The Virginia Agriculture Leaders Obtaining Results (VALOR) Program has opened the application process for its third cohort of fellows. Program applicants are expected to complete a two-part application, which is due April 1. 

The program is designed to develop leaders who can effectively engage all members of the Virginia agricultural community to create collaborative solutions and promote agriculture inside and outside the industry. Participants, ages 25 to 55, will include individuals with a vested interest in the success of Virginia agriculture and leadership for the industry. 

“The program’s goal is to explore the many sides to every issue, law, and practice impacting agriculture in our state and beyond. Participants from varied public and private backgrounds will develop a well-rounded understanding of these topics through shared experiences and opportunities, helping them to shape the future of our industry,” said Megan Seibel, the program's director. 

The specialized leadership program will consist of 12 experiential seminars spanning approximately 54 days over 24 months. These seminars will address social, political, and economic issues impacting the agriculture industry and its viability in a variety of settings throughout the commonwealth and beyond, including exploration of global agricultural issues, which will culminate with an international experience abroad. 

Participants in VALOR’s first two classes saw first-hand how production facilities operate on a daily basis, and engaged farmers and legislators to discuss critical issues affecting agriculture. 

True to VALOR’s mission to groom industry leaders as captains of civic agriculture, the program’s classes participated in a wide range of activities including visits with tomato farmers on the Eastern Shore, media training at Virginia TV stations, and they even met the governor. VALOR participants also travel outside the state, and each class will make one international trip during the program. The inaugural class learned about agriculture in Argentina and the second class went to Vietnam. 

After initial applications are reviewed, selection interviews will be held in June and July, and a formal announcement of the members chosen for the second cohort will be made in early August in preparation for the first seminar in the fall. 

The application, financial information, calendar, and other information regarding the program are available on the program's website. Questions regarding the program or application process should be addressed to Seibel at 540-231-2375.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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