Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County is pleased to announce that for the first time in many years the Chautauqua County 4-H Rabbit program was represented at The Great New York State Fair.
Program representative Eric Witherow said, "I had a great time and am hoping that next year Chautauqua County will have full teams in each division. It was fun and I made new friends."
Witherow, of the Sherman Kountry Kids 4-H Club in Sherman is a four-year member of 4-H. Rachel Comstock, of the Country Critters 4-H Club in South Dayton is a three-year member of 4-H.
Pictured here Eric Witherow, right, and Zack Ludwig, left, from Wyoming County hold their individual ribbons from the Novice Division of the Rabbit Decathlon.
Saturday at the State Fair, Witherow and Comstock competed with their rabbits. Witherow's Senior Doe, was judged as Best Opposite Sex of Breed (meaning a buck won Best of Breed and his doe was runner-up.) Comstock's Rabbit received 2 blue ribbons at the state fair, her Doe took third and her buck took fifth..
On Sunday, Witherow competed in the Rabbit Decathlon. In this competition there are 10 stations with each station testing a different area of knowledge. The 10 stations are
1) Anatomy & Physiology
3) Housing & Equipment
4) Health & Diseases
6) Reproduction & Genetics
7) Breed Identification
8) Records & Project Evaluation/Management
9) Handling Evaluation
10) Standards of Perfection
Competitors go to each station where they are given four minutes to answer questions. Each station is worth 10 points.
An additional team area of competition is the scenario, where teams are given a problem scenario and have a limited time to come up with a solution.
All 4-Hers, regardless of age, who are competing for the first time, compete in the Novice division. Eric tied for first place individual in the Novice division, but was beaten when tie breaker rules were applied so he earned second place in the individual competition.
In the team competition if your county doesn't have enough for a team you can join with other counties to make teams of three or four individuals. Eric joined with two 4-Hers from Orleans County. In the Novice division his team earned second place overall.