Kent Leonhardt

On The Legislature Today, host Andrea Lannom chats with West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt on the role agriculture plays in diversifying the state’s economy. We also hear the latest on the debate over Public Employees Insurance Agency issues.

Ron Miller, Senator Ron Miller
Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Ron Miller has resigned his seat in the West Virginia Senate to work on agriculture issues in the administration of Gov. Jim Justice.

Miller, a Democrat from Greenbrier County, resigned Thursday.

Hay, Farm, Bale of Hay
Pixabay

West Virginia officials are warning farmers about the possibility that their hay could be contaminated by recent flooding.

The state Agriculture Department said in a news release feeding contaminated hay to animals can be dangerous.

Jim Justice
Scott Halleran / Getty Images

Governor Jim Justice says West Virginia has opportunities to expand farming and jobs with fertile soil and good climate, rainfall and temperatures for growing, calling for state's reconstituted Agriculture Advisory Board to advance them.

Clark Davis / WVPublic

West Virginia's Department of Agriculture says plans have been written for managing fertilizer and other nutrients on 90,000 acres in the state's eight-county Chesapeake Bay drainage region.

Agriculture Commissioner Kent Leonhardt says West Virginia is furthest along among the bay's watershed states toward the goal, which helps restore land for productive use.

Bees, Honey, Honey Bees, Geezer Ridge Farm
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Department of Agriculture is offering help for people who spot a swarm of honeybees.

Agriculture Commissioner Kent Leonhardt says bees are an important part of the growing season, and people who spot a swarm on their property are asked to call the agency so the insects can be relocated rather than eradicated.

Maple Syrup
Mindmatrix / Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia Agriculture Commissioner Kent Leonhardt is kicking off International Maple Month in the state with a ceremonial maple tapping this week in Guthrie.

The Agriculture Department says the event is set for 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Gus R. Douglass Agriculture Center.

Martin Valent / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Each legislative session, the state’s Constitutional Officers, or the heads of government offices who are elected by the people, bring their priorities to lawmakers and ask for support for various legislative changes.

This year, newly elected Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt is hoping to change the structure of government, expand a growing program that’s been controversial in some parts of the country, and incentivize the purchasing of West Virginia-grown products. 

Gov. Justice Taps Clements for State Senate Seat

Jan 28, 2017
Martin Valent / WV Legislative Photography

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has picked Republican Charles Clements to fill a state Senate opening left by Agriculture Commissioner Kent Leonhardt's election.

When voters go to the polls on November 8th, they’ll be tasked with deciding who will lead the state’s agriculture industry.  The two major party candidates see the Commissioner of Agriculture as someone who can diversify the state’s economy, but have different opinions about what that diversification looks like. 

Walt Helmick is seeking his second term as Agriculture Commissioner. His competition is Republican Kent Leonhardt and Libertarian Buddy Gurthrie.

West Virginia Legislative Services

Republican state Sen. Kent Leonhardt is expected to announce another bid for West Virginia agriculture commissioner.

GOP consultant Kent Gates says Leonhardt will make an announcement Monday at the Capitol.

In 2012, Leonhardt lost to Democrat Walt Helmick, the current first-term agriculture commissioner.