Sarah Jane Thomsen
Sarah Jane was raised a forester’s daughter in Southwest Virginia, where she found her voice around the family dinner table with her three older siblings. While Sarah Jane always gravitated towards animals growing up and dabbled in some research related to livestock in high school, it wasn’t until college when she found her passion. As an Animal and Dairy Science major at the University of Georgia, Sarah Jane took every opportunity to get her hands dirty while working at the university dairy, competing in Dairy Challenge, representing the Georgia Beef Board, visiting Georgia farms during spring break, studying abroad, and interning with the Virginia Cooperative Extension. Her desire to broaden her experiences led her to pursue a Master’s Degree at Virginia Tech in Agronomy, which required extensive fieldwork at the Southern Piedmont Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Blackstone. Sarah Jane currently serves as the Director of Member Services and Events with the Virginia Agribusiness Council. She is excited for a lifetime career in agriculture and forestry, serving the people who feed, clothe, and fuel the world. Her goal is to connect people to where their food comes from, so they think of farmers, have confidence in these hardworking individuals, and credit them for the food placed daily on the store shelves.
I am most excited to have VALOR and the instructional cadre help strengthen me into an advocate that the agricultural industry deserves. My hope is to utilize the lessons, experiences, and travel opportunities in VALOR to connect with and listen to agricultural and rural communities and then communicate with consumers, legislators, and stakeholders to build bridges and grow common ground.