On a cool day in May, the VALOR fellows enjoyed lunch, a tour and tasting at Veritas Vineyard and Winery in Afton, VA with two wine industry leaders – Emily Pelton, winemaker for Veritas, and Michael Shaps of Virginia Wineworks. The wine industry in Virginia has exploded over the last decade or so. The number… Continue reading In Virginia There Is Wine, and In Vino Veritas.
Sometimes it just takes the right idea. Sometimes it just takes the right group of people. It really goes gangbusters when you have the right group of people working on the right idea. Enter the Olde Dominion Agricultural Foundation in Chatham, VA. The VALOR fellows visited the Olde Dominion Agricultural Complex in Chatham during our… Continue reading If you build it, they will come.
Zuccardi Family Bodega is located in Mendoza Province, Argentina. Mendoza was the perfect place to spend the day learning about the wine industry, as it the biggest wine producing region in the country. As a bonus, we took an impromptu tour of Zuccardi's olive oil production facilities, as well. Mendoza offers near-perfect conditions for growing… Continue reading Innovation Meets Tradition
Have you brought a little bit of the outdoors in to help celebrate Christmas? Are there multiple trees with different themes in different rooms? How long do you leave them up? If you’re like our family, your trees stay up until the needles start to drop and/or the neighbors start talking about you. We cut… Continue reading O Christmas Tree…
In addition to showcasing production systems, landscapes and leadership groups from another part of the country, the VALOR US Regional seminar in September reinforced the fact that the agricultural industry in this country is impacted by a number of common forces, regardless of the particular segment or geographic area considered. For example, in both Indianapolis… Continue reading Variations on a theme
The DeGrandchamp family has been producing berries near the shores of Lake Michigan since 1955. Mike DeGrandchamp treated the VALOR fellows (and a couple from Texas who happened to stop by the farm at just the right time) to a tour of their operation during our recent trip to Michigan. DeGrandchamp Farms blueberry fields and… Continue reading Berry production on the shores of Lake Michigan
Tomorrow we leave on our US study trip, which officially means we’re past the halfway point with VALOR. I’ve thought a lot about how fast this program is passing. Seminar VI, like all of the seminars thus far, was fantastic. For me, one of the most meaningful experiences was the weekend on the bay with… Continue reading Investing with a long-term view.
An otherwise inconspicuous grain elevator along Tidewater Trail in Center Cross, Virginia, holds thousands of bushels of soybeans. However, these aren’t just your average beans. The Montague Farms facility contains natto beans grown by farmers in Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina, and destined for export to Japanese markets. It’s not just the beans that are… Continue reading Not your average beans…
My wife and I made the decision about a year ago that the best gift we could give our two young sons would be for her to leave her job at Virginia Tech and stay home with the boys. This decision has had an impact on our bottom line. We like great food, but we… Continue reading What is it with local foods?
Endless Summer Harvest was one of the stops during the most recent VALOR seminar. Owner and operator Mary Ellen Taylor treated the VALOR fellows to a tour of her hydroponic greenhouse operation, as well as a dinner fresh from her “fields” in Loudoun County. "Great chefs know that good food comes from farms.” – Mary… Continue reading Lettuce Take Another Look at Farming.