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Russell County Receives AFID Planning Grant
September 12, 2019

Russell County, Virginia has been awarded a planning grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund to study bringing a meat processing facility to the county. The feasibility study, which will be conducted by Virginia Tech’s Office of Economic Development, will include a market analysis and business plan for a new facility serving area livestock producers. This project is part of a larger effort by Russell County to diversify its economic base and to develop a Regional Agricultural Industrial Park.

Governor Ralph S, Northam is awarding an AFID Planning Grant of $8,750 for the study, which is leveraging an additional $26,250 from Russell County and the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission.

In a statement released by the Governor’s office, Governor Northam noted that “My administration is committed to rural economic development, and that means providing localities the necessary tools to support the growth of their agriculture and forestry sectors and diversify their economies to best suit their needs. With this project, Russell County is taking a proactive role in identifying new economic opportunities that build on Southwest Virginia’s rich agricultural assets and pursuing initiatives that will have a lasting positive impact in the region.”

The planning grants are part of the Governor’s AFID program, an economic development tool for agriculture and forestry value-added or processing projects. AFID planning grants are available to political subdivisions of the Commonwealth who have expressed interest in growing or developing their agriculture and forestry industries.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) administers the AFID program, and planning grant applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Successful funding requests will demonstrate a clear need, a proposed solution, strong local government support and the involvement of the agriculture and forestry community.

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