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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 Program Fellow Industry Affiliations/Backgrounds
Advancement/Development Cooperative Extension Agricultural Education
Livestock Production Commodity Crop Production Specialty Crop Production
Financial Lending Rural Electric Services Transportation Engineering
Governmental Relations/Policy Environmental Services Private Business Owner(s)
Local Government State Government Federal Government
University/College Faculty Industry Board Member Industry Org Executive Director
Product Distribution/Trade Marketing/Communications Agricultural Law
International Development Precision Technology Member/Customer Serivces
Farm Cooperative Management Finance Auditing Product Development
Commodity Trading  Non-Profit Director Youth Development
Healthcare Delivery Veteran Services Agribusiness Development
Economic Development Funding Agency Project Mgmt. Direct Sales/Retail/Wholesale

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.  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.  


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.

*exceptions may be addressed with program director
"The Virginia Agricultural Leaders Obtaining Results (VALOR) program has been the most worthwhile, impactful, and transformative development experience I have ever had. The program structure allows for fellows to have rich experiences with agriculture, as well as with social and cultural issues. Fellows then engage in both informal and formal reflection, and we are called to put our learning into action in both our professional and personal lives. This sequence of experience-reflection-action/implementation is the foundation of experiential learning design, and no program does that better than VALOR. Participating as a fellow has deepened my agricultural knowledge, increased my emotional intelligence, and impacted the way that I lead and serve. I have no doubt that my current classmates and fellow program alumni are well equipped and poised to be the next generation of agricultural leaders for the state of Virginia."
- Austin Large, Senior Director, Membership & Organization Development, American Farm Bureau Federation, VALOR Class VI

Seminar IV - Legislative Advocacy & Policy Development

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