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Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund (AFID)
AFID Planning Grants

Planning Grants from the Governorís Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund (AFID)

(Information about AFID Grants for value-added processing facility projects can be found here)

As part of Governor McAuliffe’s plan to ensure that agriculture and forestry are a major part of his administration’s efforts to grow and diversify Virginia’s economy, the Governor has set aside funding to encourage localities to think strategically about how they can better support and integrate agriculture and forestry-based industries into their community’s overall economic development efforts. 

These AFID Planning Grants give local governments the flexibility to undertake the kind of planning, study, or local initiative they think best to grow and support agriculture and forestry-based businesses in their community and region.  The planning grant program also provides a greater voice in local economic development to agriculture and forestry stakeholders by requiring that any grant funded program be implemented by a board, committee or working group representing agriculture and/or forestry interests in the affected locality.

The competitive grant program allows political subdivisions to apply for up to $20,000 in matching funds, or up to $35,000 for multi-jurisdictional applications, to undertake efforts that support local agriculture and forestry-based businesses.  These efforts might include developing a strategic plan for agriculture and forestry economic development, creating new local policies and zoning ordinances that better support these industries, or funding feasibility studies and predevelopment work for new facilities that bring significant and lasting benefits to the local agriculture and forestry sectors.

The amount of an AFID Planning Grant and the terms under which it is given are determined by the Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry and approved by the Governor.  Factors used in determining grant awards and conditions include the project’s expected impact on the affected locality’s agriculture and forestry related industries, and the extent to which the effort will improve local capacity to support these industries’ development beyond the life of the grant.

Interested applicants should first review the Program Guidelines below; and reach out to their local and regional agricultural and forestry community, as well as local economic development professionals and other key stakeholders, to discuss potential projects.  For more information, please contact Stephen Versen at or 804.786.6911. 

Program Documents:


News Release(s):

January 29, 2014
Governor McAuliffe Announces First Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund Planning Grants of Administration
~ Awards Support Strategic Expansion Effort in Essex, Further Growth Opportunity in Loudoun for Virginia’s Burgeoning Wine Industry ~

May 14, 2014
Governor McAuliffe Awards Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund Planning Grants to Communities in Central and Southern Virginia

December 16, 2014
Governor McAuliffe Announces Third Round of Agriculture, Forestry Planning Grants

~ AFID Awards Support Strategic Growth Initiatives in Fauquier, Buckingham, Charles City Counties ~

February 25, 2015
Governor McAuliffe Announces Agriculture, Forestry Planning Grants for Orange County, City of Richmond
~AFID Awards Support Projects to Assess Opportunities for Agritourism at Montpelier, Food Access in Richmond~

June 10, 2015
Governor McAuliffe Announces Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Planning Grants in Halifax and Botetourt County

~Two Projects Receive State Grants to Support Agricultural Development in Localities~

June 17, 2015
Governor McAuliffe Announces Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Planning Grants in Rappahannock County and Shenandoah Valley

Stephen Versen
AFID Fund Coordinator
Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
102 Governor Street
Richmond, VA 23219


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