CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) is proud to announce the launch of the Veterans and Heroes to Agriculture program. The program, formerly known as Veterans and Warriors to Agriculture, had its named changed with the passage of House Bill 4693 which was signed into law during the 2020 Legislative Session. With that name change, the program was expanded to include emergency response personnel and first responders, as well as veterans.
“We have seen a lot of success from our Veterans to Agriculture program since its inception in 2014. With those successes, we felt we needed to expand the reach of that program to additional groups, which required legislation and a name change,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt. “I am excited to see what can be accomplished under this enhanced program.”
The Veterans and Warriors to Agriculture program was created by legislation in 2014. The program was voluntary driven, receiving no funding from the Legislature, untilCommissioner Leonhardt advocated for and received an appropriation in 2018. In total, the program has more than 300 members, created a Veterans Education Series, partnered with Higher Education Institutions for an agricultural training/behavioral healthcare service program and offers scholarship opportunities to members.
“We have designed a new logo to accompany the expansion of our program. This branding will clearly identify to consumers by purchasing this item you are supporting someone who has worked in these fields,” Leonhardt said. “We know people want to support and give back to those they believe are truly heroes and we hope this branding helps them do just that.”
The West Virginia Department of Agriculture protects plant, animal and human health through a variety of scientific, regulatory and consumer protection programs. The Commissioner of Agriculture is one of six statewide elected officials who sits on the Board of Public Works.