Hello from Blacksburg.

My name is Ben Grove, and I write this post from the beautiful New River Valley.  My childhood was spent in the Shenandoah Valley, surround by a diverse and prolific agricultural economy.  Although I wasn’t raised on a farm, I’ve been drawn to agriculture from my earliest memories.  Active participation in 4-H, and later FFA, guided my chosen path of study and career.

At Virginia Tech I studied Animal and Poultry Sciences and was active in a number of student organizations.  Following graduation, I worked for Tyson Foods in Harrisonburg, VA in poultry processing and Atlanta, GA in red meat sales.  When the opportunity presented itself to relocate back to Blacksburg, my wife and I jumped at it.  Most in my family have been involved in either agriculture or education as their vocation, and my position at Virginia Tech allows me to blend the two.  I work with individuals, corporations and foundations to accomplish their philanthropic goals by supporting the students, faculty and staff, and programs of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

To me, VALOR represents an opportunity to invest in the future of this most essential of industries.  My involvement in 4-H and FFA shaped my youth, my education, and ultimately my career path.   VALOR provides a vehicle to continue leadership development, network with others in the industry and work to engage the many individuals and organizations who work in food and fiber production.

My wife, Lindsay, and I are raising our two boys in Blacksburg.  It’s amazing to me that my oldest son, who has spent his first five years growing up in a townhome, is so fascinated by animals, tractors and farming.  Among other things, I’m excited about VALOR because I want him (and his little brother) to have as much opportunity as he desires in this great field!

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