Agriculture & Forestry Development
The Office of Agriculture and Forestry Development (OAFD) serves as the first point of contact for agriculture and forestry businesses considering locating in Virginia or expanding within the state. Project managers are available to assist agribusinesses and enhance their opportunities for success in the Commonwealth. OAFD’s experienced professionals can contribute at every stage, from business concept and site selection to the grand opening celebration. The team excels at helping entrepreneurs and expanding agribusiness companies navigate local, state and federal business assistance resources, as well as industry-specific partnerships. Additionally, OAFD staff are available to provide information about helpful resources beyond the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
OAFD maintains a list of agribusiness financing resources.
Accessing available loans and grants often requires completion of a business plan. The Commonwealth of Virginia offers a variety of business planning resources, including Virginia’s Business One Stop and a network of local Virginia Small Business Development Centers staffed with professionals ready to help translate business ideas and experience into a viable business plan.
For those looking to start a farm, the two best places to go are Virginia Tech’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition and Virginia State University’s Small Farm Outreach Program. Those new to agriculture should also contact their local Virginia Cooperative Extension office and their local USDA Service Center for additional resources and information.
Michele Bridges, Project Manager
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