- 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 January 11, 2018
Governor McAuliffe Announces $308,076 in Farmland Preservation Grants
Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced the fiscal year 2018 farmland preservation grant recipients. The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ (VDACS) Office of Farmland Preservation has awarded a total of $308,076 to five
Richmond December 22, 2017
Governor McAuliffe Announces Rural Rehabilitation Trust Fund Grants
Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced awards totaling $499,521 in grant funding for six agriculture-related projects aimed at providing assistance and creating new economic opportunities for farmers and agriculture organizations across Virginia.
Richmond December 21, 2017
Governor McAuliffe Announces New Jobs, Investment in Giles County
Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced that JBR Vineyards, LLC will expand its vineyard operation to open a farm winery in Giles County. The company will invest over a quarter of a million dollars in the construction of its new winery and tasting
Tappahannock December 19, 2017
Governor McAuliffe Announces 17 New Jobs in Essex County
Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced that Blue Ridge Lumber Co., LLC will create seventeen new jobs and invest nearly $2.7 million at the company’s lumber yard in Essex County. The company is adding new dry kiln capacity to increase hardwoodMore News