Nearly 1 in 5 Virginia farm owners is a woman

WASHINGTON — The Virginia Department of Agriculture has declared March 18 through March 24 “Virginia Agriculture Week,” and among other facts, it cites that 17 percent of Virginia’s primary farm operators are women.

It also notes that nearly one-third of the entire state of Virginia — 32 percent or 8.1 million acres — is farmland.

There are currently 44,800 operating farms in Virginia, averaging 181 acres, 90 percent of which are owned and operated by individuals and families, according to the Virginia Department of Agriculture.

The typical Virginia farmer is 59.5 years old.

Virginia’s top agricultural products include soybeans, wood products and tobacco.

Wood is a big Virginia export.

The Virginia Department of agriculture says 45 percent of the state’s agricultural and forestry product exports are to the Asia/Pacific and Western Europe markets, with the remaining going to the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, Africa and Mexico.

China is the No. 1 export destination for Virginia agricultural and forestry products.

In 2017, cash receipts from Virginia exports totaled $2.64 billion.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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