Ah…….the joy of international travel. Right about now, the VALOR Class II Fellows are wrapping up work on the farm finishing blogs from their U.S. Regional trip to Florida packing and weighing their luggage spending time with loved ones gathering their earplugs and favorite sleep aids for a 15 hour flight and praying they don’t get… Continue reading The eve of International travel – VALOR Class II travels to Vietnam
After breakfast this morning, our journey continued as we departed downtown Buenos Aires (BA) and headed east to the countryside. We traveled to the city of Pergamino, which is 200 kilometers (120 miles) from downtown BA. Pergamino is in the province of BA. The picture below offers a point of reference. As we entered the… Continue reading Day 2 – Pergamino – Buenos Aires Province
The VALOR fellows recently experienced Southwest Virginia during Session VIII. Our trip began at Virginia Tech, with a presentation by Dr. Alex White. Many of the fellows are Alumni of Virginia Tech and they have enjoyed his classes in Ag Finance, Small Business Management, and Problem Solving. Others have seen Alex facilitating workshops for agricultural… Continue reading Moving Agriculture Forward
Question: How does a 1st generation farmer expand from 1 greenhouse in 1982, to 20 acres of greenhouses today? Answer: By using innovative and efficient farm practices, effectively managing costs, compromising when needed, fostering a team atmosphere, and above all, maintaining a positive attitude throughout the process. Our path this session was different than our… Continue reading The Power of a Positive Attitude
Creative marketing of local foods. A surging wine industry. Maintaining and revitalizing a treasured equine property. A behind-the-scenes view of National Ag Policy. These were some of the themes observed as the VALOR fellows experienced Urban Agriculture during Seminar Five in Northern Virginia & Washington DC. I must admit that I take my close proximity… Continue reading Meditations on Urban Agriculture
Our quest of experiencing urban agriculture took us to suburban Prince William County, to a town called Nokesville. Well.....kinda. The adventure began as the fellows huddled in (3) separate vehicles.....plugged in Nokesville to their GPS.....and all (3) cars managed to get lost in transit. We even managed to get separated from the other cars (now back… Continue reading “Pick Your Own” Route to Yankey Farms in Nokesville, VA
During our Richmond Session, the VALOR Class fellows had the pleasure of performing a television interview simulation. (When I say pleasure, I really mean nerve-wracking experience.) This session of “Video Interview Strategies – Ideas & Practice” was facilitated by Virginia Farm Bureau media pros Norman Hyde and Sherri McKinney. While we were provided the topic… Continue reading …..Lights…..Camera…..Can You Repeat the Question???
Saturday morning of Seminar III began with a visit to the Virginia Department of Forestry’s Nursery operation in Crimora, VA. Our tour of the Crimora operation was conducted by Josh McLaughlin, Nursery Forester for the Virginia Department of Forestry and manager of the Crimora facility. Josh graduated from Virginia Tech in 2004 with a BS… Continue reading Tree Seedling Production at its Finest
Saturday morning of Seminar II began with a visit of Commonwealth Gin in Wakefield, VA. This tour was facilitated by two advocates of the cotton industry. John Parker is the Chief Agronomist at Commonwealth Gin. Paul Rogers is the owner of Rogers farms, a 1,200 acre farm growing cotton, peanuts, grains, etc. His is also… Continue reading …..A Quick Spin on the Cotton Industry…..
Have you ever done a search for yourself on Facebook? I just looked for myself on this mainstream social media site. Facebook lists over 150 people by the name of Ken Ryan…..but only one of them is part of the inaugural class of VALOR. Please allow me to introduce myself – my name is Ken… Continue reading Searching for Ken Ryan….