LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - For the second day of the 68th annual Angelina County Fair, more than two dozen students took part in the rabbit competitions at the George H. Henderson Junior Expo Center, where judges analyzed, critiqued, and awarded competitors on their hard work.
Two sisters, Rozalinn and Valerie Runnels, spent their entire year raising rabbits. They have more than 60 of the little furry bunnies to take care of and groom.
"I've been raising rabbits ever since I've been in 4H, which was in third grade," Rozalinn said.
Now the 14-year-old has garnered plenty of awards under her belt.
"First year that I showed here was in third grade. I've shown here for 7 years. First year I was here, I won best of show. So that was a really cool experience," Rozalinn said.
Rozalinn said taking part in the multiple rabbit competitions is exciting, as they made the early Wednesday morning journey from Zavalla.
"It's a lot of work, and to be able to have a profit from that work is very rewarding, and it feels awesome honestly, and that's why you do it," Rozalinn said.
The profit she's referring to is the ability to auction off the rabbits after the competition, where she once sold a rabbit for $2,000.
Their mother, Cathy Lott, is very proud.
"I'm really proud of them and the efforts that they put out, but I think the real prize for them and for me is to see them become responsible adults that have good goals for their life, and can be contributing citizens to our country," Lott said.
Both sisters said the lesson of a strong work ethic, and taking ownership at a young age, is the reward in itself.
"I've learned responsibility, I've learned the different breeds of rabbits, and most of all I've learned the love and the blessing that an animal can do in your life," Rozalinn.
Rozalinn is one of the Ambassadors this year because of the opportunities at the County Fair and leadership skills she has acquired.