The Virginia Eastern Shore: Pristine Rural Setting Like None Other

Virginia’s Eastern Shore is one of the most unique Rural Settings in the entire United States, no doubt about it. One of America’s most pristine play-lands, with the Atlantic Ocean to the east and Chesapeake Bay to the West, the Delmarva Peninsula is as big a seasonal draw for tourism as there is in the Mid-Atlantic.

Tourists from all over the world are lured by the rolling surf, wild ponies and fresh rockfish and crab meat, but once on the Eastern Shore visitors quickly discover the peninsula is fertile coastal farmland. The eats are as good as the beaches!

As the Eastern Shore demonstrates, agriculture in big business in Virginia, taking in a whopping $91 billion a year statewide. So it’s no surprise that a commitment to family farming, local growers and the expanding related aquaculture industry have been a big priority for the current Democratic administration.

“We have really been putting a lot of emphasis on ‘home grown,’ on using our own products right here in Virginia,” Lt. Gov.  Ralph Northam recently  told young family farmers on the Eastern Shore. 

“You all are the entrepreneurship of small business,” Northam said, heaping praise on the Virginia growers. “Our industry has increased by about 30 percent since 2013 and that’s to a lot of credit to you all.”

Northam should know, since he is a native of the rural Virginia Eastern Shore.

The state’s push to help farmers and watermen diversify agriculture and aquaculture on the eastern Shore is only part of the regional economic strategy.  Recruiting new manufacturing and services industries, particularly in the health care and tourist-related sectors,  is at the forefront of the state’s recent activity to spur economic growth on the Eastern Shore.

Along with creating support services for the military and aerospace sectors, the state’s partnership with and local businesses and government has provided a viable incubator for small businesses.

“You know as a doctor I have a plan to resuscitate rural Virginia,” Northam, a former Army doctor said in a recent debate. “It’s time to get the paddles out and shock rural Virginia back to life starting with universal access to broadband and cell coverage.”

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