Commissioner of Agriculture (West Virginia)
|Home City:||Fairview, W.Va.|
|Home County:||Monongalia County|
Kent Leonhardt, retired USMC special intelligence Lieutenant Colonel, owns 380-acre agribusiness in Monongalia County. The WV Farm Bureau has endorsed Leonhardt for Commissioner of Agriculture. Leonhardt has a formal agriculture education with a B.S. in Wildlife Sciences and a Masters Degree in Business Management. Please visit www.kentforwv.com to learn more.
Agriculture offers West Virginians an opportunity to strengthen our economy, improve our health, diversity our tax base, and protect our environment. As Commissioner of Agriculture, I will move West Virginia forward on all of these fronts. Our state is home to a multi-billion dollar food industry. By reducing regulations on farmers, while increasing marketing opportunities, I will help West Virginia retain more food dollars in our state by encouraging the consumption of local products. With the Legislature and Governor, I will help farmers and consumers expand West Virginia’s economy by growing the number of agribusinesses in our state while also safeguarding West Virginia’s natural resources.
- What more needs to be done to encourage West Virginians to produce and consume locally grown agricultural products?
- Increase access and affordability. We must enable farmers to consistently produce fruits and vegetables by removing obstacles and making it easier for them to sell local products by working with organizations like the USDA, land-grant universities and Conservation Districts to provide expertise and create a prosperous environment for our farmers.
- 50 WORDS OR LESS: What do you see as the role of the Commissioner of Agriculture in spurring economic growth in West Virginia?
- The Commissioner of Agriculture plays a unique role in promoting local agribusiness growth and creating a friendly business environment that is attractive to out-of-state agribusinesses. As Commissioner, I will create incentives to support the consumption of local food products, and work tirelessly to create an environment supporting agribusiness job growth.
- 50 WORDS OR LESS: What can the Commissioner of Agriculture do to reduce the level of pollution in West Virginia waterways caused by agricultural runoff?
- The Commissioner of Agriculture must employ experienced scientists to identify best practices for pollution reduction based on sound science. To protect WV against EPA, I support an internal audit of waterway pollutant levels, determine effective ways to reduce runoff, and will support our agribusinesses to help economically meet any requirements.