DARKE COUNTY — Patricia “Pat” Carroll of Greenville and advisor of Show Hopper 4-H club will soon have her name permanently displayed in the rabbit barn at the Darke County Fair.
She was the recipient of the 2017 Darke County Junior Fair Family Rabbitry Award, the Rabbit Barn’s version of a distinguished service award. The award began in 1992 and each awardee’s names are placed on a plaque each year and it hangs in the rabbit barn.
One of Carroll’s 4-H co-advisors Amanda Behee presented the award to her on the night of the Rabbit Sale. Behee won the award herself in 2013.
“I was honored this year to present the Rabbitry Award to Pat who was an essential part of my involvement in the rabbit industry,” said Behee. “Pat introduced me into American Rabbit Breeders Association, Inc shows and now I spend my time clerking. In addition, I serve as a show secretary for one of the largest state convention shows and one of the oldest clubs chartered by ARBA. I wouldn’t be where I am if it wasn’t for Pat and introducing me to my first ARBA show.”
Past recipients of the award nominate a person or family that have gone above and beyond for the good of the rabbit barn, said Behee. It is given to a person or family that has contributed a lot to helping the kids or other advisors, said Carroll.
“It’s the biggest 4-H honor that an advisor or family in the barn could be awarded,” Carroll said.
She has been actively involved in the rabbit barn for the past 18 years as her children competed in the rabbit barn activities. She was also a 4-h member for five years during the early to mid 1980s.
“I have a long history in the barn,” she said.
She has bred, raised and shown Netherland Dwarfs for the past 18 years. While in 4-H she showed Netherland Dwarfs and Dutch rabbits.
In 2014, she succeeded in her dream and co-founded the Show Hoppers 4-H club dedicated to promoting rabbits. She helps with the annual rabbit tattooing for meat rabbit projects, at no charge or for $1 fee that is donated to the rabbit scholarship fund. She has been known to spend hours on the first day of fair tattooing 4-H member’s rabbits. She tattooed close to 70 rabbits this year.
Carroll said she was “completely caught off guard and shocked” when her name was called to receive the award.
“I’m hugely honored because they don’t take that [the award] lightly and I don’t take that lightly. As an adult or family that is the highest, greatest honor in this barn,” she said. “It’s equivalent to the child that wins professional showmanship in the barn, it’s the highest honor that you can get. I was hugely honored and humbled and glad to know that my rabbit peers that have won that award felt that I was worthy to win it. I’m very humbled and very honored to be a part of that group.”
Last year Samantha Holsapple of the Darke County Rabbit Raisers 4-H Club won the award.