SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois State Fair awarded the first ribbons for the best rabbit meat pen and poultry trio.
This year’s Grand Champion Rabbit Meat Pen belonged to Emily Wolff, of the Brighton Farmhands 4H Club. Wolff is 11-years-old and has been showing for three years. Her New Zealand rabbits will be in the Governor’s Sale of Champions on Tuesday, August 17. She plans to put the money from the sale right back into the family farm.
“We want to put new insulation in our shed,” Wolf said.
Rabbits aren’t her only 4H project. She also shows shorthorn cattle and has a sewing project.
The Reserve Grand Champion was also named Emily. Seventeen-year-old Emily Brown of the Northside Ag 4H Club has been showing for nine years. Brown’s Californian rabbit meat pen took this year’s reserve.
The purple ribbon for the Grand Champion Poultry Trio went to Hannah Foster of Paxton, Ill. Foster is 17-years-old and she is a member of the Paxton Prairie Bluestems 4-H Club. She has been showing for eight years and this is the first time she has ever won the Illinois State Fair show.
For the Fosters, showing poultry is a family tradition. Foster’s sister also entered a trio of chickens this year and the whole family was nervous to see who would win. Today’s results won’t cause a fight though.
“It doesn’t matter who wins. Really, we both win,” Foster said. “We raise them together and we will just say to each other, ‘I’m going to show these and you can show those.’”
In the end, Hannah’s Cornish crosses came out on top. Her Poultry Trio will also be in the Governor’s Sale of Champions. She plans to give a portion of her winnings to her dad to thank him for all the help and money he has put into their poultry.
James Banas, of the Will County Stockman 4-H Club, was the winner of the Reserve Grand Champion. Banas, 12-years-old, has been showing Cornish crosses for four years. He is from Wilmington, Ill.