Governor Glenn Youngkin has approved a $20,000 grant to investigate a potential meat processing facility at the Fauquier Livestock Exchange.
“As I travel across the Commonwealth, I listen to our farmers about what they need to be successful and additional meat processing capacity is always at the top of the list,” Youngkin said in a Wednesday release. “I am pleased to partner with Fauquier County and its cattlemen with this AFID [Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development] grant to explore ways to increase the resiliency of Virginia’s agricultural economy and provide farmers new opportunities to be successful.”
The grant will be matched by $20,000 in funds from the Fauquier County Farm Bureau, Fauquier County, and the PATH Foundation. The Fauquier County Agricultural Advisory Committee is working to increase economic opportunities for agriculture and will oversee the project.
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services operates the AFID Planning grant program to support agriculture and forestry and has given nearly $1.1 million to 52 total projects since 2013. According to its website, the program provides matching grants up to $20,000 to single-locality projects and $35,000 for multi-locality projects to develop plans or feasibility studies; generate working land preservation programs, create local initiatives to support agriculture and forestry, or fund entrepreneurship and business development.
“Agriculture is the Commonwealth’s largest private industry, and in many counties, especially those of the northern Piedmont, livestock production is what drives the agricultural economy,” Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Matthew Lohr said in Youngkin’s release. “Value-added agricultural enterprises are critical to the long-term health of the agriculture industry and to the preservation of working lands. It’s important for cattle producers to have access to as many market channels as possible and consumers benefit from access to locally grown and processed agricultural products.”
– – –