Farming. What do you think of? Amber waves of grain? OshKosh B’gosh overall-clad children rolling in hay? The pitchfork-in-hand puritanically dressed couple of Grant Wood’s American Gothic? A pastoral way of life? On a recent trip to South Africa, I learned farming had a different look. There, farming looked like 10-foot chain-link fences topped with… Continue reading Farming in S. Africa, A Different Reality
I’m a late adopter of Instagram. I’d been advised to join by my millennial counterparts working in food and agriculture but getting accepted to VALOR was what made me add yet another social media platform. Fast forward almost two years, and I’m up to 45 Instagram posts for our international trip to South Africa alone.… Continue reading South Africa: 45 Instagram Posts and Counting
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
It’s been a year since my last blog… (tisk tisk) I’m about to have a critical conversation with you. Please listen patiently as I guarantee I’ve strayed off topic, but I swear this is earnest. VALOR has been great but with farm and family life I have been a bit distracted. The farm, of which… Continue reading The Lesson of VALOR
One of the highlights of our last VALOR seminar was learning about the green industry on the “other side of the mountain.” That’s right, this Hokie ventured into Charlottesville for a few days. While there are many greenhouse facilities scattered around Virginia, the bulk of the environmentally controlled square footage is in Central Virginia. According… Continue reading Virginia’s Green Industry
"Many a thing you know you'd like to tell her. Many a thing she ought to understand. But how do you make her stay and listen to all you say?" Oh, Maria! We all know a Maria. Maybe there's a Maria at work, home, church, little league, your high school yearbook... Maybe you're surrounded by… Continue reading How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?
As I reflect on our time spent in Southside Virginia during our last VALOR seminar, I am reminded of our training on crucial conversations. A crucial conversation can be one that is difficult, challenging, and/or important. These types of conversations occur in every part of our daily lives. In many cases, it is a conversation… Continue reading Crucial Conversations