The recently appointed secretary of agriculture and forestry for the Commonwealth of Virginia will share career insights during 11:15 a.m. keynote address.

Ferrum, Va. (Sept. 16, 2016) – Basil I. Gooden, who was appointed secretary of agriculture and forestry for the Commonwealth of Virginia in July, will be the next executive in residence at Ferrum College on Wed., Sept. 21, 2016. During his time at the College, Gooden will share his career experiences with students in a number of classes and give a public keynote address at 11:15 a.m. in the Blue Ridge Mountain Room in Franklin Hall on campus.

Prior to his appointment as Virginia secretary of agriculture and forestry by Governor Terry McAuliffe, Gooden was selected by President Obama for the role of state director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Development for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Gooden previously served as the chief deputy director of the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development and the state director of USDA Rural Development for the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Before joining USDA, he served as the chief deputy director of the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, as the coordinator of outreach and community relations at Virginia Tech, and with the Virginia Cooperative Extension as an extension specialist where he designed and implemented a statewide research project to assess community issues impacting localities across Virginia. Some of his previous professional experiences include working as a legislative assistant to a former U.S congressman from the Fifth Congressional District of Virginia and a legislative aide to a former U.S. senator from Virginia. He is an active board member of several statewide organizations such as the Council for Rural Virginia, Housing Virginia, EarthCraft Virginia, Preservation Virginia, and the Virginia Cooperative Extension State Extension Leadership Council. He previously served as an advisor on the Buckingham/Cumberland County FSA County Committee.

Gooden is a native of Buckingham County, Va., where he and his family still own and operate a cattle farm.

The Executive in Residence initiative at Ferrum College brings the real world business experience of current and retired business professionals to campus. Guest executives tour the College, audit classes, interact with students and faculty, and are asked to deliver a lecture sharing their personal experiences and philosophies. Speakers offer insight on the knowledge, skills and leadership qualities necessary for a successful business career.