In November, VALOR Class V traveled to Louisiana: Cajun Country, Birthplace of Jazz, the Bayou, Who Dat Nation! I had traveled to Louisiana before, primarily visiting New Orleans for various Farm Bureau trips but had never ventured outside of the French Quarter, and certainly never into the Bayou. I was excited to be traveling, looking… Continue reading Lessons Learned in the Bayou
Agriculture has had a bad rap over the years for environmental concerns-too much fertilizer, too many herbicides, too much tillage, no cover crops. Wherever your were, or are now, with your thinking, I encourage you to take a trip to the Northern Neck of Virginia for a reality check. You’ll see how the land stewards… Continue reading Strong Partnerships
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?
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
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…
Service has always been a part of my life. My family has always set an example for me of the importance to serve others beyond yourself. Sometimes this comes as sacrifice, but at the end of the day the lasting legacy of service will live beyond your years. I feel that growing up in a… Continue reading Why I Serve
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
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
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
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.