California Waterfowl’s Egg Salvage Program does more than just help the ducks, it also helps build our next generation of waterfowl leaders.
Seventeen-year-old CWA member Taylor Williams has put years of effort into volunteering at our partner Rancho Esquon Hatchery, and that work earned her top honors in the state in Wildlife Management Proficiency at the California State Future Farmers of America convention on April 27 in Anaheim. That award qualifies her for the national finals to be held in October in Indianapolis.
Taylor started helping out in the fifth grade when her aunt Loretta Gardiner, who runs the hatchery, convinced her to come check it out. Since then, she has logged more than 500 hours at the facility hatching, feeding and cleaning up after the thousands of ducklings, goslings and even some turkey chicks that are hatched there each year. She also assists with banding and releasing when the young birds are old enough to live on their own.
Though Taylor has shot a few banded ducks and a banded honker since getting her hunting license seven years ago, none of those birds had come from the hatchery.
After she graduates from Chico High on June 6, Taylor plans to attend Butte College to study Natural Resources with the goal of becoming a game warden.