The purpose of the Commission’s Agribusiness Program is to promote agricultural and agribusiness growth, development and diversification in the tobacco region of the Commonwealth in order to assist the agricultural industry in pursuing market opportunities and reducing dependence on tobacco and tobacco-related business.
Applications submitted to this program should fall into one of the categories the Commission has focused upon as critical for the agricultural growth and diversification of the TRRC region. The Program seeks to make strategic investments in projects that will diversify the long-term agribusiness economy of Virginia’s tobacco region, generate net new income for agricultural producers in the tobacco region and encourage private investment by those producers.
Generally, the Program seeks projects that will result in measurable and reportable increases in: net new farm income; net new cost reductions for farm operations; value-added activities for Tobacco Region products; retention and expansion of farm and farm-related employment; leveraging of private investment by producers in their farm operations; agri-tourism spending, and exporting, of farm products beyond the Tobacco Region. Applicants are expected to describe and be prepared to measure the anticipated ROI (e.g. private sector capital investment, income, employment and wages, tax benefits, etc.) in relation to proposed Commission investments.
Project types include:
- Applied research and education
- Commercial agriculture product processing facilities
- Community food processing facilities
- “Cost-share” programs of incentives for private producers
- Crop demonstrations
- Livestock demonstrations
- Local and regional farmers markets
- Multi-purpose agriculture centers
- Wholesale and retail cooperative marketing
- Other projects that meet Program Objectives and Outcome Measures