Rabbits are Liliana Horsman’s favorite animals.
She spends about half her day with Bun Bun, a brown Holland lop, and Mugsy, a much larger white French lop, feeding them, cleaning out their pens, and just laying in the pen to let the bunnies jump on her.
“They’re fluffy,” said 11-year-old Liliana. “They’re cute.”
They’re also 4-H projects. While some 4-H rabbits are bred for meat, Liliana raises them to show. For 4-H, she has to complete a workbook to learn about rabbit anatomy, care, diseases and postures that indicate something is wrong, and share that knowledge with the judges. She’s won first- and third-place ribbons for showing the rabbits.
A junior member of the Brookfield 4-H Friends, which meets at a member’s house in Hubbard, Liliana is gearing up for the Trumbull County Fair, where she will again show Bun Bun and Mugsy.
“Last year was pretty fun,” she said of the fair.
This year’s fair will be held July 12 to 17. The fairgrounds are at 899 Everett Hull Road, Cortland.
Liliana has been in 4-H for 1½ years, and her mom, Adrianna, likes how it has changed her daughter.
“I love that she learns to nurture animals and takes some responsibility and learns new things,” Adrianna said. “She has made some friends. It’s broke her out of her shell a bit. That’s pretty nice. It’s teaching this one (4-year-old Juliana) as well. She’s just as big of a help. She goes to the meetings with us, so we all usually go.”
The family does not camp at the fairgrounds, but drives back and forth each day of the fair. While that’s a big commitment, it’s not one that Adrianna regrets. She said she likes to watch Liliana show her rabbits, and also to see the other animals at the fair.
“It’s a lot of fun,” she said. “Something to keep them active.”
Liliana would like to get more rabbits, and also hopes to recruit a neighboring girl to help her raise rabbits and join 4-H with her.
“I think next year we’re gonna do it together,” she said.
Anyone interested in 4-H can contact Ashlee Meardith, 4-H youth development coordinator, at 330-638-6783 or firstname.lastname@example.org