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Partners for Progress

Edwin Jones and Saied Mostaghimi

Edwin J. Jones (left), associate dean and director of Virginia Cooperative
Extension, and Saied Mostaghimi, associate dean and director of Virginia
Agricultural Experiment Station.

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
and forest.

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. Continue reading

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