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Rabbit showmanship caps months of long hours, hard work for youth

ROME TOWNSHIP - Whitney Daniels is a very busy young lady. A 4.0 student who also has a job, Daniels was up bright and early on Wednesday to participate in the rabbit showmanship competition at the Lawrence County Fair.

"It takes a lot of time and effort," Daniels said.

Daniels said that initially she took the FFA class because it would get her out of chemistry, but she will definitely take the class again next year.

"None of it would be possible without the help of our great Ag teacher Steve Crawford," Daniels said.

Some members in the crowd did the wave, while a group of participants were being judged and others eagerly awaited their turn.

Samantha Miller, 10,

worked with her rabbit, Snowflake, before her group was called to be judged.

This was Miller's first year, but she didn't seem at all nervous about it. Miller said that she joined because some of her friends have been in 4H. Raising the rabbit was her favorite part, she said, adding that she'll be back again, too.

You didn't need to hear his words when Zach Hager won first place in the 8- and 9-year-old division, the joyous expression on his face, spoke volumes.

"Awesome," he said.

Hager will be taking home his first trophy. This is his second year at the fair, and he explained that caring for the rabbits was not the tough part - maybe the tough part comes moments before you enter the ring.

"Whenever you're out in the ring you get nervous," he said. "But watering and feeding them is not that hard."

Another second year "veteran" won first place in the overall rabbit showmanship. Amanda McArthur of Ironton took home that honor from the show.

"It's awesome," she said. "It's really cool to have won overall."

In the Breeding Rabbit Category, first place went to Michael Roy and second place went to Zachary Adkins.