March is Virginia Controlled Environmental Agriculture Month

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Controlled Environment Agriculture Month

State officials plan to recognize CEA Month by visiting activities across the commonwealth

Governor Glenn Youngkin recently proclaimed March as Virginia Controlled Environmental Agriculture Month to highlight the commonwealth as a destination of choice for many industrial operations. Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) utilizes a variety of cultivation methods such as indoor cultivation, vertical farming, greenhouses, and hydroponics, aeroponics, aquaponics, and fogponics for protected crop environments. Incorporating technological innovation. State officials plan to recognize CEA Month by visiting businesses across the commonwealth to see the different technologies and crop types that are helping the industry thrive. (Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash)

RICHMOND, Va. — Governor Glenn Youngkin recently proclaimed March as Virginia Controlled Environmental Agriculture Month to highlight the commonwealth as a destination of choice for many industrial operations. Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) utilizes a variety of cultivation methods such as indoor cultivation, vertical farming, greenhouses, and hydroponics, aeroponics, aquaponics, and fogponics for protected crop environments. Incorporating technological innovation. State officials will recognize CEA Month by visiting businesses across the commonwealth to see the different technologies and crop types that are helping the industry thrive.

“Virginia is positioned as a top destination for environmentally controlled agriculture (CEA) due to its location, support for advanced training in cutting-edge agricultural technology training, specific CEA tax exemptions, targeted investments, and more.” I am. During Environmental Stewardship Agriculture Month, I am inspired by the continued progress of her CEA industry in the Commonwealth and the beneficial impact it is having on the international community and the Commonwealth’s residents. ” Governor Glenn Youngkin.

CEA controls certain aspects of the growing environment to increase yields, promote sustainability, and reduce pest and disease pressure, while increasing efficiency and enabling year-round growth of crops. Controlling the environment allows crops to be grown closer to markets and transportation points.

“Virginia’s leadership in CEA-related policy and talent recruitment has proven to be a catalyst for capital investment and growth in the number of CEAs based in the Commonwealth. Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industry Development Fund has awarded more than $1.7 million in grants to encourage CEA projects, which have generated approximately $475 million in capital investment and created approximately 900 new jobs across Virginia.” . Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Matthew Lohr. “Additionally, Governor Yonkin signed legislation that expands the agricultural sales tax exemption in 2023 to include items used in the production of agricultural products sold at CEA commercial establishments.”

“Because Virginia is home to some of the largest indoor farming facilities in the United States, local retailers are less reliant on transporting leafy greens and other produce from other parts of the country. Ideally located within a day’s drive of nearly half of the U.S. population, Virginia-based CEA not only feeds Virginia, but also feeds the region and beyond. We can provide food efficiently.” Joseph Guthrie, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. “Virginia also has a skilled talent pool that is attractive to CEA operations. Led by Virginia State University and Virginia Tech, numerous elementary, secondary, and post-secondary schools have developed curriculum and support activities around CEA. , developing research centers and educating students about industry innovations.”

–Michael Wallace, VDACS

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