2016 Session

Budget Amendments - HB30 (Conference Report)

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Agricultural Marketing/Business Expansion Program

Item 91 #1c

Item 91 #1c

First Year - FY2017 Second Year - FY2018
Agriculture and Forestry
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services FY2017 $373,944 FY2018 $373,944 GF
FY2017 2.00 FY2018 2.00 FTE

Page 72, line 35, strike "$22,412,142" and insert "$22,786,086".
Page 72, line 35, strike "$22,399,142" and insert "$22,773,086".

Page 74, after line 27, insert:

"L.  Out of the amounts in this item, $373,944 the first year and $373,944 the second year from the general fund and 2.00 full-time equivalent positions shall be used to establish the Virginia Farm Business Development Program.  This program shall provide farmers and small agribusinesses that qualify under guidelines as established by the Department with grants not to exceed $5,000 to assist with business planning, market research, and other related activities including in-depth research, website design, social media strategy, food innovation, packaging design, modernization of facilities and business certification.  The authorized positions shall be used for management of the grant program and to conduct regional workshops on marketing and business development.  Not later than November 15, 2016, the Department shall report to the Chairmen of the House Committee on Appropriations and the Senate Committee on Finance on the efforts undertaken by the Department to establish the program, the grant guidelines, and the number of grants awarded."


(This amendment provides $373,944 each year and two positions from the general fund to support a program to provide grants to agribusinesses. The investment will provide $5,000 grants to 30 companies each year and include at least two half-day workshops around the state. This program will be a first-of-its-kind strategic investment in domestic marketing for agriculture and forestry. Many agribusinesses are so focused on farming and production costs it is difficult to balance marketing and business planning tasks.)