Report: Va. poultry an $8 billion industry

RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia's poultry industry provides nearly 14,000 jobs and has an economic impact totaling more than $8 billion, according to a study released Friday.

The industry-funded study tallies up jobs, wages and other economic activity to arrive at those numbers. The report found that the poultry and egg industries in Virginia provide 13,480 direct jobs and indirectly contribute to a total of 41,710 jobs. Direct wages total a half-billion dollars, while indirect wages total more than $2 billion.

The report said the industry and its employees pay local, state and federal taxes totaling $827 million.

The study breaks down poultry into three categories: chickens, turkeys and eggs.

"In my job, I deal with the numbers of agricultural economics all the time, but I seldom see numbers this impressive," Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd P. Haymore said in a statement.

Hobey Bauhan, Virginia Poultry Federation president, said the study underscores the importance of poultry and eggs for the state's economy.

"It also highlights the importance of maintaining and growing this agricultural sector for the role it plays in job creation, economic activity, government revenue and sustaining the livelihoods of family farms," Bauhan added.