Agency Information

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) promotes the economic growth and development of Virginia agriculture, encourages environmental stewardship, and provides consumer protection. VDACS is responsible for approximately 60 state laws and 70 regulations and includes the Division of Animal and Food Industry Services, Division of Charitable Gaming, Division of Consumer Protection, and the Division of Marketing. For more information, click on the VDACS logo to go to their website.

The Department of Forestry (DOF) is responsible for the protection of 15.8 million acres of forest land from fire, insects, and disease; management of forests and other state lands; and public assistance through professional forestry advice and technical management programs. Forestland provides 60 percent of the land cover in the Commonwealth. For more information, click on the DOF logo to go to their website.

The Virginia Racing Commission (VRC) is responsible for the oversight and ensuring the safety and health of Virginia‚Äôs horse racing industry, as well as monitoring pari-mutuel wagering in the Commonwealth.

Recent News

Newsroom
Governor Northam, Administration Officials Praise Bipartisan Approval of Federal Farm Bill
Governor Ralph Northam, Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring, and Secretary of Natural Resources Matthew J. Strickler today applauded Congressional approval of the federal Farm Bill, which recently passed the United States House and Senate with strong bipartisan support.
Governor Northam Proposes Major Investments to Protect Virginia’s Water Quality and Accelerate Chesapeake Bay Cleanup
Governor Ralph Northam today announced his proposed budget will feature major investments in the protection of Virginia’s natural resources, the first installment of a historic commitment to water quality needs and consistent clean water funding. The governor’s funding strategy would accelerate Virginia’s progress towards its 2025 targets for reduction in the Chesapeake Bay and ensure that the Commonwealth meets its cleanup goals.
Governor Northam Announces Department of Forestry to Receive Federal Grant to Assist in Water Quality Efforts
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is providing a grant of $850,000 for a regional multi-state proposal led by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation for water quality efforts in several localities within the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) and Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE), in cooperation with other key partners such as local Soil and Water Conservation Districts, will lead these efforts in the Shenandoah Valley through riparian forest buffers and other innovative livestock stream exclusion practices.
Governor Northam Announces Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund Planning Grant Awarded to Shenandoah County
Governor Ralph Northam today announced a grant for Shenandoah County from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund to help develop a new economic development strategic plan. The AFID planning grant program incentivizes local governments to promote agriculture and forestry and incorporate the needs of these industries into their overall economic development efforts. The $10,000 award leverages an additional $25,000 in local funds needed to complete the robust new plan.
Governor Northam Announces New Commercial Bakery in Loudoun County
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Little Austria, LLC will create five new jobs and invest over $371,000 to build a new commercial bakery in Sterling. The company, founded by Austrian-born Helene Gallent, has been operating out of the shared-use commercial kitchen ChefScape in Ashburn and selling at area farmers markets. Now, with the assistance of grants from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund and the Loudoun County Economic Development Authority, the company will open a new, standalone commercial bakery in Sterling enabling them to enter new retail and wholesale markets. Little Austria, which participates in the “Loudoun made, Loudoun grown” program, is committing to source apples from Virginia.
Governor Northam Announces 20 New Jobs in King and Queen County
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Premier Tech, a global leader in the horticulture and agriculture sector, will invest $1.89 million to expand its peat moss and pine bark mixing and distribution facility in King and Queen County. The investment will enable the company to increase its production capacity and introduce new products to the East Coast market. Virginia successfully competed with Minnesota for this project, which will create 20 new jobs.
Governor Northam Announces 2018 Specialty Crop Block Grants for Virginia
Governor Ralph Northam today announced an award of $556,321 in grant funding from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for ten Virginia agriculture-related projects. The project awards resulted from a competitive grant process established by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) for the USDA’s Specialty Crop Block Grant funds.
Governor Northam Announces New Jobs, Investment in the City of Winchester
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Glaize & Brother Juice Company, LLC will invest over $1.03 million to build a new apple pressing operation in the City of Winchester. As a result of this investment, over the next three years Glaize & Brother Juice Company will create five new jobs and purchase 100 percent of its apples, 147,000 bushels, from Virginia growers.
Governor Northam Signs Executive Order Establishing Conservation Cabinet
Governor Ralph Northam today issued Executive Order Twenty Two, establishing the Governor’s Conservation Cabinet, a new initiative to better protect Virginia’s vulnerable natural resources and improve environmental quality across the Commonwealth.
Governor Northam Announces Leading Peanut Processor to Expand Production in Southampton County
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Hampton Farms, a division of Severn Peanut Company, Inc., will invest $5.735 million to install a bulk peanut butter production line at its peanut processing operation in Southampton County. As a result of this expansion, the company will create 14 new jobs and increase its already significant purchases of Virginia-grown peanuts by an additional $6 million, or 12 million pounds over the next three years.
Virginia Wine Celebrates 30th Annual “Virginia Wine Month” with Launch of New Brand
Today Governor Ralph Northam announced the 30th Annual October Virginia Wine Month, which kicks off this year with the unveiling of a new brand for Virginia Wine. The new look and feel aims to better tell the story of a diverse and rapidly evolving wine region and highlights how Virginia winemakers embrace their unique region.
Governor Northam Announces Major Expansion by Southampton County Peanut Processor
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Belmont Peanuts of Southampton, Inc. will invest over $2.5 million to build a new peanut processing, warehousing, and retail facility prominently located along Highway 58. As a result of this expansion, Belmont Peanuts will create fifteen new jobs, grow their purchases of Virginia-grown peanuts by 30 percent and create a new tourism destination for Southampton County.
Governor Northam Announces Expansion by Henry County Farm Brewery
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Mountain Valley Brewing will invest $174,000 and create five new jobs to more than double production, sourcing over 65 percent of its agricultural inputs from Virginia farmers.
Governor Northam Announces Major Expansion by Fairfax County Winery
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that The Winery at Bull Run will invest $1.7 million, create 38 new jobs, and double production of its award-winning wines, which are made using only Virginia-grown grapes. The winery, which opened in 2012 on 225 acres adjacent to the Manassas National Battlefield Park, also produces grapes on site and at its 40-acre vineyard in Rappahannock County.
Governor Northam Announces $41.6 Million Investment, 88 New Jobs in Rockingham County
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that InterChange Cold Storage, LLC will create 88 new jobs and invest $41.6 million in Rockingham County to build a 250,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art cold storage and blast freezing facility. The company, owned by Rockingham County-based third-party logistics provider InterChange Group, Inc., will provide cold-chain warehousing and value-added services to the region’s food and beverage manufacturers.
Governor Northam Announces Southwest Virginia’s First Cidery Locating in Downtown Norton
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Sugar Hill Cidery, LLC will locate a new hard cider production facility and restaurant in the city of Norton’s revitalizing downtown. The cidery is a sister company of Sugar Hill Brewing Company, LLC, a craft brewery and restaurant operating in downtown St. Paul.
Governor Northam Announces Administration Appointments
Governor Ralph Northam announced additional appointments to his Administration today.
Governor Northam Announces Speyside Bourbon Cooperage to Establish Operations in Smyth and Washington Counties
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Speyside Bourbon Cooperage, Inc. will invest $26 million to establish a bourbon barrel cooperage in Smyth County and $9 million in a new stave mill facility in Washington County. The stave mill will supply the company’s new Smyth County cooperage, and the two operations will ramp up simultaneously. Virginia successfully competed against West Virginia for the projects, which will create 125 new jobs in Smyth County and 35 new jobs in Washington County.
Governor Northam Announces New UK Distribution Partnership for Virginia Craft Brewery
LONDON—During a trade and marketing mission to Europe, Governor Ralph Northam today announced a new UK distribution partnership for Port City Brewing Company, resulting in new international sales for the Alexandria brewery. The partnership with American Craft Beer Company, a UK-based representative of craft breweries from the United States, will bring Port City beer to the United Kingdom for the first time.
Governor Northam Leads International Trade and Marketing Mission to Europe
Governor Ralph Northam will lead a five-day international trade and marketing mission to Europe from July 15–20, 2018. The Governor will be accompanied by First Lady Pamela Northam, Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball, and Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring, as well as representatives from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and Virginia Tourism Corporation.
Governor Northam Announces 50 New Jobs, $3.76 Million Investment in Scott County
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Mountain Top Timber Products, LLC will invest $3.76 million into a long-abandoned industrial building in the Town of Dungannon. The project will expand the company’s wood chipping operations and add a new sawmill and dry kiln capacity.
Governor Northam Announces New Meadery in the City of Hopewell
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Haley’s Honey Meadery, LLC, a producer of honey wine, is opening a new Virginia farm winery licensed facility in the City of Hopewell’s revitalizing downtown. Over the next three years, the project will create four new jobs, bring an additional $85,000 in new investment to a renovated historic commercial building, and purchase almost $120,000 in Virginia-sourced honey.
Governor Northam Announces Opening of Weekly Farmers Market on Capitol Square
Governor Northam announced today the opening of a weekly farmers market on Capitol Square as part of the OnTheSquareVA state employee engagement initiative.
First Lady Pamela Northam Launches New Early Childhood Education Initiative
First Lady Pamela Northam today announced a new initiative to bolster early childhood education in Virginia and improve student outcomes for youth across the Commonwealth.
Governor Northam Announces $2.45 Million Expansion, 60 New Jobs in Orange County
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Homestead Building Systems, Inc. will invest $2,450,000 to expand its production operation and create 60 new jobs in Orange County.
Governor Northam Announces Administration Appointments
Governor Ralph Northam announced additional appointments to his Administration today.
Governor Northam Designates May 6 – 12 as Virginia Public Service Week
Governor Ralph Northam has proclaimed the week of May 6 – 12, 2018 as Public Service Week in Virginia to celebrate the commitment and dedication of 713,000 individuals who serve the Commonwealth in federal, state and local jobs.
Governor Northam Announces Agribusiness Expansion, New Jobs in Gloucester County
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Whitley Peanut Factory, Inc., a Virginia’s Finest Company since 1992, will invest nearly $530,000 to expand its operation in Gloucester County.
Governor Northam Announces New, Innovative Land Conservation Strategy
Governor Ralph Northam today announced a new land conservation strategy that will focus resources on preserving lands with the highest conservation value for the Commonwealth.
Governor Northam Announces New Commercial Bakery in the City of Virginia Beach
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Commune Bakery LLC will create five new jobs and invest $163,000 in the City of Virginia Beach to create new commercial bakery.
Governor Northam Announces King Family Vineyards’ 2014 Meritage As the 2018 Governor’s Cup Winner
Governor Ralph Northam tonight awarded the 2018 Virginia Wineries Association’s (VWA) Governor's Cup to King Family Vineyards for its 2014 Meritage. Like all wines entered in the competition it is made from 100 percent Virginia fruit.
Governor Northam Announces New Jobs, Investment in Rockingham County
Governor Ralph Northam announced today that Old Hill Cider will expand operations at the company’s hard cidery in Rockingham County, creating five new jobs and $500,000 in new capital investment. The cidery, co-located with Showalter’s Orchard &
Governor Northam Announces Administration Appointments
Governor Ralph Northam announced additional appointments to his Administration today.
Governor Northam Announces $440,000 in USDA Specialty Crop Block Grants Available for Virginia Agricultural Interests
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that groups seeking to improve the competitiveness of specialty crops in Virginia are eligible to submit proposals for grants up to $60,000 per project. The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer
Governor Northam Announces New Jobs, Investment in Franklin County
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Chaos Mountain Brewing, LLC will create five new jobs and invest $250,000 at the company’s craft brewery in Franklin County. The company will add new production capacity and packaging equipment to meet
Governor Northam to Co-Host 10th Annual Conference on Agricultural Trade March 5 in Richmond
Governor Ralph Northam will co-host the 10th Annual Governor’s Conference on Agricultural Trade on March 5, 2018 at 12:00 PM at the Richmond Marriott Hotel. The two-day conference is co-hosted by Virginia Tech’s Department of Agricultural and
Governor Northam Announces Administration Appointments
Governor Ralph Northam announced additional appointments to his Administration today.
Governor-Elect Ralph Northam Announces Administration Appointments
Governor-elect Ralph Northam today announced key appointments for senior leadership positions within his administration.
Governor-Elect Ralph Northam Announces Administration Appointments
Governor-elect Ralph Northam today announced his selections for Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry and Secretary of Natural Resources.