4-H Day at the State Fair proves that kids are passionate about so much more than just livestock

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FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. — Saturday was 4-H Day at the Minnesota State Fair, where several kids from all over Minnesota show off their projects and livestock.

The morning started with the rabbit competition, where more than 250 children aged 12 to 20 showed their prize-worthy rabbits in the Sheep and Poultry Building.

“Lucas and I are brother and sister, and our rabbits are brother and sister too. It’s just a cute little thing. Our mom really likes it,” said Allison Deplazes, an exhibitor representing Dakota County.

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The Deplazes siblings competed with their Dutch rabbits on Saturday. Allison for the fourth time and Lucas for the second time. Lucas also holds the reigning title for first place in Dutch Rabbit showmanship. These siblings will be judged on the quality of their breed, and how well they know and handle their rabbits.

“How we pose them, how much we know, how we take care of them year round,” said Allison Deplazes.

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Abby Willegal also competed with her rabbit, representing Sibley County.

“I just finished fifth in my Minirex senior class,” Willegal said.

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ETN


All of these kids who entered the competition won their provincial fun fair first and then earn the chance to spend a weekend in dormitories at the fairgrounds and U of M campus.

“I met a lot of people at the State Fair that you don’t meet anywhere else but here,” Willegal said.

“My 4-H friends are some of my closet people, and we can stay together all day, show off together, pretty much together,” said Allison Deplazes.

Many may associate the 4-H youth leagues with livestock, but the projects go way beyond that, including crochet, which Allison competed in this year, in addition to her rabbit.

“I’ve also made other crochet and craft items,” Allison Deplazes said.

All three participants in the rabbit competition that ETN spoke to have 4-H passions outside of livestock.

“I’ve done a lot of retail projects, so you work with wood and metal,” said Lucas Deplazes.

“I like fruit, flower gardening, [and] food preservation,” Willegal said.

Performing arts and theater are also part of 4-H. The live stage performances can be seen on Sundays at 11:30 AM, 3:30 PM, 4:00 PM, 5:00 PM and 7:30 PM in the 4-H Building.

Read more about 4-H here.

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