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WHEREAS, an increasing number of Virginia farmers have effectively utilized the Commonwealth’s favorable environment for growing pumpkins, taking advantage of higher elevations and cooler temperatures to produce a high-value crop that consumers enjoy; and
WHEREAS, in 2019, Virginia pumpkin farmers planted 5,700 acres of pumpkins and harvested 5,600 acres that were valued at $16.4 million; and
WHEREAS, there are almost 400 commercial pumpkin growers across the Commonwealth; and
WHEREAS, the marketing of pumpkins, related fall crops and other merchandise through festivals, activities, direct sales and buyer contacts, along with the expanded production of pumpkins in recent years, provide an additional income stream for many Virginia agricultural producers and support the agriculture industry overall; and
WHEREAS, pick-your-own pumpkin farms provide a family-friendly, outdoor experience that allows for adherence to physical distancing guidelines; and
WHEREAS, Pumpkin Month is an opportunity to acknowledge the work of those who cultivate and harvest pumpkins, and the value of pumpkins to Virginians;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize October 2020 as VIRGINIA PUMPKIN MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.