ANNA — Alyssa Fite’s love for animals has been evident throughout her 16 years of life. The Anna High School student grew up helping her uncle prepare and show cattle for the FFA. Due to her family being heavily involved in FFA, it was only natural for Fite to follow in their footsteps, but with a slightly narrower focus.

“I was supposed to start with a rabbit and work my way up to cattle,” Fite said. “But I fell in love with the rabbit industry and grew a passion for them.”

Fite raises Holland Lop Rabbits and Lionhead Rabbits. Along with her younger sister Logan, Fite shows the rabbits all over Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma.

Fite began showing rabbits her freshman year in high school. That same year, she was the only student who entered rabbits at the Fort Worth Stock Show, and took home first place. She followed that win by starting her own rabbitry with her younger sister and won best of breed at county; along with various other awards.

During her junior year, Fite started showing a meat pen, or market rabbits. Even though it was her first time, she placed 10 out of 31 pens. Out of the 165 Holland Lop rabbits that were entered in the Fort Worth show, they placed first in her class, and fourth in Best of Breed.

In Fort Worth, Fite’s homegrown junior broken doe Sassy Sisters Rain won Best Opposite Sex of Variety. Fite was ranked 44th for youth, but has recently climbed to the 30th position.

Fite said she has learned a lot while raising and showing the rabbits.

“This has been the most challenging and rewarding experience,” Fite said. “It has taught me a lot of life lessons and shaped me into who I am today.”

Amber Fite, Alyssa’s mother, said that Alyssa has done well.

“I am extremely proud of her hard work and dedication,” Fite said. “When she came to us her freshman year saying she wanted to show rabbits, I never dreamed she would accomplish what she has in such a short amount of time. It’s been amazing watching her find her path, set goals and surpass them.”

Even with all the hard work and time Alyssa Fite puts into raising and showing rabbits, she also holds the position of secretary for the Anna FFA and the vice president for the District V Association. She said she has been blessed with the opportunity to mentor other youth and help to get them started in breeding rabbits, and plans to be an agriculture teacher who specializes in rabbits.