I bred, raised and showed Jersey Wooly rabbits for 9 years, starting out in 4-H and then doing a combination of 4-H and American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) shows. The hobby was a huge part of me and I loved everything about it, despite the many challenges, disappointments and setbacks that came with it. I attended several ARBA national conventions and was very active in the rabbit project in 4-H, as well as in the youth part of the Minnesota State Rabbit Breeders Association (MSRBA). My rabbits were my pets but they were also in some ways livestock and I had to pick only the best to keep as I had limited space.
In October I sold my show herd of Jersey Woolies, with most of them leaving to various breeders across the country from the ARBA national convention in Minneapolis. Selling my show herd was one of the hardest decisions I have had to make because they meant so much to me. However, I was at college with no idea as to where I might end up once I graduate and my oldest brother, who had previously been taking care of most of my rabbits had gone off to college as well. I knew my rabbits could no longer get the attention they deserved at home, at least not the show rabbits who require extra attention to be kept in show condition. I still have about 14 rabbits at home; I kept some as pets and had a few that didn't immediately sell and then had one litter of 6 just after I decided to sell out. Even though I have those at home and they are great, I miss the rabbits that I sold all of the time.
After I graduate I am hoping that I will have a more permanent location where I can rebuild my show herd because I know that I need to get back into the hobby someday. I received my ARBA registrar's license a few months ago, which I must have for a few years before even beginning the process to apply to be a licensed ARBA rabbit judge. Being a judge is my eventual goal and I know that I'll be showing rabbits again someday.