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Leonhardt excited concerning the agriculture future in West Virginia

BY CHRIS LAWRENCE

CHARLESTON — The highest man with the state’s Division of Agriculture believes the way forward for farming in West Virginia is brilliant.

Agriculture Commissioner Kent Leonhardt mentioned this yr, the enrollment within the Future Farmers of America group is the best it has ever been within the Mountain State.

“We’ve a report variety of college students enrolled in FFA in West Virginia of all time,” he mentioned talking on MetroNews Flagship station 580-WCHS in Charleston Thursday.

In line with Leonhardt agriculture and farming have been rising in quite a lot of methods in recent times. The commissioner mentioned he’s labored to have the state Division of Agriculture embrace and domesticate that progress. He added though a lot of these FFA college students will discover the world of agriculture they received’t all turn into farmers. However, there are many different methods to work in agriculture-related industries moreover driving a tractor.

“Mountaintop Beverage in Morgantown is doing aseptic milk processing and creating 300 jobs. Farmers markets have tripled and we’re working with nonprofits just like the Meals and Farm Coalition and the Farmers Market Affiliation. You’ve bought analysis, you’ve bought chemists, you’ve bought microbiology, you’ve bought financial improvement and also you’ve bought agro-tourism,” he defined.

Together with these increasing areas of agriculture, the state’s training system has additionally embraced the brand new deal with the ag financial system to attempt to prepare extra folks for it.

“Parkersburg, WVU, West Virginia State and Potomac State are all making an attempt to develop ag applications. That simply exhibits the keenness for agriculture within the state of West Virginia,” he mentioned.

Defending West Virginia farmland from probably dangerous overseas actors can be on Leonhardt’s radar. He’s pushing for Laws that might probably block the sale of farm land within the state to sure overseas operators. He admitted it’s an advanced difficulty and he’s uncertain if it could possibly cross.

“Happily for West Virginia, I’ve checked and we don’t have any of that occurring presently, however we wish to be cautious of that. It’s a really sophisticated difficulty. You don’t wish to take away an individual’s property rights away from promoting to whomever they need, however we additionally wish to make sure that we defend agriculture,” he added.

Leonhardt in contrast it to the scenario of the Chinese language makes an attempt to make giant scale purchases of pure gasoline manufacturing in West Virginia a couple of years again, one thing he mentioned he additionally adamant opposed.