Fauquier County has been awarded $20,000 from Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund Planning Grant.
The program provides funding for the study of economic viability of locating a small-scale meat processing facility at the Fauquier Livestock Exchange in Marshall, Va., according to a press release.
The project will be overseen by the Fauquier County Agricultural Advisory Committee, which will make recommendations to the county’s board of supervisor on matters affecting the agricultural economy. Fauquier County, Fauquier County Farm Bureau and the PATH Foundation have provided an additional $20,000 in matching funds for the project.
“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 the press release. “I am pleased to partner with Fauquier County and its cattlemen with this AFID grant to explore ways to increase the resiliency of Virginia’s agricultural economy and provide farmers new opportunities to be successful.”
AFID Planning Grant funds are administers by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumers Services. The program has provided $1,063,232 to 52 projects in 63 Virginia localities since 2013.
“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 the press 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.”