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Rebekah Slabach elected to state office

Halifax County has good reason to be proud. 

For the first time in 40 years and the second time in the history of the county, a Halifax County native has been chosen to represent the Future Farmers of America on the state level.

Rebekah Slabach, a 2011 graduate of Halifax County High School, was elected Thursday as the vice president of the Virginia State FFA for 2012-2013 after competing with 25 other individuals from across the state.

The announcement was made Thursday at the 86th Annual Virginia State FFA Convention in Blacksburg.

Slabach was the only representative from Southside.

“It was quite an honor,” said an excited Slabach after learning of the prestigious honor.

The newly instated vice president has been an FFA member since her sophomore year at Halifax County High School.

Competing against 25 individuals from other regions in Virginia, enduring several rounds of interviews, tests and several intense and stressful questions on agriculture issues, Slabach remained on top of the competition.

“It was intense, but it felt good to be representing Halifax,” said Slabach.

As state FFA vice president, her duties include filling in during the absence of the president, coordinating committees and delegating authority. 

Due to the tremendous responsibilities associated with the position this unexpected opportunity presents, Slabach said Friday she has decided to defer college for her sophomore year at Virginia Tech and commit fully to her position as vice president of the FFA.

“I didn’t want to try and balance them both. It’s going to be a lot of traveling, and this is an unexpected opportunity,” said Slabach.

During the next several months she will travel to Indianapolis, Massachusetts and even New Jersey for international leadership week and will participate in national FFA competitions. There are more trips being planned.

Slabach attended Virginia Tech last year in Blacksburg for her freshman year of college where she is majoring in agriculture science with a minor in engineering science. She hopes to continue to study at Virginia Tech and do something with her major in education, maybe work as an agriculture teacher or an extension agent. 

According to Slabach, she credits her confidence and her upbringing in getting her where she is today.

“I think (in part of what got her the position) being confident in who I am and bringing what I’ve learned, I’ve learned to embrace where I come from and to pass that along.”

Next year will be the last year she will be able to participate in the FFA organization. She plans to continue to help and support the organization in the future.

“It’s the coolest organization in the world,” said Slabach.

However, being the winner out of the 25 other individuals wasn’t the best part for Slabach. It was being the only representative, not only from Halifax, but also from Southside.

“It showed that Southside is not dead. We can do something…that was the most exciting thing,” Slabach said.

Halifax County native Dick Saunders was the last representative 40 years ago when he became Virginia FFA State Sentinel for 1972-1973.