VPC Supports IOW Agricultural Land Lab and Youth Ag Education

Smithfield, VA – The Virginia Pork Council joined representatives from the IOW Agricultural Land Lab at the IOW School Board meeting, taking place May 11, 2023, at Westside Elementary School, in Smithfield, VA, to advocate and promote youth agriculture education through the VPC funding a livestock trailer for transporting livestock, including swine, for educational purposes. The Council was delighted to approve a 2023 grant to the the Isle of Wight County Schools Agricultural Land Laboratory, providing a brand-new livestock trailer, to promote opportunities for youth agriculture education.

The IOW Agricultural Land Laboratory is a unique, hands-on opportunity for students to learn about agriculture, as well as providing the opportunity to visit students of all ages and support youth showing swine. Jessica Cunningham, president of Virginia Pork Council said, “the VPC is honored and excited to be able to support the IOW Agricultural Land Lab. Funding for the trailer provided by the VPC will provide not only youth agriculture education, but also will provide opportunities to discuss animal health and welfare; to provide training for students in the form of PQA and TQA; and to continue the revitalization of the local Virginia FFA chapter. We look forward to continuing and growing partnerships like this in the future.” Learn more about the IOW Agricultural Land Lab HERE.

The Virginia Pork Council supports the continued production and growth of the pork industry in the Commonwealth of Virginia, dedicated to providing programming and educational opportunities that support production efficiency. Support for improved pork product quality and producer on farm integrity is a critical as are cooperative efforts with other organizations, agencies, and other groups who have as their purpose support for an improvement of the pork industry of the commonwealth of Virginia.

Virginia Pork

•       Swine rank 13th in Virginia’s top 20 agricultural commodities, with $53,000,000 in Farm Cash Receipts

•       Agriculture is Virginia’s largest industry contributing $52 billion annually to the Commonwealth

•       Because the agriculture industry is so large in Virginia it provides nearly 357,000 jobs in the Commonwealth

•       Today, one farmer supplies food for 155 people in the U.S. and abroad

•       Less than 16 cents of every consumer dollar spent on food actually goes to the farmer

•       Approximately 17 percent of Virginia’s primary farm operators are female

•       The average farm size in Virginia is 179 acres

•       The typical Virginia farmer is 59.5 years old. Thirty-six percent of farmers are 65 years of age or older

•       Farms cover 8.2 million acres, which equals 33 percent of Virginia’s total land area of 25.3 million acres