The VALOR trip to Richmond was extremely informative in so many ways. I enjoyed learning more about the legislative process, Farm Bureau’s lobbying efforts, and the Myers-Briggs assessment. As always, the opportunity to review my preferences and how they contribute to my professional and personal relationships was helpful in so many ways. I found out that I am an ESTJ which after reading the characteristics is not terribly surprising. I came to understand that the difference between an introvert and an extrovert is simply how we draw energy. There were many people who I would not have considered to be introverts but now I understand that this defines how they process information. At each seminar I learn more about myself and this gives me an opportunity to reflect on how I can be more aware of how I interact and work with individuals with a variety of preferences.
One of the more beneficial aspects of this seminar was the video interview strategies we learned from Farm Bureau. In my role as a development officer, I frequently meet with donors and my job is to better understand them and their philanthropic goals. In other words I am often times asking guiding questions much like an interviewer. I was looking forward to being on the other side and yet somewhat apprehensive about the experience (especially being in front of a camera!) What turned out to be a bonus learning experience was witnessing everyone else’s interviews. I learned so much about the other fellows and the agriculture industry as a whole. Since I don’t come from an agriculture background it was tremendously helpful to hear from so many leaders in the industry. From technology to electric co-ops to education, everyone’s perspective added to my knowledge base. This will be helpful as I continue to strengthen my understanding of agriculture so that I can better relate to the various stakeholders I work with. I even went back and watched most of the videos and took notes. Of course it was also helpful to receive tips on how to more succinctly tell your story and how to best present the information to external audiences. I have already used much of what I learned in my day to day life.
To cap it all off, the Virginia Agribusiness Banquet was a wonderful event and my first time attending. Seeing the industry come together in fellowship was very special. I can’t wait to attend again next year.