Kim writing notes during the listening session
On February 12, 2014 the Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition Project held a coalition meeting at the the Frontier Culture Museum in Salem, VA. Many members from across the state were present to discuss the progress of the coalition and future goals.
One of the achievements that was highlighted was the Whole Farm Planning Program. The whole farm planning teams have held many workshops across the state and are helping many farmers. The Virginia Association of Biological Farming has announced that it will be offering the Farm School for Beginners. The program has also been mentioned in the latest issue of Virginia Agriculture.
The highlight of the meeting was the break out listening sessions. The meeting attendees split into multiple groups in order to discuss their opinions on the coalition. Each group had a facilitator that recorded the thoughts of each group. The results of this activity were positive and constructive. Every group had good ideas on how to improve and develop the coalition and its priorities in the future. The ideas from these sessions will be used to create common measures for an evaluation of the coalition.
The meeting was a success. Many members came together to celebrate progress and define the future of the coalition. An evaluation will be born out of the collaborative work, and stronger relationships were formed between members. The meeting ended just in time for everyone to return home safely before the huge snow storm.
Special thanks to A Bowl of Good for providing such delicious food even with an eminent snow storm.