Franklin County 4-H rabbit project participants bring home awards

Franklin County 4-H rabbit project participants joined 4-H students from Colbert and Winston counties in showing their skills, knowledge and work ethic Sept. 13 at the Northwest Alabama 4-H Rabbit Show, held in conjunction with the North Alabama State Fair, in Muscle Shoals. They showed rabbits of different breeds and ages – and won some awards from their good work.

The 4-H rabbit project is designed to teach 4-H members recommended management practices for growing and raising rabbits.

According to coordinators, the project is a good one for a number of reasons. For one, rabbits grow fast and cost less to raise than most other types of livestock. Raising rabbits requires little room, low overhead expense and minimal daily maintenance. Rabbits are generally simple to work with and fun to watch grow.

Participants learn about rabbit behaviors, feeding and nutrition, how to keep records and how to build a rapport with other rabbit enthusiasts.

The project requires the participants to work closely with their rabbits and keep up-to-date records of care and expenses. It’s complete when they participate in the rabbit show at the fair.

“Franklin County youths participating in this year’s Northwest Alabama 4-H Rabbit Show placed very well,” explained Austin Blankenship, Franklin County 4-H regional agent. “All Franklin County participants were in the junior division because of their 4-H program age.”

From Belgreen High School, Dakota Welton  was Best Overall Champion, Commercial Breed Champion (Rex), first place with Commercial Breed under six months of age and second place with Showmanship. Sylvie Smith was Compact Champion (Polish) and first in Compact Breeds over 6 months of age. Elizabeth Motes won first place in Commercial Breed over 6 months of age (American Chinchilla).

From Red Bay Elementary School, Asia Mansell came first in Record Book, third in Showmanship and fourth in Compact Breeds over six months of age (Polish).

“I am very excited to see Franklin County youth participating and gaining valuable life skills in our animal programming,” added Blankenship. “These four young people are to be commended for their time and effort. For them all to do so well at the show is just the icing on cake. They are true leaders in the making.”