Today the United States Department of Agriculture released its first farm census in five years, and Loudoun’s rural economy continues to lead the Commonwealth of Virginia in several key categories. The USDA report reveals that Loudoun is number one in Virginia for:
- Acres of grapes,
- Amount of hops grown,
- Amount of honey collected and sold,
- Number of alpacas and llamas,
- Farmers who are women, Latino, Hispanic, Asian, or have military service.
“The Board of Supervisors have made it a priority to preserve our farmland and support those who are putting their land to great use. It’s gratifying to see that those efforts are paying off with another positive report on ag-based economy in the county,” said Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis Randall.
Loudoun County has 1,259 farms covering 121,932 acres. Loudoun-made, Loudoun-grown products run the gamut from hay to hogs and goats to grapes, plus products made from Loudoun-grown raw materials, such as beer, wine, cheese, honey and wool.
“The results of this census will help inform our decisions about our programming to support rural business development, workforce, ag education and much more over the next several years,” said Loudoun Economic Development’s Executive Director Buddy Rizer. “Our long-standing commitment to supporting rural business owners, and making it easier for them to do business in Loudoun, continues to pay dividends in helping to keep our farmland farming.”
“Loudoun farms have embraced new opportunities in agriculture – from agri-tourism to value-added products from their crops. This is an important reason that Loudoun is No. 1 in so many categories in this year’s census report,” said Interim Agricultural Development Officer Vanessa Wagner.
Loudoun farm businesses attract visitors from around the D.C. metro area and beyond, resulting in more than $1.8 billion in tourism dollars spent in the county.
Details about Loudoun farms are available at LoudounFarms.org.