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4H County Fair and Summer Updates

Congrats to Bandit, a senior doe Harlequin, small breed. BLUE RIBBON

COVID and RHDV2 have both contributed to many changes at the farm and rabbit events. I serve on the MN State Fair Rabbit Committee as a youth representative and it's been a very challenging time to figure out next steps to keep people safe and to keep our rabbits safe.

My county held its fair this weekend -- with only online submissions along with live zoom presentations. I also submitted a Beveren Senior Buck and Doe, a Giant Angora and an American Chinchilla Senior Buck. They all took Blue ribbons. Without the ability to participate in showmanship and normal demonstrations, each youth needed to learn about another breed and present the comparison of another youth's rabbit to the ARBA Standard of Perfection. Because we had never owned a Holland Lop before this year, going through the process really helped me appreciate that breed in a whole new way. For instance, I learned about the ear placement that should be right next to the eyes and end at the bottom of the chin, look like a horseshoe pointed straight down rather than splayed out to the sides. The red lines show the idea placement, so the nose it too low, ears too far apart and too long, while the "crown" is missing because it should fill out the arc on top of her head.

Don't get me wrong -- this is an amazingly cute rabbit! Just not aligning with the standard.

I am pleased to report that I have qualified for the MN State Fair 4H Virtual Rabbit Show, moving forward from the county competition. Although it will be a much different end to the summer, I am excited to get together with friends outside and reconnect, and eat ice cream.

Other fast updates: 2nd Cutting of Wheat Straw is in the barn -- all 200 bales of it. Feeling that in my shoulders today. Oofdah. Been going out on the river a lot, even though we needed to adapt our plans significantly. Been gorgeous weather this week especially and I'm loving it! Worked a lot on farm biosecurity to prevent transmission of RHDV2 virus by rodents, flies, birds and wildlife, like our crazy critter groundhog and the wild rabbits that live outside the white fence. There is a strong possibility that we will need to move farms, so we are working on some contingency plans. Doing a LOT of writing, going through old photos and files, getting organized. We have opted to continue filming the documentary for another year because there is plenty more to include as 2020 keeps chugging and frankly we don't have a sense that this was the ending.

This summer is filled with crazy memories already and we have another third to go. So until the next update: prayers for everyone's safety and wellness and the safety of everyone's rabbits.

Take care!

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