Press Release:  August 9, 2020                                                                                                           

Morgantown, WV – Senator Bob Beach, candidate for WV Commissioner of Agriculture challenges Leonhardt to debate West Virginia Agriculture on three separate occasions.                                                                                                                        

West Virginia has a long and cherished agricultural history. Deeply rooted in dairy and beef operations, poultry, and most recently we have seen an increased interest in the use of high tunnels for extended growing season.  Industrial hemp has become a household word. Yet, sadly little has been done to assist growth within this agricultural segment of our economy. West Virginia rankings in agricultural production have slipped, West Virginians needs to know why.

West Virginian’s needs to know why the WV Department of Agriculture(WVDA) spent in excess of $100,000 to develop a strategic agricultural plan three years ago, only to see it gather dust on the shelf today…never to be implemented.

West Virginian’s needs to know why West Virginia hemp farmers are losing millions of dollars each year while neighboring states flourish in hemp production.

Residents and families dealing with unemployment need to know why the current Commissioner of Agriculture has employed more people from out of state than any previous Commissioner.

This and many other questions need to be answered by the WVDA, beyond their standard message of, ‘’we’ve been laying the ground work the past three years.’’

“It is clear that we have an Ag. Administration that has done little to stimulate agriculture for the past three years. It’s important to both me and families across this state to get answers to our questions. Perhaps a public forum is just the right place to begin.” Beach added.