Worldwide recession aside, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell says Virginia agriculture is performing great for the state. The Commonwealth's agricultural exports totaled $2.24 billion in 2010, only slightly behind the Commonwealth's record $2.3 billion in agricultural exports in 2009.
McDonnell announced the 2010 export results during his comments at the International Virginia Agricultural Trade Conference that concluded March 18 in Norfolk.
"When you consider the worldwide recession, severe drought in areas of Virginia and political turmoil around the world, the 2010 figures are very promising," Gov. McDonnell said. "Virginia currently ranks ninth in the nation in agricultural export value. Agriculture and forestry are the top two industries in Virginia, and we must continue to strengthen and grow them to ensure our economic vitality.
"Agriculture exports mean good jobs for our citizens," McDonnell continued. "As we continue to place a greater emphasis on the export of Virginia products around the world, our growers and producers — some of the best in the world — are geared up to increase their export business. We have an aggressive marketing agenda in 2011 and beyond to promote Virginia products globally, including trade missions to Asia, India and Israel, and additional Secretarial missions to the United Kingdom, Cuba and other places."
Diversity is one key strength for Virginia agriculture. Top products this year were soybeans, grains, pork, poultry, leaf tobacco, wood products and logs, fats and oils, cotton, seafood and aquaculture products, fresh vegetables and hides and skins.
You can view McDonnell's complete press release on this topic at http://www.governor.virginia.gov/News/viewRelease.cfm?id=639.