CROZET, Va. (WVIR) - Governor Ralph Northam makes his first public appearance in the NBC29 viewing area since February's admission to wearing blackface in college.

He joined public safety leaders in Crozet for a conference about how drones can help in emergency situations.

Governor Northam was surrounded by his cabinet and staff members Monday at King Family Vineyard.

He did not acknowledge the on-going scandal, and he did not take questions when he addressed first responders.

Northam gave a welcome speech at the Third Annual Unmanned Aircraft Systems Conference, alongside Virginia Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, Brian Moran.

He spoke briefly about the great wine at King Family and thanked first responders for their service.

Northam credited Piedmont Virginia Community College for its work with drones and educating public safety officials on how to incorporate them into emergency situations.

"There's also some great work that's going on in Virginia right now regarding work from Piedmont Virginia Community College there doing great work with unmanned area systems. Virginia Tech has some very (untranslatable) programs and even our Center for Innovative Technology has launched a program for drones, so good things are happening in Virginia,” said Northam.

Northam left immediately after speaking.