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Press Releases

December 11, 2023
AFID Planning Grant Awarded to the Commonwealth Regional Council to Support Poultry Farmers in Central Virginia
Grant will establish a cooperative to attract new poultry businesses to central Virginia
Contact: Michael Wallace

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) announces the award of a Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund Planning Grant to the Commonwealth Regional Council for the establishment of the Central Virginia Poultry Cooperative (CVPC). The CVPC will work to support the poultry growers of central Virginia, who were affected by the closure of the Tyson Foods poultry processing plant in Glen Allen, by attracting new poultry businesses to the area.

“I am pleased that the Commonwealth Regional Council is receiving this Governor’s AFID grant for the establishment of the Central Virginia Poultry Cooperative. This grant will help mitigate the loss of an essential broiler processing complex, support Virginia poultry growers and their communities, and demonstrate that Virginia welcomes rural economic development,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Matthew Lohr. “Agriculture is the foundation of Virginia’s economy and poultry is our top agricultural commodity. The strength and momentum of the industry must continue, and our administration is committed to doing that.”

The Commonwealth Regional Council serves Amelia, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Lunenburg, Nottoway, and Prince Edward counties. The AFID Planning Grant award of $35,000 will be matched by the Commonwealth Regional Council, through funding from each of the seven counties. Funding will be used for organizational costs related to the establishment of the CVPC.

“Since the closure of the Tyson Glen Allen facility, VDACS staff, and staff from other state agencies have met with former Tyson employees, growers, industry stakeholders and county officials to provide resources and aid in determining next steps,” said VDACS Commissioner Joseph Guthrie. “Establishing the Central Virginia Poultry Cooperative is a tremendous step forward, as it will protect the interests of central Virginia poultry farmers and work to attract new poultry businesses into the region.”

The Governor’s AFID Planning Grant program is administered by VDACS. Program applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Successful applications demonstrate a clear need, a proposed solution, strong support from local government and the agriculture and forestry communities, and the ability to provide matching funds.

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