Welcome to the US Virgin Islands
Department of  Agriculture

…where we help our community GROW!

Farmer Support Program is accepting applications now!

Applications are open until August 1st.

VIDA's USDA-funded Farm Stress Project

Click through for details about the program and how to apply!

Working Lands Climate Corps - Vermont / Virgin Islands AmeriCorps Program

We are thrilled to officially be accepting applications for young adults to participate as Members in our 1-year Conservation Career Workforce Development Program, as part of the Working Lands Climate Corps, a program of Americorps.  We are looking to fill 20 trainee (2-days/week) and 3 coordinator (3-days/week) positions. Click to learn more and apply!

VIDA Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure - Survey

Farmers! Advocates!

The US Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture (VIDA) is seeking input on post-harvest food policy. New federal funding awarded to VIDA, in the amount of $2.7 mill over the next four years, through the USDA’s Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure (RFSI) Program will support aggregation, processing, and distribution in the local food supply chain, with the creation of commercial community kitchens, and technical training in food safety and value-added product development.  This initiative will build upon existing efforts including feasibility studies already conducted by the EDA and UVI. Click here to take the survey today and let the Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture know how you think the funds should be prioritized.

2024 National Agriculture Week

The Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture would like to thank Governor Albert Bryan, Jr. for proclaiming March 17 – 23, 2024 as National Agriculture Week! Follow our Facebook Page to get a first look at our upcoming events in celebration of National Agriculture Week!

Our agricultural past 

The US Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture was created pursuant to Title 3, Chapter 17, Section 291. Act Number 5265 repealed this Section and established the Department of Economic Development and Agriculture and in 1995, Act No. 5265 as amended by Act. No. 6070, abolished the Department of Economic Development and Agriculture and created two separate entities, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Tourism.

Current Programs


Establishment 482, located on St. Croix currently provides the humane slaughter of animals from across the USVI working to increase the availability of locally grown meats.

Hemp Program

Enforcers of the industrial hemp program and licensing requirements, responsible for maintaining information on the land where hemp is produced, testing the level of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, disposing of plants that do not meet the necessary requirements, and ensuring compliance with the USDA and all federal guidelines.


Purchasers and purveyors of locally grown produce who increase access to and awareness of locally grown crops by providing education & technical assistance to enhance market competitiveness.

Agricultural Development

Organizers of physical and technical assistance to farmers across the Territory, connections within the farming community, and support for the fulfillment of agricultural potential.

Land Development & Maintenance

Facilitators of farmer assistance in the preparation and development of land for agricultural production and the maintenance and repair of all VIDA buildings and grounds.

Veterinary Services

Developers, promoters, and supporters of animal health, who provide regulatory, assistive, protective, and supportive services to livestock farmers for animal safety across the USVI.

Financial Management

Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, and Fiscal Management


Commissioner’s Office and Senior Leadership Team

Property Management

Property Leasing, Inspection, and Monitoring

Louis E. Petersen, Jr., Ph.D



A native of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands of the United States, Louis E. Petersen, Jr., has studied and worked in the field of agriculture for five decades. As a student at the Charlotte Amalie High School, he became a founding member of a student-driven, school-based agricultural club that produced and sold a variety of fruits and vegetables. The club’s activities eventually received public attention and recognition by Governor Cyril E. King who encouraged the members to persevere in their efforts to revive the agricultural industry of the territory and to enter professional careers in the field of agriculture.

Upon graduation from the Charlotte Amalie High School in 1977, he enrolled at Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) where he received a bachelor’s degree in Plant & Soil Science. Petersen later earned a master’s degree in Horticultural Science from Oklahoma State University and a doctorate in Horticulture with an emphasis in Plant Genetics from the University of Minnesota along with a minor degree in Plant Pathology.

Petersen returned to the territory in 1989 and commenced employment at the Cooperative Extension Service of the University of the Virgin Islands where he served as an Extension Agent. He worked for a total of twenty years at the UVI Cooperative Extension Service where he has also served as District Supervisor and Assistant Director for the St. Thomas-St. John District. During his career Dr. Petersen has served as a member of the local School to Work/Career Council, the Sustainable Agriculture Program State coordinator for the USVI, past president, vice president and recording secretary of the VI Resource Conservation and Development Council, and executive member of the local chapter of the Caribbean Food Crops Society. He also served as past secretary, vice president and president of the Southern Association of State Departments of Agriculture. Louis is currently the president of the USVI Agriculture and Food Fair Board of Directors.

From 1995 to 1999 Petersen was appointed as Assistant Commissioner of the Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture, and from 2007 – 2014 as Commissioner.  Since May 2023, Petersen has been serving as Commissioner Nominee of the Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture. His vision for the department is to increase its professional capacity and resources through partnerships and strategic initiatives to enhance its delivery of services and programs to the farming community.

Petersen is married to Algem Petersen and together they have one son, Dwayne.

Latest News

Public Notice: St. John Modular

PUBLIC NOTICE The Department of Planning and Natural Resources announces that pursuant to Virgin Islands Rules and Regulations, Title 12, Chapter 21, Section 904-9, an application for Federal Consistency Determination, CZM0004-23, has been submitted by the Virgin...

Agriculture and Food Fair: 2023 Farmer of the Year Competition

Crop, livestock, and APIARY farmers are encouraged to submit their applications now!

VIDA Celebrates Holidays as a Whole: STT and STJ closed 12/23

As STJ and STT employees travel to St. Croix for their holiday gathering, offices will be closed.

Agriculture and Food Fair of the U.S. Virgin Islands Announces 2023 Farmers of the Year Competition

NEWS RELEASE     FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 2, 2022   The Agriculture and Food Fair of the U.S. Virgin Islands Announces 2023 Farmers of the Year Competition   St. Croix, Virgin Islands - The Agriculture and Food Fair of the U.S. Virgin Islands is accepting...

Upcoming Composting Workshops (STJ and STX)

Open to the public and there is no limit on space. Registration is not necessary. Masks ARE required.

USVI Joint Agriculture Information Fair

English_USVI Ag Resource Fair Flyer_10312022 (1) Spanish_USVI Ag Resource Fair Flyer_10312022

STX Nursery Closed for Training

The STX nursery will be closed the rest of this week due to staff training. The nursery will resume regular operations next Monday, November 7, 2022 at it regular opening time at 8:00 AM.

Nursery Workshop for Reforestation and Restoration Tree Growers

VIDA teams up with US Forest Service and USDA to bring experts to lead educational sessions targeting our local nurseries and planting sites.

Get in touch with us!

Connect with us in our VIDA offices on St. Croix, St. John, or St. Thomas. Or, send us an email using the button below.

St. Croix: (340) 778-0997 | St. Thomas & St. John: (340) 774-5182