CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt today applauded the passage House Bill 2633 alternatively named “The West Virginia Farm Bill”. The bill provides several updates to outdated West Virginia code, established a new Agriculture Investment Fund, reorganizes the Livestock Cares Standards Board and reduces regulations on farmers’ markets. The first West Virginia Farm Bill now awaits Governor Jim Justice’s signature.
“Just like the federal government and several other states, the Department has been working towards introducing a reoccurring farm bill. Our goal is to work towards updating chapter 19 code to modernize rules and regulations and reduce burdens on West Virginia farmers. In addition, we want to further develop ways to grow our agricultural economy in West Virginia,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt.
HB 2633 does the following:
- Updates language pertaining to the WVDA’s Agriculture and Business Development Division
- Clarifies raw milk can be sold for animal feed or non-consumable products such as soap
- Updates membership and responsibility for the Livestock Cares Standards Board
- Removes the fee for permits relating to feeding untreated garbage to swine
- Makes updates to West Virginia Commercial Feed Law
- Clarifies the West Virginia Conservation Agency can accept grants to do water quality work
- Establishes the WVDA as the sole authority over regulations of farmers’ markets
- Expands the Fresh Food Act to include dairy products
- Creates the Agriculture Investments Program
“Since 2017, every legislative session we have made significant progress on either aiding our farmers or getting the government out of their way. This and future West Virginia Farm Bills will continue to work towards that goal. I hope the Governor supports the legislation with his signature,” Leonhardt said.
For more information, contact Crescent Gallagher at 304-380-3922 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.