GROWING WEST VIRGINIA
As your Senator I’ve learned that our greatest resource is our people here in West Virginia, and the entrepreneurial spirit of our farming communities are second to none.
Beginning day one our campaign for Commissioner of Agriculture we relied on input from constituents to help build our platform. We quickly discovered a need for advocacy, resources, and communication between farmer and the WV Department of Agriculture.
Identifying additional problems within the agriculture community became a focus of our team as the campaign progressed. Open communication exposed several problems that can be easily corrected by the legislature or simply by a change of policy within the Department. Prioritizing these issues is essential if West Virginia agriculture is to achieve our goals.
I campaigned for Commissioner of Agriculture because I believe our State Government should work for these folks and not against them. We need to prioritize pathways for access to state and federal grants, helping small local farms build a solid and enduring foundation. We must protect our operating family farms from the pressures of big monopolies, and clear the way for economic growth here in the Mountain State.
Incentives are needed in many areas in order to develop a regionalized approach to processing of local vegetables and fresh meats. Having lost 50% of our dairy farms within the past five years it became apparent the need to establish tax credits for our dairy farmers who sell under cost of production may prove to be a pathway to stem the loss of diary production here in West Virginia or perhaps even beyond our borders.
We need to eliminate restrictions on growing industrial hemp and encourage every other opportunity for development of agriculture beyond the field. Hemp is potentially a billion dollar industry, yet restrictions have prevented the ag-sector from seeing success. Many things can be addressed at the state level, yet sadly we lack the leadership within the State Department of Agriculture. Perhaps now would be a good time to lobby Congress and the White House for revisions to current hemp policy.
Together we can build a greater economy, and better food choices for all West Virginians.
Thank you for taking the time to visit our webpage…for information regarding ag-issues in the Mountain State please visit the Blog section of this page.
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