SIDNEY — After the tragic loss of Dalton Shank and Landin Caudill, two 4-H members have stepped up to raise and show their rabbits at the Junior Fair.
“We felt like the best way to honor them was to try to find a 4-H member who would be willing to raise them along with their own rabbits,” said Cassie Dietrich, 4-H Youth Development Extension educator.
The rabbits were already reserved for the fair, but 4-H Jr. Fair Board member Kate Garber took up the mantle of raising them on top of her own animals, which she was already showing. 4-H member Carter Ingle will be showing the boys’ rabbits.
“4-H is really just one big family,” Dietrich said, “although we do come to fair and it’s a competition and things can be competitive, it’s still important for us to support our family. We know they’re going through a really hard time after the loss of their boys.”
It was decided the money raised from the sale of the rabbits would be put towards the outstanding expenses the boys’ families faced.
Some of the money raised is also being put into a fund which will be loaned out to help buy project animals that kids can’t afford on their own.
“We have a lot of kids in Shelby County that would show project animals, especially in areas where we’re low in numbers,” Dietrich said.
The idea is to boost attendance in areas such as cows where numbers have been dropping due to the cost barrier. The loan would then be paid back out of the sale check.
“That’s what the family wants us to do with the money,” Dietrich said.
The writer is a summer intern at the Sidney Daily News.