BIG news! I have been elected President of the Southern Association of State Departments of Agriculture. Wes Ward did an amazing job and I look forward to following in his footsteps.
As a fiscal conservative, I strongly believe government should strive to keep budgets in check, find efficiencies and use taxpayers’ money wisely in our efforts to keep tax burdens low.
By Megan Bsharah CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Nationally, there have been stories about some farmers having to throw away produce, milk and other crops during the Coronavirus pandemic. In West Virginia, some farmers are wondering what to do next. Lisa and John DuMars own The Garden Path farm in Tyler County, W.Va. “Without all of us, the food supply is really it’s critically damaged without small farmers," Lisa DuMars said. Their mission is to provide healthy, homegrown food to healthcare workers, schools and other members of their small community. But, the Coronavirus pandemic has left the DuMars wondering if they will be able to do just that. “Doctor’s prescribe produce to patients for a duration over the season to improve their health. So it’s food is medicine. So that’s a question. And we work with schools. And of course, schools being out." Around the country, some crops are going to waste as the supply and demand chain for food has drastically changed. Commissioner Kent Leonhardt of the W.Va. Department of Agriculture said grocery stores are having a hard time keeping stocked. “I've seen national averages of 30% of food being eaten by Americans was at restaurants," Leonhardt said. "And with the shut down of restaurants, that food supply chain is changed. It’s not getting to the grocery stores as quickly.” On the state level, the W.Va. Department of Agriculture is working to keep farmers afloat during the crisis. They are working to keep farmers' markets open, and they have employees surveying the needs of food banks across the state. “We’re making sure that we have a steady supply of food going out to the needy in the state of West Virginia, so no West Virginian goes hungry," Leonhardt said. For the DuMars, they will continue to grow crops as they cross their fingers hoping the crisis will end soon. “We are hopeful that people will have a new appreciation for sources of food that are available locally," DuMars said.
As the coronavirus outbreak continues, his agency has the responsibility of assuring safe food is getting where it needs to go.
The West Virginia Department of Agriculture has submitted the state's plan to regulate industrial hemp to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
According to the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, industrial hemp farmers in West Virginia more than quadrupled crop production in 2019 compared to the previous year.
With hunting season just around the corner, hundreds of thousands of hunters in West Virginia are preparing to head into the woods. Hunting, obvious to any native West Virginian, has always been an important part of our culture here in the Mountain State. Many do this for sport, to connect to our ancestors or teach a new generation where food really comes from.
One of the longest-running ceremonies in Parkersburg honored our nation’s fallen heroes. Veterans and families gathered for the 63rd annual Memorial Day ceremony at Sunset Memory Gardens Cemetery in south Parkersburg Saturday. This year, the cemetery unveiled its new Garden of Allegiance and Honor dedicated just for fallen veterans and their spouses.
The election is over, and to the victors go the spoils. To all who ran, thank you for putting your name on the ballot because you helped keep our democratic traditions alive. Each cycle everyday citizens, like those who just campaigned, step up and put their reputations on the line...