Office of Economic Development helps shape southwest Virginia’s agricultural economy

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As southwest Virginia continues to experience economic challenges and coal-related employment declines, a traditional industry represents an opportunity for the region.

The LENOWISCO Planning District Commission (PDC) engaged Virginia Tech to lead a strategic planning process for agriculture for the region, composed of the counties of Lee, Wise, Scott, and the city of Norton.

LENOWISCO PDC established an advisory group of agricultural stakeholders and regional leaders to guide the process and Virginia Tech’s Office of Economic Development is currently collecting agricultural and economic data and mapping out strengths and weaknesses in the region.

“Though the project is in the early stages, we’ve already seen tremendous interest and identified a number of important assets and stakeholders,” said Scott Tate, senior economic development specialist in the Office of Economic Development.

Throughout the remainder of 2016, the Office of Economic Development will conduct stakeholder interviews and analysis, contributing to a framework for a district-wide agriculture vision.

To find out more about LENOWISCO, visit http://www.lenowisco.org/. For more information about the Office of Economic Development’s work with LENOWISCO, please contact Scott Tate at atate1@vt.edu.

Erica Corder

Erica Corder is the technical writer at the Office of Economic Development and is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Pylon. Corder grew up in different states across the U.S. and spent three years in Germany before eventually winding up at Virginia Tech. She graduted in May 2016 with a degree in English and political science, which she hopes to put to use after in a career in journalism. 

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