Barry D. Knight was born and raised in Virginia and has worked his whole life in agri-business with a strong dedication to supporting the local economy and protecting citizens’ rights. Barry’s solid work ethic and common sense approach has helped him develop one of the most productive hog farming businesses in Hampton Roads. Strongly committed to giving back to the community, Barry decided to focus his time on public service and now serves as the Delegate for Virginia’s 81st District in the Virginia General Assembly.
Barry began working odd jobs at just 14 years of age to help support his family. He worked on a neighbor’s farm and also spent time as a long haul trucker until he saved enough money to purchase his own farm. Over the years, Barry turned a small plot of land into a thriving business, Barry D. Knight Farms.
Barry served as the president of the Tidewater Pork Producers from 1984 to 1990, and in 1995, he was appointed to the Virginia Pork Board by Governor George Allen and re-appointed by Governor Jim Gilmore. Barry is the vice-president of the Virginia Beach Farm Bureau, a former chairman of the Southern States Cooperative, and former secretary of the Creeds Ruritans.
In recent years Barry has worked hard to give back to the community that has helped him build his business. He has served on the Virginia Beach Planning Commission since 2003 and was elected chair in 2006 and 2007. He has been a volunteer Little League coach as well as coaching softball. Barry also helped ensure the agricultural future of southeastern Virginia by enrolling almost 900 acres of his land in the Virginia Beach Agricultural Reserve Program and through an agricultural easement donation to the City of Chesapeake.
- American Farm Bureau, Virginia Young Farmer of the Year (1983)
- Virginia Beach Jaycees, Outstanding Young Farmer (1984)
- National Pork Producers Council, Pork All-American (1989)
- City of Virginia Beach, Outstanding Agriculture Operation (1994)
- Virginia Beach Man of the Year in Agriculture (1998)
- Department of Conservation and Recreation, Clean Water Farm Award (1998 & 1992)
- Grand Winner Chowan River Basin Clean Water Farm Award (1999)
- Virginia Chamber of Commerce, Champion of Free Enterprise (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)
- Virginia Chamber of Commerce, Chairman’s Award (2017)
- Lifetime Honorary Member of the Nature Conservancy
- Virginia FREE, No. 1 Pro Business Legislator
- Virginia Sheriffs’ Association, Legislator of the Year (2016)
- Chesapeake Farmers, Outstanding Service Award (2017)
- Virginia Aviation Business Association, Advocacy Plaque of Appreciation (2018)
- Hampton Roads Business Journal, Power List (2018)
- Dr. James C. Wright Conservation Honorary Award (Virginia Beach Angler’s Club)2018
- Legislative Leadership Award (Virginia League of Conservation Voters)2019
- Free Enterprise Award (Virginia Chamber of Commerce)2019
- Power List (Hampton Roads Business Journal)
Barry and his wife Paula have been married for over 30 years and lives in the Pungo section of Virginia Beach with their three sons, Hunter, Kyle and Forrest. The Family attends Oak Grove Baptist Church where Barry was formerly a deacon, chairman of the grounds committee and volunteers as a substitute Sunday School teacher.