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It’s agriculture week

Governor Ralph Northam has issued a proclamation declaring June 13–19 as Virginia Agriculture Week to recognize and celebrate the many contributions of the commonwealth’s agricultural community.

The governor, first lady, and Northam administration officials will visit sites throughout Virginia to highlight the economic impact of the agriculture industry and the role of farmers and agribusinesses in providing safe, abundant, and affordable foods and products that are consumed in the commonwealth, distributed across the country, and exported around the world.

“Agriculture has always been and will continue to be the foundation for growth and prosperity in rural and urban communities across the commonwealth,”  Governor Northam said. “As Virginia’s largest private industry, the agricultural sector contributes $70 billion to our economy each year and employs more than 334,000 Virginians. This Virginia Agriculture Week, we are proud to showcase the diversity of Virginia’s agriculture community and the hard work, innovation, and success of our farmers and agribusinesses.”

Special events throughout the week will include visits to a variety of farming operations, agriculture research and technology hubs, local food systems, and agribusinesses.

“Virginia’s agricultural community has gone above and beyond to protect the health of consumers and their employees and modify business models to continue operations, maintain the food supply chain, and reach new audiences,”  Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring said. “Virginia Agriculture Week provides an opportunity to celebrate the farms, families, businesses, and communities that support Virginia’s agriculture industry and the resiliency shown during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.”

With more than 44,000 farms, Virginia has one of the most diverse agricultural sectors in the nation. The commonwealth’s rich, varied agricultural landscape includes traditional farming and forestry operations, value-added processing, award-winning wineries and craft beverage production, urban agriculture, agritourism operations, and more.

“Agriculture remains the foundation of Virginia’s economy,” Brad Copenhaver, commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said. “In addition to producing food, fiber, and fuel, agriculture provides many other benefits, such as recreation, tourism, wildlife habitat, biodiversity, land preservation, flood mitigation, improved water quality, and soil stabilization. Let us celebrate the contributions of farmers, farm families, and agribusinesses to our everyday lives and as stewards of our land, water, and other natural resources.”