Montgomery County Fair builds competition for young 4-H members

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

For many, the Montgomery County Fair is a week of easy fun. But those who show animals work year-round for a shot at first place.

Throughout the fair, there are 4-H members from ages 8 through 18 who show the animals they raise and compete against other children their age to be the best and most knowledgeable about their animal. On Monday afternoon, there was a “breeding rabbit showmanship” competition for the junior group. The kids competed for the first place title and a chance to compete against other age groups to be crowned as the “Breeding Rabbit Showman of Showman.”

“They know everything about their breed, all their body parts, and how to properly flip and exhibit the rabbit,” said Kiaya Spitler, the Junior Fair superintendent.

The children, even the 8- and 9-year-olds — the youngest age group — show off their knowledge and handling skills with their rabbits.

One of these children was Rosealy French, who had her rabbit, Cha Cha. It was her first competition. She got her rabbit just last winter and placed fifth and is already planning on preparing for next year’s competition, focusing on making sure Cha Cha is calm in the future.

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

French shows rabbits because of her older brother, who also shows rabbits. Her mother, Amanda French, also showed rabbits when she was a child. She said that showing animals is important because it teaches them a good work ethic.

Spitler said that even the youngest kids can be just as competitive as the older kids.

“They study for this all year and it doesn’t stop,” she said.

While the kids are competitive, they are also growing to become leaders.

4-H’s motto is “To Make the Best Better.” According to Spitler, the youth embrace that motto.

“It helps teach responsibility, citizenship, leadership, and all the really great skills to develop into a role model and to also become a wonderful adult and human being,” Spitler said.

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