RICHMOND—Your farm photography can help paint a picture of the state’s largest private industry ahead of Virginia Agriculture Week, June 11-17.
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services observes the week annually to recognize, celebrate and thank the commonwealth’s agricultural community. Photographers are invited to share their best farm images with the public through VDACS’ Virginia Agriculture Photo Contest, open through May 31.
With an annual statewide economic impact of $82.3 billion, the industry employs more than 381,800 Virginians who play a critical role in providing a safe, abundant and affordable food and fiber supply. Those products are used globally, from Argentina to Zimbabwe.
Newly released VDACS data values Virginia’s 2022 agricultural and forestry exports at more than $5.1 billion dollars, eclipsing the previous record set in 2021 by 25%.
“These export numbers speak to the high quality and value of Virginia products and the success of our agricultural and forestry producers to establish fruitful international commercial relationships,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Matthew Lohr. “Virginia producers also benefit from the strategic advantage of the commonwealth’s premier transportation system, which is anchored by the Port of Virginia.”
At home, state agricultural leaders encourage the public to support Virginia’s farmers by buying their products and visiting farms and agribusinesses. They recommend consumers search for fresh Virginia produce, meats and seafood on VirginiaGrown.com and specialty foods and beverages on vafinest.com.
“Virginia farmers rose to the challenges of 2022, working together across the food chain to provide the agricultural products the world relies on,” said Wayne F. Pryor, Virginia Farm Bureau Federation president. “In partnership with VDACS, we have been proud to tell that story, while ensuring that our farmers have what they need to keep running day-to-day while focusing on a sustainable, climate-smart future.”
Photographers who wish to share agriculture’s story can submit entries in the following categories:
Farm Tractors and Equipment—Any tools used in agriculture, from tractors to milking equipment, crab baskets to shovels.
Fresh Catch—Seafood and aquaculture, watermen, and scenes on the water.
Faces of Agriculture—Whether human or animal, even a vegetable that looks like a face.
Farmers Markets/Farm Shops—Entries featuring Virginia farmers markets, U-pick farms, farm stands, stores and tasting rooms.
Fields—Fields of colorful crops, to fields of herds or flocks.
Submit photos to email@example.com by 11:59 p.m. on May 31. Winners will receive a Virginia’s Finest gift basket, valued up to $200, and will be featured in the Virginia Agriculture magazine. Visit vdacs.virginia.gov/pdf/ag-week-photo-contest-rules.pdf for rules and contest details.
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