When asked if there is a difference between teaching a classroom of preschoolers and teaching a classroom of adults, Lauren cheerfully responds, “surprisingly, no, not really”. Whether the learners are five or forty-five, Lauren’s keys to learning are engagement, innovation, and meeting the learner where they are.

Lauren Arbogast married into a third generation beef, poultry, and crop farm in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Lauren recently completed the VALOR program, which is a two-year program through Virginia Tech that develops agricultural leaders and their knowledge of global and local agriculture. The fellows traveled within the state of Virginia exploring local agriculture, and the program culminated with international trip and tour of agriculture in Vietnam. Her previous work experience includes a position with Virginia Cooperative Extension working specifically with Farm-to-School, and the Buy Fresh Buy Local program. Prior to this career change, she was a teacher in Harrisonburg City Public Schools, taking care to bring as much farm into the classroom as possible. Lauren’s work for agriculture in the school setting culminated with two awards: Virginia Agriculture in the Classroom “Teacher of the Year,” as well as the National Agriculture in the Classroom/USDA “Teaching Agriculture Excellence” Award.

Lauren has a passion for sharing her experiences as a city-girl-turned-farm-wife via her blog, PaintTheTownAg.com and her social media sites. In her spare time, Lauren helps on the family farm with her husband, Brian, and their two young boys.