West Virginia Department of Agriculture

Veterans and Warriors to Agriculture Facebook

West Virginia has been awarded a $400,000 federal grant to provide agriculture training for military veterans.

gypsy moth
Editor at Large / Wikimedia Commons

The West Virginia Department of Agriculture says it will begin aerial spraying for gypsy moth early next month.


 

 

The spraying is slated for nearly 5,300 acres within Grant, Hardy, Nicholas and Pendleton counties. The goal is to reduce the impact of the insect on West Virginia’s forests.

 

On The Legislature Today, we take a closer look at a bill that would allow logging in state parks – Senate Bill 270. It's an issue that's fired up lawmakers and citizens. We’ll hear from a director, a commissioner, a delegate, and a senator. Logging is currently permitted in state forests but not state parks.

Spotted Lanternfly, Lanternfly, Lantern Fly, Fly, Lantern
Sam Droege / USGS

West Virginia's Department of Agriculture has established an email where the state's residents can send pictures and descriptions of a suspected invasive pest, as well as their locations and any related damage to buildings or plants.

Spotted Lanternfly, Lanternfly, Lantern Fly, Fly, Lantern
Sam Droege / USGS

The West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) has opened an email hotline for the early detection of invasive pests.

Spotted Lanternfly, Lanternfly, Lantern Fly, Fly, Lantern
Sam Droege / USGS

The West Virginia Department of Agriculture is asking residents to watch for the appearance of the spotted lanternfly, a destructive insect whose presence was confirmed last week in New Castle County, Delaware.

It was first detected in the U.S. in 2014 in Pennsylvania, where it has since been found in 13 counties.

Clark Davis / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Department of Agriculture has decided to close the state's first crop aggregation facility after determining that it was barely used and losing money.

The Herald-Dispatch reports the department's new administration will not renew a lease for the Huntington Aggregation Center.

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.

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.

Cecelia Mason / WV Public Radio

The state Department of Agriculture is seeking nominations for the 2017 West Virginia Women in Agriculture awards.

The department says in a news release that nominations are being accepted through June 1. It is open to women who have made significant contributions in state agriculture, forestry or specialty crops.

Frances Meadows

The West Virginia Department of Agriculture has begun trapping and surveys across the state to detect any new, non-native pests and monitor the impact of native agricultural pests.

According to the department, the aim is to detect specific exotic plant pests, diseases and weeds that are threats to forests and farmlands.

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.

Strawberries
Parvathisri / Wikimedia Commons

Organizers of the West Virginia Strawberry Festival are looking for local growers to stock a market with berries at this year's event.

The festival board, the city of Buckhannon and the state Department of Agriculture are working with private farmers to have fresh strawberries available for sale on May 20 and 21. This year's festival runs from May 13 through 21 in Buckhannon.

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. 

Cecelia Mason / WV Public Radio

West Virginia officials are seeking entries for an award that recognizes excellence in the advertising and promotion of agritourism destinations and attractions.

The Department of Agriculture says winners of the 2017 Agritourism Media Awards will be honored during the West Virginia Small Farms Conference Feb. 12 through 14 at the Charleston Civic Center.

Sharon Shlomo / PikiWiki

The West Virginia Department of Agriculture is accepting proposals for specialty block grants.

Specialty crops include fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, maple syrup and Christmas trees, among others. Excluded are livestock, eggs and field crops such as soybeans and corn.

West Virginia Department of Agriculture

The West Virginia Department of Agriculture says nominations are being accepted for the state Agriculture and Forestry Hall of Fame.

The hall honors people, businesses, organizations, institutions and foundations for contributions to agricultural, forestry or family life in West Virginia.

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.

WVSU Extension Service Hosts Meet-And-Greet

Oct 19, 2016
WVSU campus in Institute, W.Va.
Steve Shaluta / W.Va. Department of Commerce

State agriculture representative’s spokes with farmers Wednesday at a Meet-and-Greet in Institute. The discussion was meant to help the farmers with any issues.

The West Virginia State University Extension Service hosted the Meet-and-Greet to help local farmers touch base with different government agencies that could help them. Participating agencies included the USDA, the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Capitol Conservation District, West Virginia AgrAbility and the West Virginia Department of Agriculture.

Carla Whitee Ford / New South Media

Hemp, known in the scientific community as cannabis sativa, is a cousin to the more commonly known marijuana, but unlike its medicinally and recreationally used relative, hemp does not contain any THC- a mind-altering ingredient. 

So, throughout the nation's history, hemp has been used more practically. It's often turned into fibers used in fabrics or rope or pressed into oils, but the plant itself is still considered a schedule one drug, meaning law enforcement treats it just like they would heroin or Ecstasy.

Crop Aggregation Machine
Clark Davis / WV Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Department of Agriculture hopes an investment in a new crop aggregation facility in Huntington will be the next step in helping the state’s economy grow through agriculture.

A nearly half a million-dollar investment sits in a warehouse space in the west end of Huntington. The large, silver and black piece of equipment spans the length of the warehouse in the National Guard Armory building on Virginia Avenue. It’s a root crop packaging machine that cleans and packages potatoes brought from various parts of the state.  

Potatoes
David Adam Kess / wikimedia commons

West Virginia's first crop aggregation facility designed to help local farmers has opened in Huntington.

The Herald-Dispatch reports that Tuesday's opening ceremony of the West Virginia Department of Agriculture's Huntington Aggregation Center included a demonstration of several pieces of new equipment that will be used at the facility.

MAGNUS MANSKE / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

An effort by the West Virginia Department of Agriculture to encourage growers to consider potato production has landed at a spot known for its extraterrestrial activity - the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank.

Maple Syrup
Mindmatrix / Wikimedia Commons

The West Virginia Department of Agriculture says new maple syrup producers have been tapping trees and expanding markets in the state and around the U.S.

The West Virginia Maple Syrup Producers Association is holding its annual meeting and competition on Saturday in Weston, and anyone is welcome to attend. The meeting starts at 9:30 a.m. at the Agriculture Department's Weston Field Office with the competition at 1 p.m.

Maple Syrup
Mindmatrix / Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia will be included in the National Maple Survey for the first time this spring.

The survey is conducted by the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Producers will be contacted from late April through mid-May.

Ham & Bacon
WV FFA Facebook

Young farmers across West Virginia are offering their livestock projects up for sale this week.

The state Department of Agriculture says the annual Future Farmers of America Ham, Bacon and Egg Show and Sale will be held Monday night at the state Capitol Complex.

gypsy moth
Editor at Large / Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia officials are proposing to conduct aerial treatments of 12,000 acres in five counties this spring to slow the spread of gypsy moths.

The state Department of Agriculture says it plans to conduct spraying in May in Grant, Hardy, Pendleton, Pocahontas and Summers counties.

cicadas
Jod-let / Wikimedia Commons

Researchers are expecting a new brood of subterranean insects to emerge from the ground and begin mating across West Virginia.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that members of the cicada population, known as Brood V, are expected to appear across the state's northern and central counties around mid-May.

Daniel Walker / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A ban on gatherings of live poultry in West Virignia has been lifted.

The Department of Agriculture announced Commissioner Walt Helmick's decision to lift the ban on Tuesday. The department had implemented the ban in mid-May following an outbreak of avian influenza in other states.

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