March 14, 2014
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Virginia is offering up to $2 million worth of economic development grants to promote growth in Virginia's agriculture and forestry industry.
The Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund is the state's first economic development grant program designed specifically for agribusiness.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports (http://bit.ly/NjobXn ) that the General Assembly appropriated the money this year as part of Gov. Bob McDonnell's economic development and jobs creation agenda.
The Virginia Department of Agriculture expects to award about $1 million in grants during the fiscal year that started July 1, and another $1 million in the following fiscal year.
Officials say agriculture and forestry are Virginia's largest industries, with a combined economic impact of $79 billion annually. The industries also provide about 500,000 jobs.