July 19th, 2019

High Tunnel Tutorial - 2019

Bob Beach, current WV State Senator and candidate for WV Agricultural Commissioner, shows us the process of building his High Tunnel setup on his property.

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July 9th, 2019

What is your Ag connectivity score?

Are you a farmer? As a matter of fact I am. I classify myself as an urban farmer. I’m a farmer in the same context as our founding fathers. I farm to put food on the table, and if along the way I can help feed a neighbor I do…I have no intentions to make it a commercial enterprise.

Often folks misunderstand the word Agriculture to strictly mean farming, but in reality it has far greater meaning.

Agriculture is in fact a science, art, or occupation concerned with cultivating land, raising crops, and feeding, breeding, land management, raising livestock; but underlying all of this…Agriculture improves social welfare, a steady heathy diet supports not just an individual, but rather an entire community…Agriculture is the foundation that sustains and builds an economy.

So I ask the question, what is your agricultural connection? Is it possible to assign a score to your Ag connectivity?

Do you work for the Health Dept? If so, then you’re dealing with food safety. A key role in sustaining a healthy community.

Are you affiliated with a welfare organization? Then most likely you’re promoting food nutrition, a science of agriculture.

Do you visit the Farmers Market? Then you’re supporting and promoting a buy local economy.

As contractor, have you ever used land surveys to prepare a site location in order to curtail flooding and land erosion? Best land management practices certainly gives you a connectivity point or two.

Farming is vitally important to a community, but as you can see you, you too are intertwined with the greater agriculture community. You are part of a culture. Your agricultural connection is simply being part of a community.

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June 28th, 2019

I was raised in farm ponds and hay lofts.

My home community of Fort Martin was made of 100 people, with one church and one community building. Farms lined both sides of the three mile stretch that cut a swath through the grassy community.

Summers were made of long days in the hay field and mending fence when the hay was cut and drying, while evenings were a mix of 4-H meetings, bible school, and family visits…with an occasional FFA camp tossed in for balance.

While summers were enjoyable it was the cold winter evenings which created some of my best memories. Being part of a large family of six children, seldom did you get to spend alone time with your parents. Feeding cattle presented that opportunity to spend time with my dad. My brother Brian and I would take turns each evening working with my father to feed the 200 head of black angus cattle. Often the tractor never started in near zero temperatures, which made for a lot of walking back and forth to the barn to carry hay out. It also made for a great deal of warm conversations.

My father having taught Ag Sciences in the same high school since leaving college, meant he had a lot wisdom and knowledge to impart. I benefited greatly from those conversations, I dare say Dad was probably the best Ag instructor a teenager could have.

Flash forward many years, and it has taken some getting used to the role of urban farming. Aside from field corn we didn’t have a garden every year growing up. Our focus was always on beef and swine production, and the feed they would need. Today my own home is home to one high-tunnel with plans for expansion next year. Land has been cleared this year for a planned apple orchard, where honey bees will find a home. And to help me achieve my animal husbandry goals chickens will be coming home to roost in the very near future. Like any size Ag operation it has taken time to reach yearly goals, but considering this is just our fourth year in this location I would say we’re ahead of schedule in many ways.

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June 20th, 2019

Announcement Video via Facebook Live

Today, this 156th Birthday of WV I am excited to formally announce my candidacy for WV Commissioner of Agriculture. This day sets in motion a time for renewed vitality within the Dept of Agriculture.

Posted by Bob Beach on Thursday, June 20, 2019

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