VFA Virginia Forests Winter 2023

WINTER 2023 27 In November, Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced the results of an economic impact study from the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service. The research found that in 2021, the total economic impact of Virginia agriculture and forestry industries was over $105 billion in total industry output. This total represents an estimated 11.2 percent of entire state’s output. In addition, the total employment for these two Virginia industries was 490,295 employees, representing 9.4 percent of total state employment. “In addition to more than $105 billion in total industry output, the total value-added impact of Virginia’s agriculture and forestry industries was $55.1 billion, which made up 9.3 percent of the state’s gross domestic product,” said Youngkin. “This study highlights the important role Virginia’s agriculture and forestry industries play in the Commonwealth’s economy. These industries are major employers, and their economic influence is far beyond the farms and forests.” “The study executed by the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service provides a comprehensive representation of the contribution that our agricultural and forestry industries make to the economy of Virginia,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Matthew Lohr. “Like many industries, Virginia’s agriculture and forestry sectors were profoundly impacted by the pandemic; however, both sectors have recovered lost ground and forged ahead to support Virginia’s overall economy.” The study, led by Dr. Terrance Rephann of The Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia, updates previous studies that were done in 2008, 2013 and 2017. The new study indicates that the total economic impact of agriculture and forestry industries has grown since 2017. Over the last five years, Virginia’s agriculture and forest industries’ statewide economic impact in 2021 was over $105 billion in total output, compared to the $98.2 billion in 2016. Economic Impact StudyDetailsValueofVirginiaAgricultureandForestry In 2021, Industries Provided More Than a $105 Billion Boost to the Commonwealth’s Economy RESOURCE REVIEW The Virginia Big Tree Program at Virginia Tech records some of our biggest and oldest trees. Here, VT student Moriah Moss measures the second-oldest tree in Virginia, a white oak (Quercus alba) in Brunswick County. The tree is more than 500 years old. The oldest tree in Virginia is a water tupelo (Nyssa aquatica) in Greenville County, estimated to be roughly 600 years old! Learn more about Virginia’s champion trees: http://bigtree. cnre.vt.edu/index.html BigTrees