Reflection, as I look back at the time we have spent together in our first 2 sessions as part of the inaugural VALOR class. I feel that with each day, I am developing a deeper understanding and appreciation for what is agriculture in Virginia. During session 2 we toured a variety of business’ and facilities some of whom may not at first glance be thought of as related to “ag”. But after the completion of the session to see how all of the different “moving parts” fit together and depend on one another to make the system work. From farmers production, transportation, processing, packaging, distribution, equipment development and manufacturing, and other mired support operations. How they all come together is the truly remarkable and how a single kink in the chain can potentially be detrimental to so many.
I would like to extend thanks to Dr. Brantley and his wife for opening their home the evening of day 2 for a wonderful meal, and time for relection of our days activities. Commissioner Matt Lohr gave a great presentation on social media, a topic of increasing importance if we as future leaders in agriculture are to effectively communicate to the masses. Although most of us have resisted the arena of twitter and facebook, but we are all making efforts to engage using these tools to stay relevent in today’s society. I feel like that is the underlying theme with the VALOR program, it pushes you to discover yourself, adapt and see all sides of the issues, and encourage the hard conversations.
I am looking forward to what lies ahead with session III, off to Harrisonburg to discover the Shenandoah Valley.