Recently I had a meeting with a fellow lobbyist and a question came up that I hear a lot these days.
“How’s VALOR going?”
I lost track how many times I have been asked that since we started the program last September. Don’t get me wrong, I welcome the question, it’s an easy one. The answer is always “Great!” I generally continue unprompted to talk about the people we meet during each session, the leadership development sessions we have during each seminar, the tours, etc.
I have recently begun to add the changes I have seen in my fellow VALOR members. It truly is rewarding to see someone that wasn’t comfortable talking to new people or speaking in front of groups or a camera to begin to feel at ease and really look polished. Personally I have found reward in learning new view points and details of other occupations in our industry, not to mention the personal insight the program is giving me. To also have discussions on current events or movements that are affecting agriculture, sometimes our views may be different, but the forum in which we learned to share them is welcomed.
Personally I enjoy not only what I get out of the individual development portion but also the ability to tour farms and agri-business operations I have known about for years, or even known the owner/operator for decades and finally seeing what they do on a daily basis is a wonderful experience. It’s one thing being in a meeting with them, but to be at their operation and see them in action, or show off what they do, and the role they play in our industry is crucial.
As we gear up for our next seminar in Northern Virginia and Washington DC, I have heard from several of my colleagues in the program of our shared enthusiasm and interest on what we will gain next in our adventure known as VALOR.