Prior to our VALOR Class III trip to Washington State, I knew very little about hops. Fortunately for me, Washington State leads the nation in hop production, so I was in the right place to learn. We started our morning off by meeting with Frank Hendrix, a Yakima County Extension agent. He provided a great… Continue reading Hops for miles!
VALOR Class III fellows had the pleasure of learning about the South African beef cattle industry during our international seminar. We started our day with an early morning drive to the town of Heilbron where we met with Solomon Maseou, an emerging farmer. Solomon farms on 600 hectares of land that was purchased by the… Continue reading Sernick Group – South Africa
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
On the first day of our seminar in the Northern Neck, we found ourselves at Ingleside Vineyards. The first vines were planted in the late 1970s with the first commercial harvest in 1980. This makes Ingleside Vineyards is one of the oldest vineyards in Virginia. We had the pleasure to speak with Doug Flemer, whose… Continue reading Better is Better
Our look into agriculture during our sixth VALOR seminar in rural Southwest Virginia continues to showcase Virginia’s agricultural diversity. We had the pleasure of visiting with Kevin Beamer at Virginia Produce Company, a family owned business, in Hillsville, VA. Virginia Produce Company sources produce from farmers along the east coast, packages the produce, and distributes… Continue reading Southwest Virginia
Our seminar began with tours of agricultural operations in Loudon County, a unique area where agriculture meets urban development. While this convergence can create many challenges for farmers, some have leveraged the opportunity for growth. Mary Ellen Taylor of Endless Summer Harvest has used her proximity to urban development to capture a niche market for… Continue reading A whirlwind tour of Northern VA agriculture and policy…
I’ve spent my career as a marketing and communications professional, crafting and delivering messages both on paper and in front of the camera. Being interviewed has been part of my job for more than 25 years (don’t do the math please!), but I’ve never been so ill at ease talking into a mike than I… Continue reading Interviewing 101–Nailing the Message
On our second VALOR Class III seminar, we visited Cherrystone Aqua Farms, part of Ballard Fish and Oyster Company. For more than 115 years, the Ballard Fish & Oyster Company has been producing some of the best clams and oysters in the world. Today, the 5th generation of the Ballard family, Chad Ballard, is still producing great shellfish,… Continue reading A Visit To Cherrystone Aqua Farms