RICHMOND, Va. — Gov. Ralph Northam has issued a proclamation declaring the week of May 19–25 as Virginia Agriculture Week in the Commonwealth. Throughout the week, the governor and members of Northam administration will visit sites across Virginia highlighting a variety of farming operations, agriculture research and technology, local food systems and agribusinesses, as well as the agricultural sector’s enormous economic impact in the Commonwealth.
“Agriculture has been a central pillar of Virginia’s economy for centuries and continues to pave the way for smart growth and prosperity in rural and urban communities across the Commonwealth, contributing $70 billion annually to our economy and employing over 334,000 Virginians,” said Gov. Northam. “With over 44,000 farms, Virginia has one of the most diverse agricultural sectors in the nation. As we celebrate Virginia Agriculture Week, I am proud to showcase the success of our agriculture industry, the innovative technologies that our farms are utilizing to increase efficiency, and the important work that Virginia farmers do as stewards of our land, water, and other natural resources.”
“Virginia Agriculture Week provides an opportunity to celebrate the farms, families, and communities that support Virginia’s agriculture industry,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring. “Virginia is home to many dedicated, passionate farmers and business owners and a rich, varied agricultural landscape that includes traditional farming and forestry operations, value-added processing, award-winning wineries and craft beverage production, agritourism operations, and many more.”
In April, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, announced positive trends for the market value for farm products and encouraging developments for Virginia agriculture, including more women defined as principal farm operators, more veterans turning to farming post military careers, and younger farmers entering the agriculture industry as a career.
“As we look at rising demand for new products and the increased use of technology in every aspect of agriculture, now is a great time to seek careers in the agriculture sector,” said Virginia’s Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Dr. Jewel Bronaugh. “Careers in traditional farming, science, ecology, technology, marketing, communications, education and government support this diverse and vital industry.”
— Office of the Governor