“Polywog” Still Reigns At Nemaha County Fair

AUBURN – With the conclusion of the horse, goat and sheep shows that typically start the Nemaha County Fair each year, and just as fair-goers head toward the popular ATV driving contest, there’s a scene of triumph and enduring family bonds just outside the rabbit exhibit.

Kaitlyn Simon, a 17-year-old Johnson-Brock student, showed the champion fancy breed and the champion commercial rabbit. Her brother, 10-year-old Jayden Adams, was the reserve showman and his rabbit “Slow Motion” was named the champion of the pet division.

All of these are descendants of rabbits their brother Josh Adams had shown as many as 16 years earlier. Tributes to parents who devoted their time and expense to letting Josh explore his quest for a state championship.

But his first rabbit, a hand-me-down from a 4-Her who was getting out of the game, did not have a pedigree to go very far. Polywog was the rabbit’s name, and Josh pointed to a floppy-eared, long-haired descendant at the fair’s rabbit show Thursday.

Kaitlyn: “They just live on my farm at home and so I feed and water them every day, with the help of my family. We raise them ourselves.”

Josh, when he was Jayden’s age, went with his sometimes-reluctant father to rabbit shows within driving distance and soon they both began learning the anatomy of a purple-ribbon rabbit. His sister and brother are finding success today from those trips at the turn-of-the 21st Century.

Kaitlyn: “We pick the best two rabbits and breed them together to get a better rabbit and we just keep doing that throughout our whole farm.”

Kaitlyn won the commercial classes with a breed called Californian and won the fancy breed with a mini rex she named Anastasia. She says fur color and softness and the shape of the body are qualities a judge considers.

Josh, now a show superintendent, says 4-H is important.

Adams: “Well I think 4-H is important in general. Whether you show or enter something. It’s keeps the kids active, out of trouble, teaches a lot of life lessons. I’m definitely pro for being in 4-H, being involved in your community.”

Judge Ken Majors named Kinsley Oestmann the top intermediate showman and Emily Bohling prevailed among the juniors.

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