I am excited to be a part of the VALOR Class III fellows and learn from some of the best agricultural leaders the Commonwealth has to offer! I have one younger brother and lots of furry siblings 🙂
I did not grow up on a farm; however, my father did and I guess he never seemed to forget the joys and discomforts of an agricultural life and convinced both my brother and I that we needed to get involved. (My brother is now a tractor mechanic) In high school, I started working on two different sheep operations for one of my Agriculture classes. Lo and behold, both of those farmers were retired Agriculture Teachers, so I don’t think I had much choice in at least thinking about Agriculture Education. (Actually, we have my grandfather’s Agriculture Education lambskin diploma from VPI, so I guess you could say it was in my blood.)
I went on to study Animal and Poultry Sciences at Virginia Tech focusing on Poultry, thinking I wanted to work in the Poultry Industry. I quickly decided I was not ready for the “real” world quite yet and stayed to get my Master’s Degree. I thought I would teach for 4-5 years and then switch over to the Poultry Industry. Well, this is my 9th year of teaching, I guess I am in it for the long haul.
About a year and a half ago, I got married to a pretty cool fellow.. Guess what??? He has CHICKEN houses…So, I still get my chicken fix 🙂 I have really enjoyed living on the farm (although, I can take no credit for it, other than being free farm labor and planting LOTS of flowers). My students enjoy hearing some of my funny farm stories! I even managed to convince my husband to get a few sheep, so between his off-farm job, teaching Ag, the chicken houses, and beef cattle, we stay pretty busy! In my spare time, I enjoy serving in Haiti, taking pictures and planting flowers/working in the garden!
Needless-to-say, I am really excited about learning from the other Fellows and their experiences, meeting industry leaders across the State and growing and developing myself as a leader! I like to push my students out of their comfort zone, so I am excited to push myself as well!