A message from the directors
Agriculture is by far Virginia’s largest industry, contributing more than $52 billion annually to the commonwealth’s economy. The agriculture and forest industries together have a total economic impact of nearly $70 billion and provide approximately 414,700 jobs.
But the importance of these industries extends well beyond the farm
A recent study conducted by Battelle, the world’s largest nonprofit research and development organization, found that the growing agbioscience industry in the Southern region of the United States generates $240 billion in regional economic activity and supports more than 2.2 million jobs with labor income totaling $62 billion. Agbioscience encompasses a broad continuum of product development, agricultural production, and innovative use of plants and animals for food, health, fuel, and industrial applications.
The findings of the Battelle study underscore the importance of the contributions of our land-grant system. Virginia Tech, Virginia Cooperative Extension, and the Agricultural Experiment Station play an essential role in economic development. Together we are able to leverage advancements in modern science and technology to successfully address crucial state, regional, national, and global needs. We are transforming knowledge to practice and fueling economic growth and job creation across the commonwealth and beyond.
This report illustrates some of the ways we are doing this. Whether we are developing methods to protect crops from stink bugs, providing families financial education, researching ways to prevent disease by altering a mosquito’s genetic makeup, or helping communities provide nutritious food for their citizens, our efforts continue to improve the standard of living and quality of life for Virginians — now and in the future.
Please take a moment to read about some of our accomplishments. We also encourage you to visit our websites — www.ext.vt.edu and www.vaes.vt.edu — to learn more about the research and programs that are making an impact in Virginia communities.
Edwin J. Jones, Associate Dean and Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension
Saied Mostaghimi, Associate Dean and Director, Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station