berkley spends the duration of the annual Canfield Fair on the fairgrounds mainly because she shows her chickens almost daily. When she’s not at the popular fair, she’s busy at her mother’s Boardman residence raising her own five chickens — three of which are called ISA Browns, which are hybrid birds that are known for being excellent egg layers.

The breed’s typical lifespan is three to five years. They also are friendly to humans and lay an average of 280 to 320 eggs annually, according to Eco Peanut, a website that educates and encourages people to live low-impact, sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyles.

She also has two English game bantams, which are muscular birds with long legs as well as long and tight tail feathers.

To her credit, Berkley picked up three blue ribbons at this year’s Canfield Fair, along with a showmanship recognition in which she was judged on her knowledge of the birds, including their anatomical structures, she explained.

In addition to being thankful for her chickens and association with 4-H, the honor roll student holds a wide array of interests such as horseback riding, playing basketball, running and showing her pony, Xena.

Another longtime interest of Berkley’s is aviation, she continued. Consequently, she hopes to one day enlist in the Air Force, Berkley added.

“My little girl works hard at everything she does,” her mother, Whitney Corey, said. “I see part of myself in her growing up. She goes with the flow and has fun at the fair.”

Whitney, an office manager for a local dentist, added that the enjoyment of showing her animals at the Canfield Fair is more important to her than merely winning ribbons.

Equally pleased with Berkley is her father, Glenn Corey, a school resource officer at Springfield Intermediate School.

“I couldn’t be more proud of her,” he added. “She’s a great representative of our school district.”



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