Many of you who follow this BLOG know already that VALOR stands for Virginia Agriculture Leaders Obtaining Results and what an amazing endeavor for those of us fortunate enough to be participants in the inaugural class. As we continue on our journey in learning about agriculture in not only our state but in our community, our nation and yes globally, the complexity and enormity of our industry becomes increasingly evident. Our recent foray to Virginia’s Northern Neck region was a lesson on the diversity of Virginia Agriculture and a look into the future. In the Northern Neck VALOR might as easily stand for Virginia Agriculture, Learning Our Responsibilities.
We as agriculturists have many responsibilities to our families, our communities, our state and our nation. Many of these were exemplified during our visit.
We visited with a very diverse group of folks in the area. All are employers in the area and contribute to the local and state economies. Some are growing food and providing directly to folks in the region, others are producing commodities varying from produce to soybeans to seafood to wine, in short food is being produced in the Northern Neck that not only provides fresh produce for the region at Garner Produce but provides a specialized soybean from Montague Farms for a traditional meal in Japan, fresh produce for many across the nation from Parker Farms along with fresh oysters from Cowart Seafood and some Award winning wine from Ingleside Winery.
The folks at the Northern Neck SWCD are working with local producers and property owners to promote conservation and improve crop production. They are working to implement Best Management Practices with the cooperation of local producers to insure preservation and productivity of our farmland.
The Northern Neck Farm Museum has assembled a unique collection of farming memorabilia and works to promote the heritage of agriculture in the region. They work to insure that everyone knows the history of agriculture and understand how it impacts our lives.
Every one of these folks is taking up a responsibility in agriculture. Some are producing food and distributing not only locally but across the nation and around the world. Some are working to conserve our natural resources and to keep our lands productive for years to come. Others are working to educate and to preserve our heritage.
Those of us in VALOR hope to take up a responsibility as well, to be advocates for agriculture, to work to promote our industry, to influence policymakers to insure that we are successful into the future.
Many are working to insure the success of Agriculture as an Industry in Virginia but success is not an end it is a process and must be continually pursued. What is your responsibility in the success of our industry? Each of us may have something to contribute, get educated, be informed and do your part.
More to come…