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Press Releases

June 24, 2024
Celebrate the Commonwealth’s Agricultural Industry During Virginia Agriculture Week
Contact: Michael Wallace

Governor Glenn Youngkin has proclaimed June 23 – 29, 2024 as Virginia Agriculture Week, in recognition and celebration of the Commonwealth’s agricultural industry. The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) encourages the public to join in supporting the Commonwealth’s farmers and local economy by purchasing Virginia grown and produced agricultural goods from the state’s diverse offerings.

"Agriculture is Virginia's largest private industry and an economic driver for the state. The industry contributes over $82 billion to our economy, with more than $43 billion in value-added impact, and provides over 381,000 jobs throughout the Commonwealth," said Governor Youngkin. "Our farmers work hard to provide the food, fiber and fuel we all use every day, and I hope this week our communities remember to thank their farmers and buy local products."

According to the USDA National Statistics Service data, the Commonwealth is home to approximately 39,000 farms that cover 7.3 million acres. Virginia's diverse agricultural production includes livestock, field crops, fruits, vegetables, poultry, dairy, greenhouse and nursery, aquaculture, and vineyards. The Commonwealth ranks third in the nation for seafood landings and leaf tobacco, fifth for apples, sixth for turkeys, eighth for peanuts; and ninth for broilers measured in head and pounds.

"Virginia farms and agribusinesses are key influences in both the state's ecosystem and food supply chain. In addition to contributing to Virginia's economy, agriculture serves as a catalyst for growth and job creation in our rural areas," said Virginia’s Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Matthew Lohr. "Our farmers provide food and fiber we use every day, as well as agritourism, flood mitigation, soil stabilization, wildlife habitat, land preservation, recreation, and green spaces. I hope all Virginians take the opportunity to show appreciation for our local agricultural community by thanking farmers and choosing Virginia Grown products."

Scientific and technological advancements have fueled greater efficiency in agricultural production. Present-day farmers produce enough to feed their family plus the equivalent of 155 people around the world, compared to less than ten people in the 1930s.

"The Commonwealth’s agricultural industry thrives on the innovative practices of Virginia farmers. As farmers improve their practices for efficiency and quality as well as stewardship of our land, water and other natural resources, we all benefit," said VDACS Commissioner Joseph Guthrie. "Virginia Agriculture Week is the perfect opportunity to celebrate and support the local family farm businesses at the heart of so many of our communities."

Consumers can identify locally grown and locally produced agricultural products by looking for Virginia Grown and Virginia’s Finest logos on products in grocery stores, specialty stores, and farmers markets across the state. These products range from produce to meats, snacks, sauces, craft beverages and more. Virginia agribusinesses also produce non-food items such as firewood, plants, wool, and more. Consumers can visit their local farmers market or roadside stand for some of the freshest, best tasting food available, or find a local retailer by searching www.VirginiaGrown.com.

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