CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) is pleased to announce three employees have become certified livestock graders. Heather Clower, Andy Boone and Zackery Schumaker spent the past six months working alongside other WVDA graders, learning the ins and outs of the grading system. On October 20th, they passed the live animal evaluation and written Market Reporter’s test given by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The three will join two full-time and five part-time graders already in the field.
“Our livestock markets and the livestock industry as a whole are vital to West Virginia, especially as we have seen local meat processing double in the last year. Adding three new graders into the field will help meet the growing demand, as well as support one our largest agricultural sectors in the state,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt. “We are proud of Heather, Andy and Zackery for achieving this status.”
WVDA certified graders evaluate livestock as they come into the state’s markets to be sold in the ring. They give a grade based on USDA standards and enter market reports into the USDA-AMS database. The graders also travel to farms across the state to evaluate grade feeder livestock for board sales and special sales.
For more information on livestock grading, contact the Animal Health Division of the WVDA at 304-558-2214.
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.