The VALOR fellows met in Suffolk, Va. on Nov. 15-18, 2012, for the start of their second jam-packed four-day seminar that included stops around the Tidewater and Eastern Shore regions of the state.
The first stop on their journey was the Smithfield Innovation center, where class members learned about cutting-edge technology and product testing. Over lunch, the class heard about the nationally recognized sustainability initiatives taking place at Smithfield Foods and the opportunities the company is embracing with social media to address consumer needs and concerns. The class also toured the Smithfield’s meat packing plant.
Stan Brantley, advisory council member and president of Amadas industries, discussed the company’s focus on diversified products for specialized operations. The fabrication shop showcased the construction of large farming equipment, while Amadas Coach showcased custom craftsmanship and design. Brantley and his wife graciously hosted dinner for the group and special guests. Commissioner of Agriculture Matt Lohr, also an advisory council member, discussed social media as an imperative interface for advocacy for the industry. Tom Loehr, vice president of Rolls-Royce Crosspointe, addressed the group to share his corporate challenges with global markets and future initiatives of industrial engineering and manufacturing in a way that integrates many of the same needs faced by agricultural technology.
…the rest of the article can be found at Insights – News from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech