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It’s a well known fact that Virginia is an excellent place to do business. But do you know what Virginia’s largest business is? Many people are surprised to learn that it is agriculture.

“Agriculture is not only Virginia’s largest industry,” says Matthew J. Lohr, Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), “but it is a surprisingly diverse industry.” Virginia produces a sophisticated array of outstanding agricultural products and exports those products to a varied portfolio of countries all around the world.

“That is why each year we produce a pocket-friendly brochure detailing Virginia’s latest agriculture facts and figures,” Lohr said.

One of the facts highlighted in the 2011 – 2012 brochure is that 2011 marked an all-time high for Virginia’s agriculture and forest product exports. The total value was $2.35 billion, a six percent increase from 2010 that also beat the previous record set in 2009.

Other facts from the latest publication: Virginia agriculture has an annual economic impact of $55 billion dollars and provides more than 357,000 jobs in the Commonwealth. It is an extremely diverse industry that

produces poultry, livestock, milk, seafood, peanuts, fruits and vegetables, greenhouse and nursery, field crops and a host of specialty products. Many Virginia grown products, from tomatoes to tobacco to turkeys, rank in the top 10 nationally. And within the state, the Top Five Agricultural Commodities are broilers, cattle/calves, milk, turkeys and nursery/greenhouse. (The brochure lists the Top 20.)

All of these facts and many more are available in a new brochure on Virginia Agriculture from VDACS. To obtain free copies, contact Elaine Lidholm or call 804.786.3538. Ag facts also are available on the VDACS Web site at VDACS.

Elaine Lidholm

Director of Communications

Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services 102 Governor Street

Richmond VA 23227 804.786.7686