Ready for Richmond: Day Four in the Patrick Henry building

please click on any of the photos below for an enlarged view 

 

Agenda for Thursday, February 14, 2013

  • Office Visits with General Assembly members if scheduled
  • Meeting with the Governor and Cabinet Representatives – The class had the opportunity to hear from Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore and Deputy Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Travis Hill.  Class members asked about the future of the industry and Secretary Haymore countered by explaining to the class that he felt strongly that the VALOR program was a part of sustaining the importance of Agriculture in Virginia.  Chief of Staff Martin Kent talked with the class about his background in agriculture and the strategies he and Secretary Haymore put into place to make Ag. a priority of Virginia’s trade and economy.

The class also had the pleasure of meeting Governor Bob McDonnell.  He was very generous with his time and discussed the importance of Agriculture to Virginia’s economy.  He also thanked the VALOR class for their commitment and leadership in the industry.  Check out the PICTURES from our meeting on the Governor’s webpage.      

  • Issues Interactive Round-Robin – Each class member was asked to come prepared to discuss an agricultural issue of their choice.  And after the excellent communications training from the staff at Virginia Farm Bureau we were ready to put their newly acquired interviewing skills to work.  Each class member pulled a prompt and then responded accordingly.  The prompts are displayed below – I think everyone had a lot of fun with this skill building activity.

A panelist has called in sick to the event you are attending.  The event planner knows that you are an expert in the field and asks you to speak briefly on the issue and be ready for questions from the audience.  Please share your two-minute speech on your position as it relates to how your issue ties to consumer confidence.

The local news station is calling and asking you for some information on a recent controversy that has been brewing related to your issue.  Please give three 30 second sound bites for the station.  The sounds bites will be shared before the counter argument on tonight’s news. 

Your boss asks you to respond to the reporter who has just arrived.  The reporter asks you to respond to statements made in clear opposition to the position of your business/specialty area.  Please detail the topics you will be addressing and provide three key messages to combat the negative press. 

You have scheduled a meeting with a General Assembly member that views you as a valuable constituent and has the connections to carry forward a message related to a topic you feel passionate about.  When you arrive at the office, however, your Delegate/Senator announces they have been called back to a meeting. You are invited to walk over to the Capitol building with him/her and have roughly two minutes to convey your message.

You are observing a Virginia House/Senate Ag Committee meeting. A discussion is ongoing related to an issue you are knowledgable about.  Your Delegate/Senator knows you are there and catches you on a break to ask you for three key messages/talking points that he/she can take back and share with the committee. 

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