The Secretariat of Agriculture and forestry combined are Virginia's largest private sector industry. According to a 2017 economic impact study conducted by Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia, agriculture and forestry have a combined economic impact of $91 billion annually. Agriculture generates more than $70 billion per annum, while forestry induces over $21 billion. The industries also provided nearly 450,000 jobs in the Commonwealth.
As Secretary, I am excited to focus on three priority issues related to Governor Northam’s vision of building a Virginia that works better for every family, no matter who they are or where they live. Agriculture and forestry are the Commonwealth’s largest private industries, with a combined annual economic impact of over $91 billion, and the health of these industries affects communities around Virginia, especially in rural areas. My team and our three agencies are committed to supporting rural economic development, preserving farmland and forestland across Virginia, and ensuring that all Virginians, especially those who are most vulnerable, have access to safe, healthy foods.