Last week the VALOR Class III fellows met in Richmond to learn how to grow corn in concrete cracks in sidewalks. It’s the new buzz in urban agriculture! (Insert laughter now)
The Class III fellows really went to Richmond to witness the behind the scenes and all the moving parts that go into legislation. Our trip started with learning from Farm Bureau what lobbying really is to not making a fool of yourself when being interviewed on camera.
Our class eventually even ventured into the concrete jungle that is Richmond to witness different portions of our state government at work. A few fellows pointed out I was a tad quieter than usual and that would be attributed to one thing: I grew up on a farm, when in big cities I am paranoid I will be hit by a car when walking around.
If you haven’t noticed yet, there’s a theme to this post, and it’s laughter. There are serious issues and challenges our localities to our entire state face, but that doesn’t mean we can’t loose sight on the joy in life. From committee meetings with heated opinions to a wonderful sit down with Governor McAuliffe and First Lady McAuliffe, laughter is a bridge to all people. It can be a unifying tool and helps to remind us we aren’t so different from one another. We have so many people working to make Virginia the best it can be. Agriculture is a key component to Virginia’s economic success and thankfully that is recognized by so many of our representatives and the First Family of Virginia.
My personal leadership and laughter moment on the trip was in a rushed moment of needing to make our appointment with the Governor and we were running a little behind. As our group passed the Governor’s mansion I noticed the First Dog, Guinness, sitting at a gate and he rolled a tennis ball out to the sidewalk. My first thought was: go play fetch with the dog! But I didn’t want to be late to our meeting. Jen Friedel must have seen the wheels turning in my head and told me to go for it. So off I ran to the tennis ball and to make sure I didn’t get arrested, I rolled the tennis ball under the fence to Guinness. He ran off to fetch the tennis ball and I ran off for a big fancy meeting. Laughter and Leadership is the way to live in my book.
Many thanks to Farm Bureau, our representatives, and the First Family for your time and insight. Oh and rest assured, we did not witness any bills promoting growing corn in concrete!