- Economic Development continues to be a top priority for this administration with the goal of building a new Virginia Economy. Our office is supporting this initiative by overseeing the Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund (AFID).The AFID Fund was created during the 2012 session of the General Assembly and is being embraced by the McAuliffe Administration as an important tool in growing the Commonwealth’s agriculture and forestry sector and helping to make Virginia the leading exporter of agricultural and forest products on the East Coast. More information about the AFID grant, which has the flexibility to assist projects large and small throughout Virginia, can be found at http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/agribusiness/afid.shtml
Leadership and Stakeholder Development
- Leadership is necessary to support, conduct, and maintain the many projects and initiatives related to agricultural and forestry industries around the Commonwealth as we recognize that issues facing our industry today are increasingly complex. The Secretariat works to support community-based leadership by growing the presence of agricultural development officers and boards, showcase the work of industry leaders, and support a pipeline of future leaders through student organizations and leadership development programs. In turn, we leverage future success toward education, technology, health, business, trade, and innovation.
Technology and Innovation
- Technological advancement is extremely rapid. Growth and application for agricultural and forestry industry sectors are particularly robust. With direct impacts on production practice, product development, business development, and education and career development to address complex tech –based problems and solutions, the Secretariat works to encourage and showcase innovation and advancement around agricultural technology.
- Virginia agricultural exports, which also include forestry products, continue to be sought and valued by global markets. Virginia's agricultural exports are competitive in the global marketplace because of the high quality and diversity of products available for export and the Commonwealth’s excellent sea, air, and land port system. Our strategic plan in agriculture and forestry for continuing to grow Virginia’s economy includes helping existing agribusinesses expand operations, recruiting new agribusinesses to Virginia, expanding international markets for Virginia products, and making strategic investments in rural infrastructure that support job growth in these areas. With more than thirty percent of gross farm income linked to exports, access to vibrant international markets is important to Virginia’s future economic prosperity as we position ourselves to be the largest exporter on the East Coast.
Craft Beverage Industry
- Virginia is building its reputation as the top destination for craft beverages on the East Coast. Virginia’s craft beverage industry contributes over a two billion dollar economic impact to the Commonwealth each year. Around the state, wineries, breweries, distilleries, cideries, and meaderies are increasing their local connection by sourcing Virginia-grown agriculture products to create a unique terroir, or taste of place. With more than 280 wineries, 190 breweries, and 40 distilleries – Virginia is fully leveraging our natural resources and long history in agriculture to create value-added products in a high-growth industry.
Richmond February 27, 2018
Governor Northam Announces King Family Vineyards’ 2014 Meritage As the 2018 Governor’s Cup® Winner
Governor Ralph Northam tonight awarded the 2018 Virginia Wineries Association’s (VWA) Governor's Cup to King Family Vineyards for its 2014 Meritage. Like all wines entered in the competition it is made from 100 percent Virginia fruit.
Richmond February 21, 2018
Governor Northam Announces New Jobs, Investment in Rockingham County
Governor Ralph Northam announced today that Old Hill Cider will expand operations at the company’s hard cidery in Rockingham County, creating five new jobs and $500,000 in new capital investment. The cidery, co-located with Showalter’s Orchard &
Richmond February 16, 2018
Governor Northam Announces Administration Appointments
Governor Ralph Northam announced additional appointments to his Administration today.
Richmond February 07, 2018
Governor Northam Announces $440,000 in USDA Specialty Crop Block Grants Available for Virginia Agricultural Interests
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that groups seeking to improve the competitiveness of specialty crops in Virginia are eligible to submit proposals for grants up to $60,000 per project. The Virginia Department of Agriculture and ConsumerMore News