First and foremost, we should have a WV Department of Agriculture that’s responsive. Communication is essential.
Secondly, we acknowledge Agriculture as economic development.
Third, we acknowledge all agricultural operations are important, regardless of size.
Fourth, as more meat operations are taken-over by off shore locations food safety is critical to all West Virginians. We must have safer food transmission and storage.
Fifth, West Virginia lies within the population center of the eastern seaboard. We must position ourselves to be the next bread basket. Planning and cooperation are needed in order to feed a growing population.
Sixth, agriculture education is essential. I would strongly recommend legislation to include greenhouses as part of any new school construction.
Seventh, higher education working in cooperation with WVDA should expand certificate and degree Agriculture programs in our two-year institutions.
Eighth, embrace new technology…either in the field, barn, or greenhouse. Technology leads to savings.
Ninth, we need to embrace and nurture new horizons of potential growth within the hemp community. Recognize it for its broad economic possibilities.
Tenth, Agriculture is conduit to build community relationships, be it your farmers market, herd sharing, or agri-tourism. Farmers are uniquely positioned to drive our economy, simply by sharing their knowledge with others.