By Nicholette Carlson
WARSAW — A love of animals and willingness to try new, interesting things led Zack Schultz to 4-H and leads him to continue to expand his projects. His initial interest was piqued due to his father previously participating in 4-H and watching an older cousin.
Plus, he already had a few animals to get started at his home just southeast of Warsaw.
Schultz has been a 4-H member for six years now. Since he already had poultry at home and pet rabbits since he was little, those were easy choices to show. His cousin and a few friends also show goats, so he was encouraged to try goats. Now his goat, Rusty, is his favorite animal. He was amazed at what large personalities goats have and enjoys roughhousing in the yard with Rusty.
When it comes to poultry, Schultz keeps and shows a wide variety — chickens, bantams, guineas, peacocks, ducks, turkeys, pigeons and pheasants. Many of the poultry he already had at home. However, ducks were his addition to the family. After seeing some Indian runner ducks, he thought they looked cool and wanted to show them. “We got a couple ducks and then a couple more and a couple more,” he admitted.
Attending swap meets, Schultz finds the more unusual show poultry, such as pigeons. He wanted pigeons for a while and then went to pigeon shows to find out more about the animal and to find a good breeder to buy his pigeons from. He and his family enjoy collecting different kinds of animals.
In 4-H, Schultz also participates in shooting sports, model cars and blacksmithing. He competes with the pistol in shooting sports. It was natural to compete since he enjoys hunting and shooting with his dad. His father also taught him how to do model cars, so he is following in his father’s footsteps.
Blacksmithing seemed interesting so Schultz decided to try it. He participated in some basic projects, for example making a hook on the wall. The 4-H leaders would show Schultz how to do a project and then let him test it himself.
This is his first year participating in model cars and blacksmithing, though the pandemic only allowed him to attend a few meetings. He is looking forward to getting more in-depth learning next year. In his six years, he has won plenty of ribbons and plaques, including awards for rabbit and poultry showmanship. Schultz also typically sells his meat goat and rabbit at the 4-H auction each year.
As a 4-H member, Schultz has also attended camp — two years as a camper and two years as a camp counselor. The camp lasts three days, though counselors attend an extra day and a half. As a counselor, it is his responsibility to make sure the kids don’t fight, do as they’re told, get where they need to go on time and have fun.
His mom, Jestina, commented on how fantastic the community is in supporting 4-H in Kosciusko County. “I’m very grateful for that as a mom,” she stated.
Schultz will be starting his freshman year at Whitko Jr./Sr. High School in the fall. He enjoys shop class. He also likes spending time hunting, fishing, shopping for cars, such as a ‘68 Chrysler Newport, and doing odd jobs to make money.