By Nicholette Carlson
CLAYPOOL — Animals are just a daily part of life at the Kline’s Claypool home. Duane Kline, his wife, Rickell, and their three children Kara, Kendra and Kaleb keep busy between careers, school, sports and their hobby of raising animals.
The family currently keeps sheep, rabbits, pigs, ducks and one dog. Each of the Kline children have also participated in 4-H showing their animals.
Kara, 21, a junior at the University of Northwestern Ohio, was a 10-year 4-Her showing pigs, sheep and rabbits. Being a member of 4-H helped her to get scholarships for college and also helped prepare her for degrees and future career. She just earned an associate degree in agriculture business and is working toward a bachelor’s in business. Kara continues to play volleyball at college.
Rabbits have always been a favorite of Kara’s and she has helped others with raising and showing rabbits in the past. Working with the animals, she admitted she tends to get connected and enjoys the bonds she creates. She also mentioned it has helped in her maturity a great deal. “It’s such a part of me now,” she stated. “I can’t imagine not having animals.” She enjoys being home on breaks so she can be involved with the animals at home.
Kendra, 17, has been in 4-H for nine years and will be a 10-year 4-Her this upcoming year. She is a senior at Manchester Junior-Senior High School. She also shows sheep, pigs and rabbits. This year she also showed a turkey at the fair. Sheep got started because that’s what her father had shown. The family had friends with rabbits who helped show them how to raise and show them. Kendra stated personally “pigs just looked cool to me.” Besides animals, she also participates in creating a rabbit poster, cake decorating and recycle projects. For recycle projects she has made a gun rack and cross from horseshoes.
Growing up caring for animals has taught Kendra good time management skills. While others think it is simply going home and feeding the animals, she admitted many do not realize how time consuming it can be. While she is not a fan of the time it takes to clean out the animal pens, she does enjoy lambing season and playing with the babies.
In school, Kendra plays volleyball, runs track and is an FFA member. Thinking of the future, she is considering pursuing a degree in occupational therapy and continuing to play volleyball in college.
Thirteen-year-old Kaleb is an eighth grader at Manchester Junior-Senior High School. He has been a part of 4-H for five years, showing sheep, pigs, rabbits and poultry. As the years go on, the family tends to get more animals. However, after fair season is complete, only a select few are chosen to stay on.
Responsibility is the greatest thing he has learned from growing up raising animals because the animals depend on him. He enjoys when the baby animals are born and helping care for them. Rabbits, on the other hand, are not his favorite animal to care for. His greatest moments with the animals is seeing them as babies and watching them as they grow up.
Besides caring for animals, Kaleb also participates in football and basketball in school.
Duane works at the family business, Warsaw Electropolishing, as plant manager. He is also a pastor at South Pleasant United Methodist Church. The family lives in the same house where he was raised.
Rickell works in reading intervention at Claypool Elementary School.
When the Klines have free time, they enjoy spending time in Virginia in the mountains and taking in the peace and beauty of nature.