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The 4-H Chicken Shack is back after a year off due to covid-19


The 4-h chicken shake is back at the west Tennessee state fair and it’s being greeted by hundreds of hungry and happy faces

it’s just a fabulous time for people to get together,” says Steve Beverly.

People are getting together at the shack for the first time in two years after the tradition was put on hold by Covid

“it was canceled last year, and we heard a big roar that they wanted the chicken shack back, so we’ve made precautions so that we can still have a safe environment but still bring something that the community enjoys,” says Dr.Kane Reeves the Madison county 4-H extension agent.

The chicken shack has been a staple of the fair for more than 60 years. Every year 4-Hers serve over 6000 plates of chicken or pork chops. Many of the students and volunteers have been working in the chicken shack for years

“I’ve been involved with the chicken shack since i could walk,” says 4-Her Ellena Cothran.

The chicken shack has a special place in Ellena Cothran's heart, “this whole pit right here was built by hand by my grandpa when he first started this… ever since he passed away it's not been the same, but we work with it. Doing this makes me feel like he’s here because of this he built.”

Steve Beverly says that he and his family used to work at the chicken shake when his daughters were in 4-h, “the chicken shack is a gathering place, people come over here and they just swap stories they enjoy eating the chicken and the pork chops.”

It’s a tradition for Beverly and his wife to visit the chicken shack every year, they encourage everyone to come out and enjoy the food, “if you’ve never been out here before you owe it to yourself before the fairs over to come out and get a pork chop or a big ole chicken. But if you eat the pork chops you got to eat it in your hands. You don’t cut it up you got to just eat it like you would if was a hamburger without the bun.”

The chicken shack is the annual fundraiser for all of the madison county 4-H events and programs. Students that work at the shack receive some of the profits as scholarships to attend 4-H events.

“The money that we raise here is kind of like sweat-equity for the kids, whatever they get to use it to do what they want to do,” says Dr.Reeves.

The 4-H chicken shack will be at the fair until Saturday night.

It opens around noon every day and is open until all of the chicken and pork are gone.

Organizers advise that their food sells out quickly, so you may want to preorder.

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