RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia ranks ninth nationally for direct farm sales, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service study on local food marketing practices.
Nationwide, 167,009 farms reported selling $8.7 billion in edible goods directly to consumers, retailers, institutions and local distributors in 2015.
A total of 3,415 Virginia farms reported direct farm sales of food, including value-added products, bringing in a combined $217.3 million.
“Virginia agriculture includes various multiple enterprises within its industry portfolio,” said Tony Banks, a commodity marketing specialist for Virginia Farm Bureau Federation. “This survey illustrates how robust local food sales are in Virginia and across the nation.”
In 2015 Virginia also ranked fourth nationwide for direct-to-consumer sales, with $155 million in sales.
Local foods are linked to many USDA priorities — including an enhanced rural economy, environmental interests, food access and nutrition and strong agricultural producers and markets. Survey results are available at agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/Local_Food/index.php.
— Virginia Farm Bureau Federation