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Virginia Touts Significant Growth In Agricultural Exports

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Virginia produce is making its way into the global marketplace.
Matt Hannon: http://www.flickr.com/photos/74146831@N00/3960864094/
Virginia produce is making its way into the global marketplace.

Virginia Secretary of Agriculture Todd Haymore says the agricutlure industry is booming, thanks in a large part to Gov. Bob McDonnell's administration.

Agriculture brings in about $55 billion in revenue each year and provides 350,000 jobs. Haymore says that number is growing in part, because at the beginning of the administration there was only one international trade office, but at least eight trade offices have been established since.

"The last three years we've had all-time highs in exports from Virginia into the global marketplace — $2.6 billion was last year," Haymore says. "I think we're headed towards $3 billion."

Haymore also says McDonnell had a very aggressive goal of making Virginia the East Coast capital for wine and wine tourism.

"We are well on our way there. Our sales have hit record highs the last four years," he says. "We've been named one of the top 10 wine destinations across the world."

And although Virginia's top agricultural commodity was once tobacco, the state's products have diversified and are in higher demand on the global marketplace. Broilers were the number one commodity last year, followed by cattle, milk, turkeys, and soybeans.

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