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Local student takes first at youth fair

Jarren Harkema, 14, son of Tim and Heather Harkema, of Cedar Springs, took first place this year at the Kent County Youth Fair as a junior champion rabbit showman.

He then had the opportunity to compete in the Kent County 2010 Showman Sweepstakes, which was held on August 14th. The day before he had to go around and learn how to show every single animal in fair, including Dairy Cow, Beef Cow, Swine, Horse, Sheep, Goat, Chicken, Dog and Cavy.

“Jarren thought it was such an honor and a great learning experience to be a part of the sweepstakes where all the top 20 champion students of Kent County competed,” said Heather. “We are so proud of him.”

This was Jarren’s 5th year of being part of 4H Kent County Youth Fair. His group is The Country Cowboys out of Sparta. Jarren’s club leader is Dick Bethel, of Rockford, a retired Ferris University professor.

Jarren also won other awards at Kent County youth fair this year, including Best in Breed for his Polish Rabbit, Best in Show for mechanical/robotics construction and best in show for a stop motion animated film. In previous years, Jarren has taken 3rd and 2nd place in Rabbit Showmanship.

Jarren is a 9th grade homeschooler and is active in many activities, including 4H, science & engineering clubs, First Lego League & Robotics with local and national competitions, Community service projects, Teen Bible Challenge, and active in his church youth group. He enjoys hanging out with his family and friends, and has two brothers, Brennan and Landon.

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