Service Area Strategic Plan
4/18/2014   9:48 pm
Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (301)
Service Area 1 of 1
Market Virginia Agricultural and Forestry Products Nationally and Internationally (301 532 06)

This service area locates, develops, maintains and expands local, regional and global markets for Virginia food, agricultural and forest products. Functions within the service area are separated between domestic, international and livestock marketing.
Background Information
Mission Alignment and Authority
  • Describe how this service supports the agency mission
    This service area directly aligns with VDACS’ mission to promote economic growth and development of Virginia agriculture by enhancing the profitability of Virginia food, agricultural and forest products enterprises.
  • Describe the Statutory Authority of this Service
    The following citations are from the Code of Virginia:

    §§ 3.2-4700 through 3.2-4708 mandates the marketing services of the Division of Marketing, which include all components of this activity.

    § 3.2-106 mandates the Equine Breeder Incentive Program.

    §§3.2-3500 through 3.2-3502 mandates the Farmers’ Market System.
Agency Customer Group Customer Customers served annually Potential annual customers
State & Local Governments Commodity Boards 16 16
Direct Marketers Direct Marketers 700 1,700
Nursery Dealers (Retailers) and Nursery Growers (Wholesalers) Nurseries 400 800
Processed Food Companies Processed Food Companies 200 600
Retail Food Stores, Markets, Shops & Mobile Units Retail Farmers Markets 120 175
Vineyards Vineyards 100 200
Virginia farmers Virginia farmers 25,000 47,383

Anticipated Changes To Agency Customer Base
According to the USDA Census of Agriculture, the number of small farms and the number of large farms have increased in Virginia and this trend is projected to continue. This will result in growing demand to tailor programs and services for both large and small producer, high volume and high value producer, and direct and international marketers.

Consumer preferences change continually but major trends include:

-Low-cost food providers have carved out a substantial portion of the marketplace which create large, but extremely competitive/low margin markets for producers
-Greater identification with locally produced products which creates new marketing niches for innovative producers, however, niche markets fill fast
-Organic products consumption is rising dramatically
-Consumers are more health conscious and increasingly concerned over how foods are produced, not just if they are available
-Increased consumer preference for value added products
-Increased product source identity throughout the food chain
Partner Description
[None entered]
Products and Services
  • Factors Impacting the Products and/or Services:
  • Anticipated Changes to the Products and/or Services
  • Listing of Products and/or Services
    • Sales and Marketing services assist agricultural and forest products producers, food processors, and industry organizations by initiating sales leads (throughout the Eastern U.S. and Canada) and production area tours, developing new markets and packaging requirements, completing market analysis, participating and representing agricultural industries during trade shows, implementing retail and consumer promotions, distributing marketing information during presentations, providing administrative support to Commodity Boards, assisting with organic certification procedures, and assisting the Departments of Health and Aging with their agricultural related consumer oriented grants. Activities cover conventional and organically produced products. Virginia Farmers Market System services small to medium size produce growers with state-owned shipping point market facilities for four state regions. Each market facility provides produce growers with a central point for delivery of recently harvested product, which is co-mingled, graded, packed and cooled to meet retail grocery and institutional buyer specifications.
    • Livestock Marketing Services provides a complete and integrated marketing program for the livestock industry. These services include a comprehensive market development and promotion program, market information and analysis, and official quality grade evaluation of live animals.
    • International Marketing service assists Virginia exporters in marketing their products overseas by organizing foreign trade missions, hosting buyer missions, participating in trade shows and by monitoring trade policy issues. Through offices in Richmond, and Hong Kong, and a network of local consultants in Europe and Latin America, valuable in-country assistance is provided to Virginia exporters.
    • Strategic market research to expand existing markets for existing products; find or create new markets for existing products. Agriculture Product Promotion Services includes advertising, trade show management, literature development, consumer and retail promotions.
  • Financial Overview
    [Nothing entered]
  • Financial Breakdown
    FY 2011    FY 2012
      General Fund     Nongeneral Fund        General Fund     Nongeneral Fund  
    Base Budget $3,061,508 $199,500    $3,061,508 $199,500
    Change To Base -$82,605 $400,000    -$82,605 $400,000
    Service Area Total   $2,978,903  $599,500     $2,978,903  $599,500 
Human Resources
  • Human Resources Overview
    [Nothing entered]
  • Human Resource Levels
    Effective Date      
    Total Authorized Position level 0    
    Vacant Positions 0    
    Current Employment Level 0.0    
    Non-Classified (Filled)    
    Full-Time Classified (Filled)    breakout of Current Employment Level
    Part-Time Classified (Filled)    
    Faculty (Filled)    
    Contract Employees    
    Total Human Resource Level 0.0   = Current Employment Level + Wage and Contract Employees
  • Factors Impacting HR
    [Nothing entered]
  • Anticipated HR Changes
    [Nothing entered]
Service Area Objectives
  • Increase the value of Virginia food, agricultural and forestry products in the domestic and international marketplace through marketing services provided to producers and processors.
    Objective Description
    Effective marketing programs will maintain and expand current markets for Virginia food, agricultural and forestry products. By monitoring a consistent measure of the annual value of food, agricultural and forestry products; this value should increase due to expanded volume or enhanced increased value of Virginia products.
    Alignment to Agency Goals
    • Agency Goal: Enhance opportunities for the growth, profitability and continued viability of the Virginia agriculture industry.
      Comment: This aligns with the long term objective to be a national leader in the preservation and enhancement of our economy, and secondarily inspires and supports Virginians toward healthy lives through increasing the supply and recognition of fresh, local, top quality food and beverage products.
    Objective Strategies
    • Monitor, search and apply for additional grant funding primarily through USDA programs, e.g. Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program, Specialty Crop Block Grant, Risk Management Agency, Foreign Agricultural Service Cooperators, and others as announced through June 30, 2012.
    • Develop, submit and implement projects for USDA’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program as notifications are published through June 30, 2012.
    • Continue to expand and enhance the VDACS Marketing website to draw more traffic and offer a more user-friendly format for all clients through June 30, 2012.
    • Provide oversight on the policy and operation of shipping point markets in the Virginia Farmers' Market System through June 30, 2012.
    • Monitor federal and private sources of business risk management programs and expertise that are available to Virginia agricultural producers. Ensure that VDACS staff is conversant in these programs and communicates their availability through June 30, 2012.
    • Continue and strengthen cooperation with Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, Virginia Farm Bureau Federation and the Farm Service Agency/Virginia to expand the array and outreach of risk management education programs through June 30, 2012.
    • Enhance profitability of food products manufactured in Virginia by providing Export Letters and letters of free sale upon request for vendors in substantial compliance with the Virginia Food Laws who desire to market food products both domestically and internationally through June 30, 2012.
    • Create and implement market development strategies for longer- term emerging international markets. Activities will include hosting at least three reverse trade missions from these markets, generating new export sales by June 30, 2012. Market development efforts will also include participation in at least three trade shows in emerging markets during the same time period.
    • Maintain a strong presence in mature international markets, such as Europe and Canada, in order to expand market share of Virginia products through June 30, 2012. Activities will include events to expand buyer contacts, such as reverse trade missions and trade show participation.
    • Create and implement market development strategies that will increase usage of locally-produced farm products by restaurants to include tours for restaurant owners and chefs by June 30, 2012.
    • Expand marketing activities into the Northern Virginia market to include active participation in at least two local chef’s associations, participating in one major trade show, and increasing consumer oriented advertising at major farmer’s markets and food retailers by June 30, 2012.
    • Promote the commercialization and marketability of new agricultural products and processes through the Specialty Agriculture Research Grants Program.
    • Expand and enhance the growth and development of Virginia’s agritourism enterprises and initiatives through workshops, conferences, and one-on-one counseling by June 30, 2012.
    • Expand and enhance the growth and development of retail farmers markets in Virginia to include developing a manual for starting a farmers market and conducting a survey to develop a profile of the markets and their economic impact by June 30, 2012.
    • Increase producer exposure to alternative marketing options including direct marketing, organics and farmers markets that have the potential of enhancing farm viability through June 30, 2012.
    • Increase awareness of the quality and diversity of Virginia agricultural products through promotional activities, publicity, tradeshow participation and special events through June 30, 2012. This will include participating in consumer-related events under the Virginia Grown and Virginia’s Finest umbrella.
    • Continue and expand promotion of the “Virginia’s Finest” trademark to include oriented regional advertising campaigns involving newspapers, magazines, TV and Internet by June 30, 2012.
    • Continue and expand the “Virginia Grown” program to increase awareness among consumers of locally produced farm products by initiating TV, radio, newspaper and magazine advertising as well as implementing promotional activities with major food retailers by June 30, 2012.
    • Conduct trade calls and production area tours with prospective buyers, wholesalers, brokers and grocery chains, as well as respond to requests for marketing assistance from Virginia producers of food, agricultural and forestry products through June 30, 2012.
    • Conduct trade calls and production area tours with prospective buyers, wholesalers, brokers and grocery chains, as well as respond to requests for marketing assistance from Virginia producers of food, agricultural and forestry products through June 30, 2012.
    • Provide continued assistance and management of the Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association Beautiful Gardens(TM) plant introduction program for the purpose of providing Virginia producers with increased opportunities for the production and sale of plants grown in Virginia through June 30, 2012.
    • Provide staff support to the Farm-to- School program enhancing opportunities for Virginia grown and processed foods to be sold through schools and other educational institutions through June 30, 2012.
    • Develop new contacts and maintain current customer contacts with cattle feedlot operators and buyers in Midwestern and Northern states and assure their continued level of participation in Virginia’s special graded feeder cattle livestock auctions through June 30, 2012.
    • Develop new Virginia livestock promotion programs that target regions of the United States that have increased supplies of byproduct feeds due to increased biofuel production through June 30, 2012.
    • Increase small livestock producers’ exposure to and participation in cooperative marketing options by assisting new and existing local livestock marketing groups through June 30, 2012.
    • Provide assistance to state breed associations, cattle producers and groups by targeting and expanding the growth and development of customized feeder cattle sales such as “Breed Influence”, “Natural”, “Health Program”, and “Back Grounded” feeder cattle sales through June 30, 2012.
    • Expand and improve electronic marketing and promotional opportunities for Virginia livestock by utilizing tools such as Tel-O-Auction and the Livestock Clearinghouse electronic marketing newsletter through June 30, 2012.
    • Increase awareness of quality Virginia feeder cattle through the Mid-Atlantic Carcass Educational Seminar, buyer tours, feedlot data dissemination to buyers, trade show participation, and special events, through June 30, 2012.
    • The State Veterinarian will develop a plan to support livestock marketing needs for country-of-origin labeling using state and federal animal identification systems and funding in use and under development for animal health purposes through June 30, 2012.
    Link to State Strategy
    • nothing linked
    Objective Measures
    • Economic value of products inspected, graded and certified, the sales values of marine, nursery, and wine products, as well as export values of all Virginia agricultural and forestry products.
      Measure Class:
      Agency Key
      Measure Type:
      Measure Frequency:
      Preferred Trend:
      Measure Baseline Value:

      Measure Baseline Description: Five-year rolling average in FY 09 was $2.646 billion.

      Measure Target Value:

      Measure Target Description: Two percent increase each year from the five year average.

      Data Source and Calculation: Commodity service inspection reports

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