Brodie Oliver is an 11-year-old 5th grader at Bonner Elementary and the son of Clay and Stephanie Oliver. He has 2 brothers and a sister: Bosten, 14, 8th grade at Hudson Middle School. Brynn, 13, 7th grade Hudson Middle School, and Baylor, 8, attends Peavy Primary.
Brodie has been part of 4-H since his 3rd grade year but this is his first year to have a project. His mom Stephanie says, “We were in between houses for the last two years so logistics were not in our favor to have any animal projects.” In previous years, his siblings both made the sale with their broilers. His mom continues, “Competition is high in the family, so he is bound and determined to not only make the sale but perform higher in the order than they did!”
When asked why he chose the broiler project, Brodie says, “My dad chose the project.” Clay states, “I think this project has the best return for our investment.”
Brodies is really honest about what he enjoys and doesn’t enjoy “I like watching them grow. They grow very quickly. I do not enjoy when they die, but I have learned just as much when they do not make it. I have a few good lessons to share but better keep those out of this story.”
He goes on to say, “The hardest part is filling feeder and the water buckets. They are very heavy. We started with 100 chicks. Filling feeders and water buckets for 100 birds is not only a lot of physical work but very time consuming.”
Clay and Stephanie agree, “We want all of our kids to see the hard work it takes to raise and care for an animal. Hopefully, creating a strong work ethic for not only animals but life in general. Just because you worked hard, doesn’t mean you will end up at the top. No matter the outcome, there is always something to learn.”
Stephanie says, “On a more personal note, we love any family bonding opportunity. Our three oldest are working on the same project so they share the workload. There is a lot of communication, frustration, working together, laughter, they are learning and sharing with each other.”
“Our family enjoys the 4-H programs because of the work ethic it creates as well as cultivating the family unit. Everything from the meetings, to projects, to county fair- it’s all family oriented. We enjoy doing things that create a bond between us, creating good, bad, and funny memories.”
What’s good and bad? Stephanie states, “Good is making the sale. Bad was using our attached garage of our house for the chicken pen. Bad idea! Bad memory! And funny was our daughter having to hold her broiler to be judged!”
In addition to raising broilers for the Angelina County Fair, Brodie is very active and loves to work. He plays basketball with Hudson Youth Basketball League. He is part of the volunteer leadership team at his school called Bonner Gives Back. He is active at Harmony Hill Baptist Church, participates in Pineywoods Youth Rodeo in team roping and is an avid skateboarder. Brodie has even been working on starting a new compost business from natural animal waste on the farm.
This year’s broiler show at the Angelina County Fair will be on Tuesday, April 16 starting at 6 pm in the main arena at the George H. Henderson Expo. The entire County Fair is from Monday, April 15 thru Saturday, April 20 concluding with the sale on Saturday evening. The auction will be Saturday evening in the main arena starting at 4 pm.