WHEREAS, since Colonial times, agriculture has been an important part of the County’s and the Commonwealth’s economy with early colonists and their families working on the land to raise food for themselves and their livestock; and
WHEREAS, although the County, the Commonwealth and the nation have become increasingly suburban and urban, agriculture continues to play an important role in Virginia’s economy and in local communities including Arlington, with farmers’ markets, community gardens, and other urban agriculture education and awareness programs; and
WHEREAS, recent natural events ranging from the derecho storm in 2012 to the aftereffects of Superstorm Sandy in 2013 demonstrate the importance of food security and the increasing challenges of hunger and obesity also show the need for a more coordinated approach to growing, distributing, and accessing healthy food; and
WHEREAS, urban agriculture efforts help to strengthen community food systems and bolster food security; and
WHEREAS, a Virginia Cooperative Extension report showed that if every family in Virginia spent $10 a week on fresh, local food and farm-based Virginia products, more than $1.65 billion in economic impact would be generated; and
WHEREAS, the use of urban agriculture initiatives can promote community wellness and environmental sustainability, enhance education and learning, and help preserve the Commonwealth’s agricultural heritage; and
WHEREAS, the house of Delegates, the Senate concurring, and the General Assembly have designated October in 2013 and in each succeeding year as Urban Agriculture Month in Virginia and will provide the opportunity to promote and educate Virginians as to the benefit and importance of urban agriculture programs to local communities;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Jay Fisette, Chair of the County Board of Arlington, Virginia, do hereby declare October 2014 as URBAN AGRICULTURE MONTH in Arlington County to promote and educate residents as to the benefit and importance of urban agriculture programs in our community.