This study describes the agricultural sector in Virginia Beach and gauges the contribution that it makes to the city economy.  Although the industry and agricultural land base has shrunk considerably over the last 40 years, it began to stabilize in the last 15 years with expanded local land use regulations and land preservation efforts. Moreover, it has transformed from a reliance on large hog concentrated animal feeding operations to crop production. Local food markets, the horse industry and agritourism are rapidly growing market niches. The study takes a comprehensive approach to measuring the economic contribution of the sector, examining not only at the economic contribution of agriculture sales but the contribution of these growing niches. The study uses a methodology (input-output analysis) and a software tool (IMPLAN) that have been used often in agricultural impact analysis. The methodology accounts not only for the direct spending attributable to agricultural and farm-related activity such as agritourism but for indirect spending attributable to linkages in the supply chain.  Results indicate that the Virginia Beach agricultural sector accounts for 820 jobs and over $60 million in sales in the city. 

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Terance J. Rephann