Chicken Shack Raises Money for 4-H Students

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JACKSON, Tenn.–Volunteers cook for a cause at the West Tennessee State Fair. Money from the annual Chicken Shack goes to 4-H students. “I’ve been doing this since I was a toddler,” said Harold Cothran, a volunteer. “My dad’s been doing it for 40 years.” Cothran volunteers for the Chicken Shack. “I’m the pit boss,” Cothran said. “You know I make sure the pork chops get cooked, the chicken gets cooked.” Awake before the crack of dawn, volunteers cook 300 chickens at a time and around 1,200 chickens a day. “We get up here about 4:30 in the morning and we just cook chickens all day,” said Alex McCarver, a 4-H club member. Profits go to local 4-H students. Proceeds pay for educational trips and send kids to camp. 4-H students earn money for trips every hour they work. “They’re learning life lessons, working with customers,” said Kane Reeves, extension agent. The chicken recipe is special. “There’s vinegar in there,” said Reeves. “There’s hot sauce.” The chicken keeps people coming back year after year. “You want the particular flavor you gotta do it the hard way,” said Cothran. “It’s like putting a lot of sweat into your work. It’s well worth it.” The chicken shack also sells pork chops, another fan favorite. The West Tennessee State Fair runs through Sunday, September 15. The gates open Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.

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