Gooden graduates from VALOR

Published 4:30 pm Tuesday, August 9, 2016

ROANOKE — Dr. Basil Gooden, a Buckingham County native and the state’s newly appointed secretary of agriculture and forestry, recently graduated from Virginia Agriculture Leaders Obtaining Results (VALOR), the state’s premier agricultural leadership training program.

Gooden’ whose family owns and operates a cattle farm in Buckingham, formerly served as state director of rural development at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“The three-day event was marked by graduating fellows completing a service project with hunger relief organization Feeding America and culminated with an evening reception and dinner ceremony at the historic hotel,” according to a Virginia Tech press release. “The ceremony closed with an alumni breakfast to matriculate graduating fellows into their new roles as agricultural leaders in their respective communities.”

According to the release, VALOR is one program of about 40 active agricultural leadership programs in the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia that promotes culturally appropriate agricultural leadership training that uses a research-based experiential learning approach to build professional leadership skills. The program is housed in Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in the Department of Agricultural, Leadership and Community Education.