2022 APA Semi-Annual Honoree: Tom Carey

The American Poultry Association is pleased to honor

Tom Carey

tom carey

Tom Carey holding a male Silver Sebright and his APA Honoree plaque

A few words from Tom Carey on this honor:

Just like the rest of the world I find myself living in strange and uncertain times. Between an ever changing pandemic and constant controversy flooding every form of media available I still find my peace in the Lord and the same hobby I was born into over sixty-two years ago. You see, my father was Virgle Alan Carey and raising fine poultry is our “family tradition.” What an honor to open up my mail and find I had been selected to be an APA Honoree. I immediately thought of my dad and how proud he would have been and I remembered when he became a Honoree back in 2001 in Wapakoneta, Ohio.

Growing up in Indiana I spent many an August in Indianapolis at the State Fair but when I was five years old my Golden Sebright crowed 172 crows in one hour to become a World Champion. When I was nine years old I got my own Old English Game and Dark Cornish. Over the years I have raised both large fowl and bantams as well as turkeys, guineas, peafowl, ducks, quail, pheasants, geese and anything else I could raise and show at a poultry show. Growing up I had many mentors, my dad of course, Bill Wulff, Ernie Brown, and many more. I even remember when Wulff got his first Black OEG from Ralph Sheriff Sr.

Today young people have lots of opportunities to show exhibition poultry through their schools, 4-H, FHA as well as junior shows along side of the open classes. I never showed as a junior but always did open class right along with a great many great exhibitors.

In 1985 I had to put my poultry fancy aside while my family left Indiana and moved to the sunshine state where we still live today. When we were finally able to have birds again I started with my favorite, Black OEG. Dad had saved my line and with some help from Bill Wulff I began to build my flock back up. Not the easiest thing to do as we lived in a small community where I didn’t really have much room for chickens. It was so good to hear the roosters crow again and fortunately my neighbors never complained. It wasn’t long before I had found a poultry show in Eustis, Florida where I met some wonderful people like Jessie Ellis, Rip Stalvey and Danny Padgett, as well as several others. I was excited to go to Tampa for my first Florida State Fair and I took my family and we started building our link of our family tradition, Carey Bantams.

As time passed my Dad’s health began to deteriorate and I found myself raising Sebrights for him and sending them North so he could show them. Although they can be a difficult breed to raise I have become an ABA silver and gold master breeder and an APA Grand Master with Silver Sebrights.

I have traveled coast to coast meeting lots of people and enjoying many shows. I have enjoyed breeding my birds and working with others to build the breeds. I have been blessed and have sold birds to master breeders, newbies and youth to help them get started. In 2010 I became a licensed APA judge and the first show I judged was in Indiana at the Indiana Poultry Breeders Show in Connersville. This was like going home for me as I was president of the IPBA when I was sixteen when the show was moved to Connersville from Indianapolis.

Looking back now I see so many wonderful people who played a role in my life and I am grateful to each one. I have been fortunate to be friends with and mentor young breeders like Billy Grooms, who often travels with me. I saw him get his start and witnessed the struggles and successes as he is now a master breeder of Black OEG and recently won ABA National. I have enjoyed helping others enjoy and grow our hobby and I am blessed to travel the country doing something I love to do and I pray I will be able to continue for many years to come.

Thank you,

Tom Carey