Duncan Flocks To Sale Of Champions With Third Grand Champion Award; Cairo’s Gates Claims Reserve
Hayden Duncan of Centertown stands with his Grand Champion Pen of Market Poultry. Duncan’s pen claimed top honors at the market poultry contest Aug. 8th, 2023 at the 121st Missouri State Fair. (Photo by Kyle Hill, Alpha Ag Network)

A Centertown exhibitor became the first major winner at this year’s Missouri State Fair.  Hayden Duncan, who will be a junior this fall at Rock Bridge High School in Columbia, emerged Tuesday morning with two of the top five pens at this year’s market poultry contest, including Grand Champion.  It’s the third top prize for Duncan in the contest, having won Grand Champion in 2016 and 2021.  He explains how the previous wins prepared him for this year’s competition.

Duncan’s Grand Champion pen of four birds weighed an average of 6.91 pounds.  His other pen finished fourth.  Duncan was also on the Columbia FFA poultry team that finished second in the nation last year, and will compete at national convention this fall on Columbia’s meats evaluation team.

Last year’s grand champion will return to the Sale of Champions, this time with the Reserve Grand Champion Pen.  Blake Gates, representing the Neighborly Community 4-H Club of Cairo, picked up second place with his pen of birds weighing an average of 6.52 pounds.

Gates noted that he selected his pens from a total of 40 birds… after his sister Jasmine selected four birds for her pen.

A total of 28 pens were judged at this year’s market contest.