Albemarle County is known for its scenic vistas of pastures and rolling hills. The healthy local agricultural industry helps keep the open acreage necessary for this rural beauty. The county of Albemarle which surrounds Charlottesville ranks 8th in Virginia in total farm acreage. According to the 2002 Census of Agriculture, the county has 177,445 acres in production.
The fastest expanding agricultural business in the area is grape production and wine making. Albemarle County ranks first in the state with about 435 acres planted in grapes.
The horse industry is another important agricultural business in Albemarle County. In 2001 horse sales in the county were estimated to total $7,849,000 and there were estimated to be about 7,000 horses in the county with a total worth of $90,886,000. This would place Albemarle third in statewide ranking.
Another large scale agricultural industry in the county is beef cattle farming. In 2002 Albemarle had sales of $5,968,000 in beef cattle which came from 481 farms. There are about 22,725 head of cattle in the county.
As you can see from this data, Albemarle County has the vital agricultural economy necessary to preserve the rural beauty of the area.
The above information was provided by the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce.