During our visit to Richmond, our VALOR class had the honor and pleasure of meeting with the First Lady of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Dorothy McAuliffe. Of particular interest to the class was the ongoing work Mrs. McAuliffe has tackled in fighting to eliminate childhood hunger in Virginia. Toward this goal, the First Lady has connected schools with healthy, local farmers, in order to provide children access to nutritious food that is oftentimes unavailable in many regions of Virginia and elsewhere. She has made wonderful strides with her work, increasing the number of students eating school breakfast, establishing gardening programs at hundreds of schools, offering summer lunch programs, and helping develop programs aimed at providing children with year-round access to healthy food.
Mrs. McAuliffe’s work here directly touches on the professional background of every member of our VALOR class, as a common theme during our informal conversations has been ways to better connect communities with their local farmers, for the mutual health of both. Agriculture is changing in many ways, oftentimes not for the better of individual farmers; similarly, available food in most communities is changing, and not in a direction of nutrition. Myself and other VALOR classmates have spent time lamenting this and brainstorming ways to help push the industry forward.
So, it was heartening and inspiring to hear Virginia’s First Lady speak of the achievements she and her team have had, and also of the work still to be done. It was interesting, also, to hear of the many different approaches she took in order to work toward a more singular goal. Her work here is still ongoing, and I am excited to see what more is accomplished.
I left the meeting with Mrs. McAuliffe both appreciative of the work being done by Virginia’s representatives, and also motivated to take a more multifaceted approach to issues within my own industry
The Governor’s website has a number of great links for more information on various highlights of the work our First Lady has accomplished.