Governor McDonnell says the state’s strongest economic driver is doing better than ever. While the Governor is still concerned about the jobs that may take a hit due to sequestration, he says the increase in agricultural jobs does provide a silver lining.
The Governor announced that Virginia has reached a new all-time high of $2.61 billion dollars in agricultural exports in 2012. That shatters the old record by 12%. And agricultural exports, which include forestry products, have also grown in value by roughly 17% since 2010.
He says the export growth is the result of several trade missions over the last few years, including one to Asia.
And soybeans are now the top export, followed by wheat, corn, barley and other grains. Pork and poultry come in at third, followed by leaf tobacco.
The Governor says Canada is now the state’s second largest trading partner, with Morocco, Switzerland, and Turkey trailing. He adds that his administration has also been strengthening relations with Saudi Arabia and Cuba.