• Age: 15
• Hometown: Phillipsburg, Mo.
• Parents: Matt and Nikki Wilson
• 4-H Club: Show Barn
• Club Leader: Steve Cushing
• FFA: Conway FFA
• Advisors: Joseph Stratton and Mary Anne Keck
Involvement in agriculture: Sydni Wilson, 15, is a sophomore at Conway High School. She owns approximately 60 to 70 chickens, and the family also has a rabbit, ducks, and beef cattle.
Sydni credits the 4-H Club with getting her started with chickens. She wanted to show animals at the fair and decided chickens would suit her age and handling abilities. She raises, shows, collects eggs for sale, and butchers her own chickens for the family table. Excess eggs are donated to the Phillipsburg Christian Church food pantry which helps to feed those in need.
“I can do it all; from start to finish, although my dad usually helps with the butchering part,” Sydni said.
In the summer, she won grand champion in the broiler division for four Cornish Cross males at the Laclede County Fair in Lebanon. She also entered a Silver Sebright in the bantam division and came away with a first-place ribbon.
“I use a high-protein feed from MFA to make them grow bigger quicker. And I also put their food up off the ground so they have to reach for it,” Sydni said about raising broilers. “This makes them use their muscles and grow stronger.”
She bathes the chickens before each show and shows males because they will be bigger than same-aged females.
Other projects: In addition to chickens, Sydni is very interested in horticulture and hopes to make selling her own started plants a Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) in FFA. She helps plant, weed and harvest a 2,000 square foot garden at home and has accumulated a large quantity of succulents over the winter. She knows how to propagate them from little rosettes and also takes cuttings from other plants and starts new ones.
Future Plans: Sydni’s future plans are to attend college to become a botanist after she graduates from high school.