A recent announcement by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe included plans surrounding the funding for new and renovated livestock, poultry, and equine facilities at Virginia Tech University as one part of a proposed $2.43 billion bond package.
The proposed facilities are part of several proposed capital improvement projects around the state, all of which are aimed at strengthening the commonwealth’s research and economic development infrastructure. Agriculture is by far the largest industry in Virginia, providing an annual economic impact of more than $52 billion, as well as nearly 311,000 jobs around the state.
The livestock, poultry, and equine sectors form the backbone of the state’s vibrant agricultural sector, with those sectors alone yielding $1.8 billion in cash receipts annually. The Virginia equine industry supports more than 16,000 jobs and had an impact of more than $502 million on the labor market in 2010.
“We are very pleased that the governor has included these facilities in his proposed budget and continues to be an enthusiastic advocate for agriculture,” said Alan Grant, dean of the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “His support highlights the vital role that Virginia Tech plays in helping grow the economy through research, education, and Virginia Cooperative Extension.”
The facilities in the governor’s bond represent the first of two stages in a proposal to build or renovate livestock, poultry, and equine buildings in Blacksburg. The bond package, along with the rest of the governor’s two-year budget, is subject to General Assembly approval.
“This has been a tremendous time of growth for the college that is going to benefit everyone, from students and researchers here on campus to Extension agents and producers around the state,” Grant said.