It happened while on the international trip in South Africa. Should I do it or not? Actually, it was not something to be done. It was communication to be expressed--a critical conversation. There are many reasons why people choose to delay or not express thoughts, information, or other insights. Some of the reasons include avoiding embarrassment of yourself or others, not… Continue reading The Urge of Leadership
5. It provides a safe space for personal reflection. 4. "No, honey, this is not a 'little getaway' weekend. We are really working on personal development as we attend sessions." 3. Cards Against Humanity. Wow, we really can go from being mad at each other to laughing it off! 2. Borrow and adapt the critical… Continue reading Top 5 Ways VALOR Helps Relationships
VALOR is an enabling experience! The hands-on experiences of oystering and crabbing in the Northern Neck was fabulous. Although I live in the Northern Neck, it was my first time being out in the Chesapeake Bay. The recent Southside Sessions exposed me to the wonderful opportunities in timber harvesting (don't believe me, ask Carl Parsons!).… Continue reading Change: Bad to Good, Good to Good
We had an outstanding first day in Southwest Virginia! The first two sessions involved "Crucial Conversations" by Mr. Jeremy Johnson and the second was, in short, "Strengths" by Dr. Eric Kaufman, who was instrumental in doing the research to create the VALOR Program. The focus of this writing will be about connecting crucial conversations to… Continue reading Crucial Conversations
Well, it's time for Session 6: Addressing Rural Communities - Opportunities for Leadership. For now, here is a fun fuzzle: Thirty cows, twenty-eight chickens, how many didn't?
One answer to this question was provided by Mr. David Hughes, a poultry farmer whose farm demonstrated excellent animal care and overall commitment to trusted poultry practices. We had dinner with him and he shared his story about his wife's passing. Mr. Hughes was asked "how was it best to communicate to him during his… Continue reading How do we effectively communicate to people?
Today's events were quite intriguing. We first visited the Shenandoah Valley Produce Auction managed by Mr. Jeff Heatwole. Mr. Heatwole acknowledged the leadership of Extension Agent Mr. Eric Bendfeldt who was influential in developing the auction so the local farmers could have a place to sell their produce at wholesale prices. We then visited The… Continue reading I Saw People
Yes, "Our" industry (agriculture) does include everyone on the planet because we need food products for nourishment. However, there are people who ensure that the many agriculture systems thrive and meet the demands for food products. This is where a potential learning space exists: 1) Are we "communicating" in the correct grammar and pronunciation sense?… Continue reading Session V: Communicating Our Industry
So, we were headed to DC Central Kitchen. As to be expected, people had gravitated to the basic human need of food as we walked to the entrances. "Hi," "What are ya'll looking for," "They're having chicken tonight..." were some of the warm greetings expressed by the fundraisers. What fundraisers?...those people hanging out front who… Continue reading The Fundraisers
We visited Endless Summer Harvest and as I listened to Loudon County, VA Extension Agent, Mr. Hilleary, he made me create one definition of agriculture: Agriculture is not necessarily a place or product. For example, "This is a field, therefore it is agriculture....or this is a machine and it is agriculture." Agriculture is… Continue reading Agriculture is a System