A Governor’s School Weekend

By: GROUP #4

On the Saturday after the 4th of July, the Governor’s School for Agriculture left the Virginia Tech campus early and drove to the Cascades Falls in Giles County.


It was a long, strenuous hike despite the signs that claimed it was an easy two miles each way. We carefully hiked over slick stones and bridges for 45 minutes.The Cascades were beautiful — almost 70 feet of falls crashed into a large pool of water. The adventurous climbed over the rocks and took turns jumping into the freezing water. Even the less adventurous GSL, Garrett, jumped in the water with much encouragement from the students. We took the easier loop back to the vans and finished the hike with no injuries (very impressive considering we are a fragile bunch).

After the hike, we spent the rest of the day getting to know our new friends. Some of the GSL’s took groups of students into the town of Blacksburg so that we could escape D2’s cafeteria food. Each of the groups of students were excited about the endless possibilities for dinner. There was sushi, Chick-Fil-A, Chipotle, chinese food, and even frozen yogurt after. Sunday morning continued where Saturday left off. Some students attended religious services while others attended brunch or watched movies with their suitemates. A group of students ran a half marathon while others found that they were allergic to grass on the Drill Field.

The much anticipated Scavenger Hunt started on Sunday night. We all met outside of D2 and were briefed on the rules. Once the hunt began, it was chaos. Students walked hastily (NO RUNNING!!) around campus to complete various tasks and take pictures. The 34 tasks ranged from finding the biggest statue on campus to proposing to a stranger on campus. In a little over an hour, we covered the entire campus and now have less of a chance of getting lost. The Plant Science Group earned the most points and are anxiously anticipating the prize that they will receive at the closing ceremony.


GROUP #2 Prepares for the 4th of July


This morning we woke up and looked in our closets to pick out anything to wear that is red, white, and blue.

Many of us forgot that we would be spending the 4th of July here at the Governor’s School for Agriculture, but as we look around the room, it is clear that some of the students here planned in advance. We can see American flag capes tied to the back of patriotic tank tops and heads adorned with American flag bandanas. The amount of red, white, and blue in the classroom is just enough to demonstrate the spirit of the students here without being overwhelming.

As we wrapped up the final Economics is Everywhere! class, Professor Ellerbrock called a few students to the front to lead the class in a National Anthem sing-a-long. Some voices were more prominent and beautiful than others, but all of the voices were clearly excited to be here.

Even though we are all from different parts of the state, we have all elected to spend a month here to learn and live together. Everyone is looking forward to watching the fireworks tonight with new friends.


Global Seminar Group #1’s Week Report


From learning economics to awkward laughing in blogging class, the first few days of the Governor’s School for Agriculture has certainly been interesting.

Every day of the week we have attended Economics is Everywhere, detailing the applications of, and making rational decisions to, everyday life and the agricultural economy. In Renewable Energy, we were introduced to the various techniques for using sustainable energy and conserving natural resources such as Vertical Axis Wind Mills or VAWT.

In Blogging Your Thoughts we honed our skills in communication, specifically in the modern age. Later, we visited the Via College of Osteopathic Medicine where we were allowed to view human cadavers.

After hours, students were able to wind down in the kitchen lounge while grabbing a quick bite to eat. Some students chose to be more “active” during their free time by bellydancing in a hot room full of smelly people, and by taking to the field to play a friendly soccer and volleyball game.

Sadly, some students (Michelle) did get a little too competitive while playing basketball and ended up riding a scooter in WalMart.



Gov School Students Tackle Heavy Questions in Ag


Why are there no wind farms in Virginia? Why are there door locks on 7-11 stores that are open 24/7? Which is better: conventional or organic farming practices? Are antibiotics detrimental to the food supply? Should America use corn or perennial grasses to create bio-fuel?

These are the questions the 99 students of the Governor’s School for Agriculture have been hard at work attempting to answer — in class, on field trips and in their group projects. During the past four days, students have quickly found a routine and began work on their major projects.

Trips to the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, and a guided tour of Newman Library and its resources, have added hands-on opportunities to the Governor’s School experience. Surprisingly, VCOM’s cadavers were the big hands-on hit.

In the evenings, volleyball, basketball, kickball, running, and, of course, World Cup watching have provided opportunities to make new friends and enjoy the Blacksburg evenings.

Follow the students’ adventures on Twitter, and get excited for later this week when students begin contributing to this blog in their own words.