A Passion by Mistake or Grand Design?

I loved my time at the Virginia Tech Southern Piedmont AREC in Blackstone, Virginia and am most grateful for the amazing farm crew. These were some of the crazy steers and heifers I worked with for my research. If someone told me back in college that I’d be living in a small apartment in the… Continue reading A Passion by Mistake or Grand Design?

Class III, Communication, Seminars

Crucial Conversations

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

Class III, Uncategorized

Around the water cooler…

You herd right, Class III of VALOR has begun and I am honored to be one of 13 participants. VALOR is a two-year program for those in agriculture who want to develop their communication, problem solving, and critical thinking skills in addition to broadening their knowledge of agriculture in the pursuit of becoming an advocate… Continue reading Around the water cooler…

Seminars, Uncategorized

Eat, Drink, and be Married

  How encouraging to see so many flourishing  enterprises in Central Virginia. And how enjoyable to get first hand experiences with some of them  during our March VALOR seminar. We  visited Madison Wood Preservers, Senterfitt Farms, and Step-at-a-Time Farm, - all thriving local ag-based businesses.  And we  learned about Crisis Communications from both Corrine Geller,… Continue reading Eat, Drink, and be Married

Environment and Sustainability, Seminars, Water Quality

The Gift

Leaving your county, or state, or country (as the case will be shortly for the VALOR fellows) imparts a gift of perspective. Not a gift to be taken lightly, it takes processing and production by the user in order to create anything of value. I can travel to another state or country, but if I… Continue reading The Gift

About VALOR, Education and Awareness, Global Agriculture, Legislation and Regulations, Political Advocacy

Argentina Reflections

It has been two months now since VALOR had the opportunity to engage farmers and leaders during an agricultural trip to Argentina.  The production cycle is in reverse as compared to the United States cropping systems.  The crops that we viewed should be harvested as we in the United States plant new ones.  While there,… Continue reading Argentina Reflections

Seminars, Uncategorized

Say cheese.

Up until now, this blog has been a nice chronological review of the journey of the VALOR fellowship.   Chronology is overrated... Back in September the VALOR fellows spent a day touring the diverse agricultural production of western Michigan, thanks in large part to work and hospitality of Luke Meerman and others. As the day came… Continue reading Say cheese.

About VALOR, Seminars

“Thank you soooooo much.”

The sixth meeting of the VALOR fellows has just concluded, marking the halfway point of our inaugural fellowship.  The group of fellows numbers ten in total, but as we travel (both literally and figuratively) we number 12.  Megan Seibel, the program director, and Kelsey Brunton, who - prior to her "retirement" - was the graduate… Continue reading “Thank you soooooo much.”


Too Cool for Deja Vu

A year into the program with the inaugural VALOR class and there they are...calm, cool, collected, and utterly brilliant.  A true cohort team. As we approach our sixth of 12 seminars at the end of next week, we will have fully completed the first of two years of whirlwind-like programming. We have traversed the state… Continue reading Too Cool for Deja Vu