BLACKSBURG, Va. — The Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech will co-host the 14th annual Virginia Governor’s Conference on Agricultural Trade on March 29, 2022, at the Richmond Marriot Hotel.
“The export market is bright for Virginia’s agricultural and forestry industries. As the Commonwealth’s first and third largest private sector industries, agriculture and forestry have a lead role in stimulating economic growth in the Commonwealth,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin, who will deliver remarks and also announce final figures for agricultural and forestry exports from Virginia for 2021. “I’m looking forward to discussing the importance of agriculture exports for the Commonwealth’s economy, our efforts to strengthen trade partnerships, and developing export opportunities for Virginia agriculture and forestry products.”
The event will bring together producers, agribusinesses, exporters, land-grant university leadership, government officials, and distinguished guests. Agriculture students will also be in attendance. The conference helps prepare the next generation of Virginia agriculture and forestry leaders with learning and networking opportunities.
“We are pleased that Virginia Tech’s Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics with its Center for Agricultural Trade is partnering again with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation to host the Virginia Governor’s Conference on Agricultural Trade. The 2022 conference includes important discussions around the challenges and opportunities for global agricultural and forestry exports,” said Alan Grant, dean of college.
Agriculture is Virginia’s largest private industry and has an economic impact of $70 billion annually and provides more than 334,000 jobs in the commonwealth. The industries of agriculture and forestry together have a total economic impact of over $91 billion and provide more than 334,000 jobs in the commonwealth. Each job in agriculture and forestry supports 1.7 jobs in other areas of Virginia’s economy according to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
“The global economy continues to be an important market segment for Virginia agriculture and forestry, and this year’s conference features another fantastic lineup of speakers,” said Jason Grant, an associate professor of agriculture and applied economics at Virginia Tech and director of the Virginia Tech Center for Agricultural Trade. “The conference will allow producers, agribusiness leaders, and policymakers to learn about export growth opportunities, adapting to more extreme fluctuations in weather, supply chain challenges for food and agricultural products, and implications of the evolving Russia-Ukraine conflict.”
Other conference speakers include Global Situation Room, Inc. President Brett Bruen, U.S. Department of Agriculture Chief Meteorologist Mark Brusberg, AgTrade Strategies, LLC, Agricultural Affairs Sharon Bomer Lauritsen, U.S. Soybean Export Council Senior Director of Market Access Rosalind Leeck, and William Westman & Associates, LLC, Bill Westman.
“The conference provides agribusiness leaders a unique opportunity to connect and network with key individuals along the agricultural supply chain,” Grant said.
With this conference, Virginia Tech partners with policymakers, producers, and industry leaders to enhance Virginia agriculture and forestry. The university plays a major role in augmenting Virginia’s top industry – agriculture and forestry – by producing and disseminating relevant research at its Blacksburg campus and throughout the state at various Agricultural Research and Extension Centers and through Virginia Cooperative Extension.
–Zeke Barlow, Virginia Tech University