Date of Award
Master of Science
Robert S. Dotson
Cecil E. Carter Jr, Robert W. Bastien, Ben T. Powell
County Extension staffs in 26 Tennessee counties reporting more than 3 4-H'ers enrolled in the 4-H Rabbit project and 17 state specialists who reported more than 1,000 4-H'ers enrolled in their state's Rabbit project constituted the populations included in this study. Purposes were to identify the current status of the Tennessee 4-H Rabbit project and to determine what other states had done with regards to successful 4-H Rabbit projects. Major findings included the following: 1. Ten county staffs reported a total of 13 Rabbit shows in which 111 4-H'ers participated. Show judges most frequently mentioned included Rabbit producers. Extension Agents, College Professors and others. The shows were held either in late Summer/early Fall or in the Spring. Fourteen county staffs indicated 4-H'ers gave demonstrations dealing with Rabbits. 2. Six county staffs reported having Rabbit project groups with a grand total of 60 4-H'ers participating. The most frequently reported meeting topic was teaching how to feed and care for rabbits. Nine county staffs reported a total of 23 volunteer leaders and 7 county staffs reported a total of 13 teen leaders helping with the Rabbit project. Twelve staffs felt the Extension Agent did the most work with the project, while 10 felt Adult Volunteer Leaders did. Twenty-two Extension Agents reported no personal experience with rabbits. 3. Nine county staffs indicated Newspaper coverage of 4-H Rabbit project member achievements, while two county staffs reported Radio recognition. Ribbons were the most frequently reported type of show award given. Cash awards and trophies were also given. Nine county staffs reported project members involved in District competition, while four reported 4-H'ers involved in competition at the State level. Eleven Rabbit project members were reported in the Honor Club and three were All Stars. 4. The Fair Board was the most frequently (i.e., 7) reported sponsor of the Rabbit project. Other sponsors reported were Rabbit Owners, Agricultural Companies, Parents, the International Heifer Project and Rabbit Breeder Associations. Almost one-half of the county staffs reporting noted sponsorship at the local level, while sponsorship at the state and national levels were reported by three and one county staffs, respectively. Types of donations in order of most responses include money, prizes, time, rabbits, rabbit feed, and marketing assistance. 5. Seventy-two percent or more county staffs responded positively to questions dealing with the current format of the Rabbit project manual. The staffs were almost evenly split over whether or not other literature was needed. Thirteen county staffs thought the Rabbit project should remain an individual project, while 12 thought it should be consolidated into one small animal project. Twenty-two staffs felt there was a continuing need for the 4-H Rabbit project. 6. All contacted state specialists reported that their 4-H Rabbit project was a recognized statewide project and that adult volunteer leaders helped with it. Thirteen specialists indicated rabbit owners were major sponsors along with parents and fair boards. 7. Special awards or recognition reported by specialits included medals, plaques, certificates, trophies and trips. Competition at county, state, district and national levels were reported by 16, 15, 5 and 2 state specialists, respectively. 8. Special projects and activities reported by state specialists included a 4-H Rabbit Poster Program, illustrated talk contest, Barbeque, Auction, Royalty contest, Showmanship contest, special project literature, Quiz Bowl, Statewide or District Leaders organization, and club demonstration at a statewide rabbit meeting. 9. Implications were drawn and recommendations made for use of findings and further study.
Dunn, William K., "A benchmark and feasibility study of the Tennessee 4-H rabbit project. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 1985.