Rebekah Rutledge will begin her junior year as FFA president

Rebekah Rutledge, Third Princess for the Sandy Mountain Festival’s Queen’s Court, has a love of showing rabbits and doing community service.

Starting her junior year at Sandy High School next year, Rutledge has been invested in Future Farmers of America over the past two years. Going into next year, she will take over as club president at the age of 16.

Last year, Rebekah was secretary of the club, and was running for vice president when she was nominated by her peers for president instead.

“It actually still baffles me,” she said. “I sat there in shock for a minute.”

With the FFA she attends meetings — “Now I guess I run the meetings,” she said with apprehension — competes in public speaking and shows livestock. Her choice of livestock is rabbits.

Rebekah said her older sister, Sarah, now 19, helped her choose her animal.

During her time in Sandy FFA, Sarah showed poultry and worked on persuading Rebekah to get an animal before she began high school.

When a friend of Sarah’s decided to get rid of a pet rabbit, Sarah volunteered her younger sister to take it.

Rebekah now has six rabbits, some Holland lops and some giant chinchillas. She shows them at county fairs.

She said she loves seeing the great responses from kids who are excited to pet her rabbits. At her last show, Rebekah said a little girl who had just finished chemo was her biggest fan. “She was in awe of the rabbits,” she said.

In the past, she has received a grant of $1,000 from the National FFA Association to expand her project. The money was put toward buying more cages and a couple rabbits for breeding purposes, she said. The grant also continues to pay for her feed supply.

This year, Rebekah will show a steer at the county fair as well.

Rebekah said that her favorite part of being involved in FFA is meeting new people, and the travel opportunities.

Last year, she traveled to Kentucky with the FFA. “It was amazing,” she said.

The FFA is also making her summer break a busy one. The day after the Sandy Mountain Festival, Rebecca will travel to Washington, D.C., for a leadership conference. Although she’s been once before, Rebekah said she liked it there and is excited to go back.

Home-schooled until fourth grade, Rebekah attended Good Shepherd School in Boring before coming to Sandy High School.

Her favorite subject is foreign language. She will take third-year Spanish next year.

Just as she enjoys meeting people with the FFA, Rebekah is looking forward to the same opportunities with the Sandy Mountain Festival, as well as attending and helping at events. “I like helping out at events,” she said.

Also involved in Key Club at Sandy High, Rebekah said the most important advice she would give to other kids her age would be to get involved in the community.

“It will only help other people,” she said. “And the peace of mind you have afterward is definitely rewarding.”

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