May 18, 2016
Luncheon to Feature Todd Haymore

The Honorable Todd Haymore, Virginia's Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry, will speak at a lunch meeting on Wednesday, June 8, at 12 noon at the Olde Dominion Agricultural Center (19783 US Highway 29 South, Chatham). The event, which is sponsored by the Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce, is open to the community.

Haymore’s remarks are part of Business Appreciation Week in Danville and Pittsylvania County.

In his role as Secretary, Haymore is the voice of two of Virginia’s and our region’s largest industries. According to a 2013 report by the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, the Danville and Pittsylvania County agribusiness industry accounted for an estimated $30.3 million in state and local government revenues in 2011. The total was approximately evenly distributed among state and local coffers with $15.0 million for state government and $15.3 for local governments. An estimated $6.8 million of the local government revenue impact accrues to Danville City as a result of agribusiness activity occurring within its boundary and $7.9 million to Pittsylvania County from activities within the county.

Area agribusiness help support 307 retail trade, 287 health care, 192 accommodation and food services, and 132 construction jobs. For every 10 jobs created in local agribusinesses, approximately four more jobs result elsewhere in the local economy.

The cost of the lunch is $2 per person. Reservations are required and should be made by June 3 by calling the Chamber at (434) 836-6990, by emailing the Chamber at chamber@dpchamber.org, or by registering online at www.dpchamber.org.

Haymore, a Pittsylvania County native, was re-appointed by Governor Terry McAuliffe in 2014 to serve as Virginia's Secretary of Agriculture & Forestry. He became the Commonwealth's second Agriculture & Forestry Secretary in January 2010 when then-Governor Bob McDonnell appointed him to the post. In addition to serving in Governor McAuliffe's Cabinet and his duties as the chief marketing and development officer of the state's two largest industries, Haymore is responsible for two of the state's most well-known agencies, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) and the Virginia Department of Forestry (DOF). He is also responsible for the Virginia Agricultural Council.

During the his tenure as Secretary, Haymore has worked closely with the Governor, General Assembly, and key stakeholders on a number of legislative and budgetary initiatives to integrate fully agriculture and forestry into Virginia's overall economic development and jobs creation platform and to better enhance the standing of the two industries in the Commonwealth, across the country, and around the world. One of the major successes of these initiatives include creating the first-of-its-kind Governor's Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund, a multi-million dollar economic development grant and loan program specifically for existing or new agricultural and forestry value-added or processing facilities. In addition, Haymore led efforts to secure new funds to open trade offices in China, India, Europe, Latin America and Canada to assist in the marketing of Virginia's agriculture and forestry products.

Prior to his appointment as Secretary, Haymore served as VDACS Commissioner from August 2007 to January 2010 under Governor Tim Kaine. VDACS is responsible for more than 60 laws and 70 regulations relating to consumer protection and the promotion of agriculture. VDACS has an annual operating budget of more than $63 million and employs over 500 staff. The agency's mission is to promote the economic growth and development of Virginia agriculture, provide consumer protection, and encourage environmental stewardship.

The Department of Forestry protects almost 16 million acres of forest land from fire, insects and disease and manages 22 state forests and other state lands totaling approximately 68,000 acres for timber, recreation, water, research, wildlife, and biodiversity. DOF assists non-industrial private forest landowners through professional forestry advice and technical management programs. The agency has an operational budget of approximately $30 million and employs 287 staff. The agency's mission is to protect and develop healthy, sustainable forest resources.

Haymore began his professional career as a legislative intern in Richmond to former Virginia State Senator Onico Barker. From there, Haymore served as a legislative assistant for former United States Representative L.F Payne (VA-5th). Haymore spent most of the 1990's with Rep. Payne where he also served as the congressman's communications director, as well as deputy campaign manager of Payne's lieutenant gubernatorial bid. Following his tenure with Rep. Payne, Haymore worked For DIMON Incorporated, a leaf tobacco company that later merged with Standard Commercial Corporation to form Alliance One International. Haymore later worked for Richmond-based Universal Leaf Tobacco Company. He served in various leadership positions from 1999-2007, concluding his time with the company as Corporate Director, External Affairs and Vice President of The Universal Leaf Foundation.

Haymore graduated from George Washington High School in Danville. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from the University of Richmond and his Masters of Business Administration Degree from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Haymore also completed training at the Performance Management Group's Virginia Executive Institute at VCU.

Haymore is married to the former Margaret Cary Lewis and they have three children, Catharine Cole Haymore and Elizabeth Whichard Haymore (twins), and Lillian Bryan Haymore.

Business Appreciation Week is being celebrated in Danville and Pittsylvania County from June 6-10, 2016. With a tagline of “Thank you for choosing to grow here,” the region is planning events to show appreciation to businesses that have chosen to locate, invest, and grow in the region.  During Business Appreciation Week we acknowledge the companies that diversify and enhance the industry of Danville and Pittsylvania County.  Business Appreciation Week is being sponsored by the City of Danville Economic Development, Pittsylvania County, and the Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce.