What an honor it is to be serving as the Inaugural Director of the Virginia Agriculture Leaders Obtaining Results (VALOR) Program! Agriculture today is at an exciting crossroads with regard to the role it plays in social, political and economic issues on local, national and international stages. With a program like VALOR, we are able to bring together dynamic and inspired individuals in classes as diverse as our great industry itself. Through shared lived experiences and opportunities to reflect and problem solve, skills can be enhanced. The communication and networking that happens throughout this process creates greatness that will impact and promote agriculture as we actively engage in shaping its future and telling its story to the world around us.
Many other states have programs designed for adult agricultural leadership in place, and positive anecdotal testimonies abound. Everyone who takes part in this program will learn something new, apply current knowledge in novel ways, and leave with a sense of connection to agriculture and those in and around it that is more vibrant than before. As I learn more about what is happening in other programs, my excitement for what we can do in Virginia grows.
I look forward to working with the Advisory Council, the inaugural class of participants, and Virginia’s agricultural community to make this program a success!
Megan Seibel, Ph.D. VALOR Program Director