Growing up in far Southwest Virginia, stories about Pocahontas and John Smith were fairytales and Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Richmond were distant lands of mystery. Traveling to Richmond for the seminar in January was actually my first trip to downtown Richmond and seeing the Capitol. Unfortunately, I had to leave seminar early and did not get to fully experience the Capitol.
I did appreciate spending time at Farm Bureau and getting to tips on dealing with media. I had been fortunate enough to have been through some media training prior from Farm Bureau and I enjoyed to opportunity to refresh. I also enjoyed getting the chance to interview a VALOR fellow and see the reverse side of the coin. The media staff at Farm Bureau are so awesome and really create some great videos and publications.
Farm Bureau strives to be the voice of agriculture. I have seen Farm Bureau truly make a difference with some original legislation that was harmful to farmers being changed due to the lobbying efforts of Farm Bureau. Having the lobbying staff meet with us was very eye opening and I felt like they were giving us a glance behind the curtain. I felt like I gained a better understanding of the world of lobbying and politic landscape. Many of the tips I felt I could take back home to use in my county when issues come up.
The take home that I gather from the Richmond Seminar is that communication is key! Being able to speak to people and clearly express your need or issues is a extremely desirable skill to have and one that anyone can work to improve! Also, I think it is valuable to remember to use your voice and share! Meaning if those of us in far Southwest never travel to the far away lands of Richmond to share our stories and issues then we will never receive the resources that we need. Our voice matters and to create change we have to use them!