Officials say Co-Op helps fill void

Published 8:53 am Wednesday, March 6, 2024

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Grant funding for the new Central Virginia Poultry Cooperative is good news for farmers in Charlotte and Lunenburg counties, local officials say.

Support to help get the cooperative off the ground came last week in the form of nearly $1.8 million in grants announced Wednesday, Feb. 28 at a Burkeville farm. But while we detail in another story this week how the project will work, what impact will it have on Charlotte County farmers? 

Charlotte County Administrator Dan Witt said the closing of the Tyson processing facility in Henrico County had a huge effect on the economy.

“The creation of the poultry cooperative, combined with the grant announcement, the efforts of the growers, and the participation from the counties, are all good news for bringing this money back into our region,” Witt said.

He added there is one large poultry grower in Charlotte County who will be participating with the new cooperative. 

“This allows him to get back into business,” he said. “But it’s not only good news for him, but also the grain and corn producers who provide the feed, the mill where the feed is made and those doing the transporting.”

Numbers from the latest Census of Agriculture County Profiles provided by Witt show that poultry production has been a big part of the agricultural products sold by farmers in each county.

While the exact amount of sales isn’t listed because it could disclose data for individual operations, poultry and egg sales in Charlotte County were part of more than $6 million in revenue that also included milk from cows. That is out of the county’s total of $16.1 million in livestock, poultry and products in the 2017 Census.


Out of 97 counties statewide that have farms selling poultry and eggs, Charlotte County ranked 16th in Virginia.

“The opportunity is there to exceed the void left by the Tyson Plant closure,” Witt said. “That is not just taxes but all other economic factors. It’s too early to know the tax revenue impact until the growers are all back in business.”

The more than $1.8 million in funds to help launch the Central Virginia Poultry Cooperative comes through a $1.4 million grant from the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission, $341,750 from the Rural Rehabilitation Trust Fund and a $50,000 general grant approved by Gov. Glenn Youngkin.