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Study: Economic impact of Va. poultry industry tops $8 billion

RICHMOND—A study by the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association found the annual economic impact of Virginia’s poultry industry to be more than $8 billion.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced the study findings Oct. 5.

The study determined that the state’s poultry and egg industries provide 13,480 direct jobs and direct wages of $502 million and indirectly contribute to nearly 42,000 jobs and wages totaling more than $2 billion. Overall, poultry contributes $8,062,929,510 in economic activity in the commonwealth, and poultry industry employees pay local, state and federal taxes totaling $8.3 million.

“This study shows how important poultry and eggs are to Virginia’s economy,” said Virginia Poultry Federation President Hobey Bauhan. “It also highlights the importance of maintaining and growing this agricultural sector for the role it plays in job creation, economic activity, government revenue and sustaining the livelihoods of family farms.”

Broiler chickens, raised for meat, are Virginia’s top agricultural commodity in terms of cash receipts, generating $623 million in 2010. Turkeys are ranked fourth with cash receipts of $285 million, and eggs are ninth with cash receipts of $77 million. Chicken and turkey are also among Virginia’s top farm exports. Nationally, Virginia is ranked fourth among states for turkey production, ninth for broiler production and 28th for egg production.

“The poultry industry has a tremendous impact on Virginia agriculture,” said Tony Banks, a commodity marketing specialist for Virginia Farm Bureau Federation. “The amount of money that the poultry industry infuses into rural economies is critical to the economic survival of many localities around the state. Not only do the contract poultry growers and poultry farmers benefit directly from poultry production, but so do grain and soybean farmers. The poultry industry supports grain and soybean prices here by providing a significant in-state market for feed.”

Study data can be viewed online collectively or by individual product at,, and

Contact Banks at 804-290-1114 or Elaine Lidholm, VDACS communications director, at 804-786-7686.
Posted in: Poultry


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