Industry Facts & Figures

Virginia Poultry Industry Facts and Figures

According to an economic study, the poultry industry in Virginia employs as many as 18,743 people across the Commonwealth and generates an additional 34,835 jobs in supplier and ancillary industries. These include jobs in companies supplying goods and services to the industry.

Virginia poultry processing companies:

  • Cargill
  • George's Foods
  • Tyson Foods
  • Pilgrim's Pride
  • Perdue Farms
  • New Market Poultry
  • Shenandoah Valley Organic

Poultry and eggs:

  • Support livelihood of nearly 1,100 farm families
    • > 275 turkey farms
    • > 800 chicken farms
  • Provide direct wages of $604,973,500 and directly and indirectly results in wages totaling $2,635,760,700
  • Provide a direct economic impact of $5,278,365,700 and overall contributes $12,545,859,600 in economic activity in the Commonwealth

Local, state, and federal taxes paid by poultry industry and employees total $1,098,960,000.

In 2018, Virginia farmers produced:

  • 278,900,000 broiler chickens (ranks 10th nationally)
  • 1,673,400,000 pounds produced
  • 16,800,000 turkeys(ranks 6th nationally)
  • 462,000,000 pounds produced
  • 716,700,000 eggs (ranks 29th nationally)

Virginia's poultry industry is helping to meet growing nutritional needs in the U.S. and around the world.

  • Per capita U.S. poultry meat consumption has risen from 34 pounds in 1960 to 110 pounds today.
  • In the early 20th Century, it took more than 5 pounds of feed to produce a pound of chicken; today's farmers produce a pound of chicken with less than 2 pounds of feed.
  • This efficiency is the result of scientific advances in breeding and nutrition. It is also the result of how well farmers take care of their birds in modern poultry barns or houses, which use the latest technology to deliver feed and fresh water, protect birds from predators and avian diseases, and maintain the right temperature - all to maximize the health and welfare of the birds to help them grow well.
  • Synthetic hormones and steroids are NEVER given to poultry. It is logistically and economically not feasible, unnecessary, and - above all - against federal law.
  • The United States exports about 20 percent of chicken and about 12 percent of turkey produced in the nation.

The data is hosted on interactive websites that can be viewed collectively or by individual product, and then sorted nationally by state, congressional district, state house district or state senate district. For more information about the U.S. and Virginia poultry industry's economic impact, visit:

For more information on the study's methodology and model description, please click here

2018 Poultry and Egg Economic Impact Study, Prepared for U.S. Poultry & Egg Association by John Dunham and Associates, Inc., Brooklyn, New York