McAuliffe announces agriculture and forestry industries develop planning grants

Forest in Southwest Virginia (Photo by Matt Chaney)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Governor Terry McAuliffe announced the awarding of three grants to projects by Floyd County and the New River Valley Regional Commission to support growth of agricultural and forestry industries in Virginia.

The money for the grants comes from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund.

The governor released a statement about the awarded grants.

“Continuing to support Virginia’s diverse agricultural and forestry sectors is a key part of my plan to build the new Virginia Economy,” McAuliffe said. “Local and regional efforts to study and support these industries in Virginia … should be recognized as vital parts of Virginia’s larger economic development efforts.”

Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Basil Gooden also commented on the grants.

“I applaud Floyd County and the New River Valley Regional Commission for their strong commitment to Virginia’s agricultural and forestry industries, and we are pleased to give them the tools to help them support those industries,” Gooden said. “I applaud August, Halifax, Loudoun and Rockingham Counties for partnering with the New River Valley Regional Commission to study the economic impact of agritourism, an important and growing sector of Virginia’s agricultural economy.”

A press release noted that in order to get an AFID grant, applicants must demonstrate a clear need, a proposed solution, strong support from local government and the agriculture and forestry community and the ability to provide cash or other equity to match the granted funds.

The three specific groups that received grants were the Floyd County Ag-Forestry Value-Chain Enhancement Program, the Economic and Fiscal Impact of Agritourism in Virginia, and Old School Food Center at Prices Fork.

Each group received a grant of about $20,000 – $24,000.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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