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Selection Process

Are you interested in being a part of VALOR?  Are you looking to develop your leadership skills and collaborate across industry boundaries to take on the challenges in agriculture?

VALOR Class II - 2014 back (left to right) Basil Gooden, Kevin Beamer, Cliff Williamson, Joe Wilkerson, Adam Shiflett. middle (left to right) James Faison, Timothy Durham, Albert Reid, Marilyn Adams, Shelley Barlow, Josh Stephens. front (left to right) Megan Seibel, Director, Lauren Arbogast, Jennifer Leech

VALOR Class II 2014
VALOR Class II - 2014

Diverse Leadership

VALOR Class II Fellows included row-crop farmers, a dairy herdsperson, foresters, beef producers, economic development professional, agricultural financiers, and a gourmet foods entrepreneur. Through their two-year leadership development journey, they augmented their personal knowledge with leadership scholarship and communications training. Then, traveling throughout Virginia, visiting Florida and Viet Nam, they placed their experience in a larger context. Armed with communications skill, a network of friends, a civic engagement drive, and a knowledge of agriculture both deep and broad, VALOR graduates will play a large role in shaping Virginia agriculture.

Participatory Leadership

Class participants of VALOR will embark on a collaborative leadership development journey, serving as pioneers in their fields and in the state of Virginia as they progress through the premier program at the forefront of agricultural issues facing our communities and our world. The program provides participants with leadership skills, expertise, and the capacity to serve as advocates for agriculture.

By utilizing the collaborative network of individuals from the inaugural and future classes, alumni will be able to rely on developed leaders across the agricultural industry who have a passion for a synergy of agriculture at the local, state, national, and international levels. Alumni will play a large role in shaping the VALOR program for future classes and have the opportunity to reunite with classmates and incoming VALOR classes.

Class Selection

Applicants must complete a two-part application, which will be reviewed by a selection committee. Each selected applicant will be asked to participate in a face-to-face interview at a mutually agreed-upon location in Virginia or in a Skype interview.  Desired participants include individuals with a vested interest in the success of Virginia agriculture and aspirations for increased leadership roles. Based on the pool of applicants, reasonable representation and diversity will be sought from the standpoint of geographic location, range in age, and agricultural sector. Up to 20 men and women will be invited to participate in each class.w.  


Applicants must be a U.S. citizen and a Virginia resident at the time of application. While there are no academic requirements of program participants, applicants must be able to contribute to each module, complete outside assignments, and conduct themselves appropriately throughout their class term.

Virginia Agriculture Leaders Obtaining Results will have a class of up to 20 participants. Individuals applying to the program must share a desire to engage, collaborate, promote, and advance the agricultural industry. Character, as reflected by references, must be of the highest quality and applicants must be able to demonstrate leadership abilities and potential through their organizations, political actions, and communities.


Class participants are required to attend all scheduled seminars and trips. A 100% attendance is expected unless there is a case of extreme emergency. To ensure attendance, part of the application includes employer approval or, if applicants are self-employed, they must be able to establish flexibility within their enterprise and/or have spouse approval.

“Agriculture today, more than ever, is both local and global.  The VALOR program will expose Virginia’s agricultural leaders to agriculture around the state and around the world.  I am most excited about the networking opportunities this experience will provide.”

- Stan Brantley
Past President, Amadas Industries;
Past VALOR Advisory Council Member

Seminar IV - Legislative Advocacy & Policy Development

Inaugural Class 2012
Inaugural Class - Legislative Advocacy & Policy Develoment Seminar, Richmond