Pictured: Does this roaster look like a winner? Mark Sain hopes so.

Premont student a pro with poultry

Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Alice Echo-News Journal

Premont Cactus 4-H member Mark Sain is an old pro in the poultry section. As a senior at Premont High School, Sain is in his last year at the fair. He won reserve grand champion with his chickens in the seventh grade, and consistently ranks in the top 10 in poultry every year.

Sain said he's learned a wealth of knowledge during that time, not just about chickens, but about responsibility, and about life.

"From beginning to end, I've learned a lot about responsibility, and what it means to raise something," Sain said. "Those chickens depend on you."

It was difficult at times for Sain, with school activities at PHS, including speech and debate, but he was never a student who shirked his responsibilities. No matter what was going on during his high school career, he knew his animals had to come first.

When Mark first moved to Premont, several family members were involved in raising chickens for the fair and he had a lot of fun getting involved.

Mark raised roasters this year, but he usually does both roasters and broilers. He recalled several occasions when there were more than 100 entries in the poultry section. Competition is fierce. Sain showed no nervousness during the weigh-in Tuesday.

"Premont usually sweeps the chicken competition," he said confidently.