The Del Norte County 4-H column runs monthly. This installment was written by Christine Jones.

At the beginning of the month, four 4-H youths attended a Rabbit Rally in Central Point, Ore.

Rabbit Rally is an annual field day held each year in the Southern Oregon area. This year two primary members, Kaitlyn Machado and Maudie Mae Olson, and two juniors, Ana Machado and McNeely Olson, attended.

All four girls participated in showmanship classes, receiving blue ribbons.Kaitlyn received Champion Primary Showman. The girls also participated in breed identification and equipment identification contests. Kaitlyn's received Best of Breed and Honorable Mention with her English Lop, and Ana received Best of Opposite with her Himalayan.

Last weekend three 4-H youths and three leaders headed south to Cloverdale to attend the Cloverdale Citrus Fair. This is one of the first fairs of the season and is a starter fair for many of the youth from Mendocino and Sonoma County.

The majority of fairs in California offer classes for large and small animals, as well as market classes and an auction. Unlike most fairs, the Citrus Fair only offers breed classes for small animals (cavies, dogs, poultry, pygmy goats and rabbits) and showmanship classes for each species.

On Saturday afternoon we loaded up 14 rabbits, four youths and three leaders and were off to the fair in Cloverdale. We stayed the night in Ukiah. Sunday morning we were off to the fair.

After unloading animals, checking in and getting everyone settled in, it was time for our 4-H'ers to show their rabbits and to compete in showmanship. We had three youths compete in rabbit showmanship.

Kaitlyn Machado competed in the primary showmanship class, while her sister Ana Machado competed in the junior class. Intermediate member Taylor Jones competed in the FFA class, placing second and qualifying for their round robin competition.

There were two conformation shows for rabbits. Taylor Jones' Crandegrave;me d'Argent doe won Best of Breed at both shows. Kaitlyn Machado's English Lop buck won Best of Breed at both shows. Ana Machado's Himalayan senior buck won Best of Opposite at both shows.

Our group usually only attends the Citrus Fair on Sunday for the rabbit shows. This year Taylor Jones qualified for small animal round robin as an FFA member, where she placed fourth.

Being a member in 4-H offers many opportunities such as this. The chance to travel with peers and be able to show to other communities the hard work and dedication that youths put into their projects is just one benefit of being a 4-H member. Next month, some Del Norte 4-H youths will be attending rabbit and cavy shows in Ferndale, Calif., and Grants Pass, Ore.

If you are interested in joining 4-H as a member or adult volunteer, spring is an excellent time to do so. Contact our local office at 464-4711, or join us at our next council meeting. We hope to share with you the joys of 4-H! Check us out on facebook at Del Norte 4-H.