Approximately 85% of the County’s land is zoned Rural Agricultural Conversation (RAC) making agriculture a significant part of Isle of Wight County life, both as a major industry and as a chief component of the County’s rural character.
Agriculture and forestry exports from Virginia were valued at $2.97 billion in 2018, an increase of $290 million over 2017. This is exciting news for Isle of Wight County where agriculture and forestry are among the County’s top industry sectors. The top export products for the state were soybeans and soybean products, wood products (lumber, logs and wood pellets), tobacco, pork and poultry.
Isle of Wight County is home to a variety of agribusinesses including national companies such as International Paper and The Scoular Company, Virginia companies such as Montague Farms, Franklin Lumber and Commonwealth Gin and a number of local horse farms and farm operations that produce farm fresh products, ham, peanuts, wine grapes, hay, Christmas trees and more.
Montague Farms, a soybean producer, buyer, and exporter of natto soybeans to Korea is located in Windsor. Isle of Wight is fast becoming the agriculture hub for Southeast Virginia because potential agriculture ventures and expansion opportunities feel confident in the County’s commitment to the agriculture industry.
Enjoy a taste of “Life on the Farm!” Visit some locally owned farms that give the County its rich rural flavor. Take a tour, buy some locally grown fresh produce and learn more about where your food comes from! Get lost in a pumpkin maze, bump along on a hay ride, touch the soft wool of an alpaca, or simply enjoy the natural beauty of the rural setting. (Call ahead before you make plans to visit as hours vary seasonally.)
The award-winning Smithfield Farmers Market is proud to be a Virginia Grown market offering locally grown produce, beef, pork, chicken, eggs, peanuts, plants, herbs, baked goods, coffee, cheese, honey, barbecue, wood-fired pizza, ham sandwiches, handcrafted items and more!
Additional Agribusiness Resources:
Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Virginia Cooperative Extension (Isle of Wight County)
Virginia Agribusiness Council
Farm Credit Knowledge Center
Virginia Agriculture (Farm Flavor)