After months of preparation, 4-H youths from Sampson County were proud to bring home some ribbons from the North Carolina State Fair.
During the recent event in Raleigh, several members participated in the several events ranging from livestock to art.
Kaylee Lackey, a home-schooled fifth-grader, earned Best in Show with her Polish rabbit in the youth show and Reserve Best in show with her guinea pig. She is a member of the Hippity Hop Rabbit Club.
“I feel very happy for winning the awards,” Kaylee said. “Me and my sisters worked very hard to get these rabbits where they are now.”
She enjoys working with rabbits, who have different personalities and traits during different periods of the day.
“Some rabbits will be the sweetest thing ever,” Kaylee said. “Some rabbits are very territorial and some are not.”
She also enjoys working with the guinea pigs as well. Kaylee stressed how she would like to see more people interested in them.
“Guinea pigs are the sweetest animals,” Kaylee said. “Some of them are rambunctious and other are calm.”
Kim Lackey, her mom, was proud of her accomplishment. With her sisters, Amber and Madison, Kaylee has been raising Polish rabbits for about six years. Kim said it’s the second time a rabbit they bred won Best of Show. Last year the sisters gave a youth a rabbit that won the top prize. Kim said another major accomplishment was being ranked in the top 5 for her ruby-eyed white Polish rabbit during a youth competition for the American Polish Rabbit Breeders Association.
“To take on this and to be able to win at the state fair is a huge deal,” Kim said.
For winning Best in Show in the Youth Rabbit Show, Kaylee received an $1,000 college scholarship sponsored by the Raleigh Kennel Club.
Colbey Matthis, a student attending New Life Christian Academy, was the winner of the Reserve Junior Showman during the Open Market Hog Showmanship Contest.
“I feel proud of myself because I worked really hard for it,” Matthis said about the accomplishment.
He enjoys being members of 4-H , which provides a lot of opportunities for students.
“You get to learn about animals and spend time with them,” Matthis said.
Like other parents of youths, involved in the state fair, Melanie Matthis is proud of her son’s accomplishment.
“I’m very proud of him,” she said. “He worked very hard and deserved it. It’s a lot of responsibility and you have to learn how to take care of them.”
Other local fair participants included Colton Neal, Caleb Neal, Aubrey Herring, Landon Neal, Tate Naylor, Lucus Williams, Anna Faith Williams, Rylee Pope, Reid Royal, Kaya Kusmierczuk, Karol Kusmierczuk and Gabrial Moser.