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WHEREAS, pollinator species such as bees, bats, butterflies, 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, providing more than 334,000 jobs in Virginia; and
WHEREAS, Virginia crops such as apples, pumpkins, watermelons, cucumbers, squash, and berries are dependent on pollinators to fully develop their fruits and seeds; and
WHEREAS, 150 food crops in the United States depend on pollinators, including almost all fruit and grain crops; and
WHEREAS, 80% of the 1,400 crop plants that produce our food and plant-based industrial products require pollination by animals; 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 21-27, 2021, as VIRGINIA POLLINATOR WEEK in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.