Commissioner of Agriculture Releases Statement Regarding Future of Cedar Lakes

RIPLEY, W.Va. – Commissioner of Agriculture and the Legislative Delegation representing Jackson County released the following statement regarding the future of the Cedar Lakes Conference Center.

“I want to thank Governor Justice for his commitment to keeping Cedar Lakes open. With his allocation out of his civil contingency fund, we are able to recover the money the facility lost during the pandemic. These funds will help continue our mission to bring necessary improvements to a facility that serves our FFA community and the people of Jackson County,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt.

“Cedar Lakes is very important to Jackson County communities and I am happy to know that Commissioner Leonhardt understands that and cares about persevering it. I know Jackson County residents are very thankful,” said Senator Amy Nichole Grady (R-Mason).

The Cedar Lakes Conference Center experienced a 30% revenue decrease in FY 20 and 80% revenue decrease in FY 21 due to the facility shutting down and resulting cancelation of events because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Total estimated revenue losses from March 2020 through August 2021 are estimated around $1,731,815. The Governor’s Office appropriated this amount of money from the Civil Contingency Fund to help Cedar Lakes recover the loss funding.

“Cedar Lakes is part of the soul of Jackson county and was thriving before COVID-19 dawned in West Virginia. We refuse to surrender such an integral part of our community to a temporary setback. Thank you to Kent Leonhardt working so diligently to preserve Cedar Lakes,” said Senator Eric Tarr (R-Putnam).

“Cedars Lakes is Jackson County’s version of a state park. It provides various recreational outlets for our community, as well as attracts outside visitors through its camps, festivals, and classes. I am extremely thankful to the Governor and Commissioner Leonhardt that we can continue to keep Cedar Lakes open,” said Delegate Steve Westfall (R-Jackson).

Since July 2016, the WVDA has addressed $578,968 in maintenance needs originally deferred by the West Virginia Department of Education, as well as started renovation of the Assembly Hall with an estimated cost of $1,422,466. These renovations have been supported by additional appropriations from the Legislature.

The Cedar Lakes Conference Center is currently open to the public and taking event registrations. To book your event at Cedar Lakes Conference Center email or visit for more information.

For more information, contact Crescent Gallagher at or 304-380-3922.

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.