VALOR Members Address Gov School, Double-Rainbow

By: Mindy Cline, Abby Han, Jack Hensien, Katie Surana, and Erik Sjordal

It was a dark and stormy night, and we were sitting in the dreary, drafty Litton-Reaves auditorium.

Dr.Friedel introduced us to two representatives from the VALOR (Virginia Agricultural Leaders Obtaining Results) organization to teach us about agricultural careers and the importance of making connections with other individuals in the field.

The two speakers were complete opposites: one had dreamed of living on a farm as a child, the other had worked on his family farm since he was five and wanted to get away when he was younger. Each gave their life story and how they began careers in agriculture.Benjamin Grove had worked in poultry as a quality assurance worker for Tyson’s and the farmer, Ian Heatwole, had basically worked on his 1,000-acre family farm his whole life.

A lot of people were interested in the future of agriculture and asked a lot of questions about new methods so Ian told us about his future improvements for his farm, like robotic milking and automatic feeding. People also applied what they had learned in our Biotechnology and Plant science class and asked questions about his planting techniques (conventional, conservation, or no-till methods).IMG_0457

After the detailed lecture about the future of the agricultural industry, we made our way out of the auditorium, and those who had mail went to get their packages, the others started to head back to our dorm only to see that the sky had opened up and it was pouring. Everyone made a mad dash to get back to the dorms, some sacrificing the packages that their families had taken time to send them for the greater good of protection from the rain. The marginal cost of getting their mail wet was not nearly as great as the marginal reward of staying dry.

Naturally, the rain stopped as soon most people returned to the dorm and low and behold the most amazing thing any of us had seen all day appeared from around the corner of a tree top. Not an example of agriculture, education, or really of an importance at all, it was simply generated by sun shining through hundreds of tiny water particles all focusing their light to create a rainbow. All across campus Gov School students stopped whatever they were doing to look upon this totally majestic double rainbow; a gift after a long day.


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