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WHEREAS, pollinator species such as bees, other insects, and birds are important to farmers and ranchers in producing much of our food supply; and
WHEREAS, agriculture is the Commonwealth’s largest private industry, with an economic impact of $70 billion annually; and
WHEREAS, important Virginia crops such as apples, pumpkins, watermelons, cucumbers, squash and berries are dependent on pollinators to fully develop their fruits and seeds; and
WHEREAS, honeybees enable the production of at least 90 commercially grown crops in North America; and
WHEREAS, globally, 87 of the leading 115 food crops evaluated are dependent on animal pollinators, contributing 35 percent of global food production; and
WHEREAS, pollination plays a vital role in the health of our farms, forests, meadows and wetlands, which sustain abundant populations of wildlife and fish and provide opportunities for economic development and recreation; and
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Virginia is dedicated to conservation and environmental stewardship, including the protection and maintenance of pollinators and their habitats on both commercial and natural land; and
WHEREAS, Virginia Pollinator Week is an opportunity to acknowledge the economic and environmental contributions of pollinators to the Commonwealth;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize June 17-23, 2019, as VIRGINIA POLLINATOR WEEK in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.