Communication, Political Advocacy

A Great Story

I’m always captivated by a good story. I think that most of us are; when you hear humor, or details, or just plain emotion, you connect with the storyteller at a deeper level.

Let’s take this to a deeper level.

I meet you. You meet me. I tell you that I’m from Virginia, have 2 boys and live on a farm.

Fantastic, you say. Annnnnd the conversation stops. *Awkward pause.

Let’s try again.

I meet you. You meet me. I tell you that I’m from Virginia, and love life on a rural farm after growing up in the city. I have 2 mini-farmers that spend most of their waking hours talking about our animals and tractors. I can’t tell you how many tractors I’ve tripped on at night crossing my living room from the resident “carpet farmers.” I see the next generation actively involved in and excited about agriculture, and that is what drives my passion for advocating.

Which was better?

[Please, please, refrain from using the word “duh.” {But it may be appropriate in this case.}]

The past few weeks have been laced with reminders about relationships and crucial conversation skills, and driven home by the activities over the past week. From media training, to interacting with men and women in political office, to engaging with a fantastic tour guide – each instance in the VALOR Richmond seminar was just another light on the Christmas tree of communication skills.

Which, by the way, is directly related to the whole relationship thing.

Coincidence? I think not.

Not when the VALOR mission so clearly states the importance of communication – in and outside the agriculture industry. VALOR doesn’t prepare us to become leaders of islands, but rather leaders in our communities, which feed into our regions, and beyond. Our leadership skills are being molded and sharpened for instances both formal and informal, planned and spontaneous. We’re honing a craft that will benefit those around us.


As I heard from a speaker this past weekend (and I very loosely paraphrase) – we are meant to serve. Leadership should not be a position of self-serve, but rather servant based. What can I do for you? How can I make the most out of your experience in life today?


It’s a lot like a great story.


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