Virginia Pollinator Week 06/17/2019 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.

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