WJHS student’s rabbit receives high honor in national competition

Wells Junior High School 7th grade student Jack McDevitt has an interesting and educational hobby that ties in with his studies. McDevitt, a member of 4-H, raises pigs and goats but mostly rabbits in his family’s barn in Wells. What makes this more interesting is that his rabbits are not just pets but carefully bred and raised to be show rabbits to appear and be judged at events such as area fairs.

In November of 2021, he traveled to Kentucky with his mother Amylynn and father Tom plus five of his rabbits (of different breeds) in a family vehicle to attend the 98th annual American Rabbit Breeders Association Convention held at the Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville. This convention, in its 98th year, featured about 9,000 exhibiters and 16,000 thousand rabbits from around the nation and other countries including Great Britain.

While three of McDevitt’s rabbits received various awards, one rabbit in particular named Hey Jude, earned this student a Blue Ribbon as Hey Jude was judged “Best of Variety” among all of the white and ruby eyed rabbits shown in the youth members category competition.

“It’s a very big deal,” said McDevitt modestly who became interested in rabbits four years ago and acquired his first one back then. Since that time he has raised more rabbits and acquired knowledge and experience with breeding and genetics.

“Convention is a place where years of hard work and care are shown off,” commented McDevitt. “Each of those 16,000 rabbits shown there was bred and cared for to reach their full potential, and, to me, (the convention) was just honoring the four years of work I put into my rabbits to have them become what they are today. So, the fact I have the best rabbit of its color in the country for the youth members is a great honor.”

Jack McDevitt’s science teacher at WJHS is Rebecca Carbin. “Jack has a genuine interest in science and a true knack for it as well,” commented Carbin. “No matter what project or assignment he is tasked with, he puts forth a tremendous amount of effort, showcasing his proficiency and depth of understanding.”

In the spring Carbin’s students will cover the topics of genetics and heredity. “Students will learn how you can follow and predict traits that get passed from parents to offspring. Jack has had firsthand experience with these topics through his work with his rabbits,” added Carbin. “I can't wait for Jack to share his expertise…!”

Jack McDevitt with Hey Jude outside of his family’s barn.

Jack McDevitt at the ARBA Convention in Louisville holding boy rabbit Hey Jude.