Agriculture is Virginia’s largest industry, contributing an economic impact of more than $52 billion annually and providing nearly 311,000 jobs across the Commonwealth.
The Commonwealth’s mild climate, rich soil and abundant waterways make Virginia one of the most diverse agricultural production venues in the nation, and produces livestock, field crops, fruits, vegetables, poultry, dairy, greenhouse and nursery, aquaculture and vineyards. Many Virginia commodities and products rank in the top 15 among all U.S. states.
Established in 1877, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) is responsible for more than 60 laws and 70 regulations relating to consumer protection and the promotion of agriculture. VDACS is located within the Governor's Secretariat of Agriculture and Forestry and has both economic development and regulatory responsibilities under state law. The department is organized into four units—the Commissioner’s Office, Division of Animal and Food Industry Services (AFIS), Division of Consumer Protection, and Division of Marketing.