Many of Virginia’s established leaders in the agricultural industry are donating their time to serve on the advisory council for the Virginia Agriculture Leaders Obtaining Results (VALOR) Program within Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

The VALOR Program aims to prepare and develop leaders to meet future challenges in Virginia’s agricultural community, create collaborative solutions, and promote agriculture throughout the industry.

“The contribution of time and talent from these individuals provides a solid foundation to help advance this premier leadership program,” said Megan Siebel, VALOR director. “The inaugural unveiling of VALOR and induction of its first class, anticipated for fall of 2012, is extremely exciting. The professional and pragmatic insight offered by the advisory council members is critical in these vital stages of program development. I am honored to oversee such a fantastic working group. The potential impact graduates will have on the agricultural industry in our state is immeasurable.”

VALOR advisory council members are

  • Michael Bertelsen, associate director, Office of International Research, Education, and Development, Virginia Tech;
  • Stan Brantley, president, Amadas Industries, Suffolk, Va.;
  • Mike Ellerbrock, professor of agriculture and applied economics, and director, Center of Economic Education, Virginia Tech;
  • Alan Grant, dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Virginia Tech;
  • Jewel Hairston, interim dean, School of Agriculture, Virginia State University;
  • Kern Houff, president, Railside Enterprises, Weyers Cave, Va.;
  • David Hughes, Rivermont Farm, Timberville, Va.;
  • Donna Pugh Johnson, president, Virginia Agribusiness Council;
  • Edwin Jones, associate dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech;
  • Gary Larrowe, county administrator, Carroll County Public Service Authority;
  • Dave Lawrence, president, Farm Credit of the Virginias;
  • Matt Lohr, commissioner, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services;
  • Vernon Meacham, director of development, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Virginia Tech;
  • Delegate Robert Orrock, 54th District, Thornburg, Va.;
  • Wayne Pryor, president, Virginia Farm Bureau Federation;
  • Paul Rogers Jr., president, Virginia Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services; and
  • Rick Rudd, Community Viability Chair of Excellence and head, Department of Agricultural and Extension Education, Virginia Tech.

Seibel and the council members met in December to discuss specifics of the leadership development program and established criteria for applicants to apply to the program.

The program will consist of experiential seminars for about 48 days over the 22-month period. Participants will include individuals with a vested interest in the success of Virginia agriculture who have exhibited leadership potential.

For more information about the VALOR Program, please contact Megan Seibel at 540-231-2375 or visit the VALOR website.




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