Dear Herald- Dispatch Readers,
Earlier this week my response to the Editorial Board was not included in the forum questions regarding the Commissioner of Agriculture race. Please know this is not a reflection on the Editorial Board but rather my mistake not meeting the cutoff date for submission. That being said, below please see my response to the three questions proffered by the newspaper.
- What is your background?
53 years of agricultural experience…from farm to State House. Raised on a large 800 acre cattle farm in Monongalia County. Former member of 4-H and FFA. Perishable Manager/Supervisor of a large multi-store Supermarket chain. Fresh meat Commodities buyer. Real estate sales. Fairmont State University, political science. Past Executive Director/CEO, Garrett Community College Foundation. Previous member of the House of Delegates (2001-2010). Member of the State Senate (2011- ). Former Chair of the Committee of Agriculture. 20 year member of the Legislative Committee on Agriculture. Member of the Southern Legislative Conference, Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development. WVU Davis School of Agriculture visitation team. High tunnel operator. Lifelong West Virginia resident.
- What is the biggest issue you feel facing the state in regard to the office you are running for?
West Virginia faces numerous issues that must be addressed beginning day one. Our pandemic situation has exposed the weakness in our food supply, with regard to a centralized approach rather than a regional food network. A closer examination and well formulated plan could provide a more grow/buy local approach. Secondly, we must stop the hemorrhage of small farms here in the State. West Virginia has lost in excess of 720 farms in the past three years. Communication and closer relationship with our Ag community would have prevented much of this loss. Finally, in light of the pandemic the budget shall be a challenge for the immediate future…and as your Commissioner I will be there to advocate for ALL people and organizations within the agriculture community.
- Why do you think you are right for the job?
When you’ve been raised on a farm and you’re father is an Ag. Science teacher it instills in you a deep passion for the family farm and the greater Agricultural community. My 53 years of actual agricultural experience, both on and off the farm was not simply a fluke, but rather a chosen path. I spent 27 years within the food industry, providing fresh wholesome foods for a large segment of our population with a focus on food safety… a key aspect of the Department of Agriculture. Furthermore my ability to manage a large workforce with an excess of $4 million in annual sales allows me to bring an expertise, experience, and ability to operate the State’s third largest state agency.
Senator Bob Beach
Candidate, WV Commissioner of Agriculture
To learn more about Bob Beach please visit beachforwv.com or other social media outlets.