JACKSON’S MILL, W.Va. – The West Virginia Agriculture and Forestry Hall of Fame (WVAFHF) will honor two years’ worth of inductees with a banquet on Saturday, July 24 at Jackson’s Mill. The 2020 banquet was canceled due to COVID-19, therefore, 2020 and 2021 inductees will be recognized this year. The reception will start at 4:00 p.m. with a dinner to follow at 5:00 p.m.
“It only makes sense to have both this and last year’s inductees with us given we did not have the opportunity recognize 2020 inductees during the pandemic,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt. “Every single person on this list has made a tremendous impact on the state. It is important we continue to recognize the work of great West Virginians.”
Chartered in 1974, the West Virginia Agriculture and Forestry Hall of Fame honors West Virginians who have made outstanding contributions to the establishment, development, advancement and improvement of agricultural and forest industries in West Virginia and around the world.
“Being inducted into the West Virginia Agriculture and Forestry Hall of Fame celebrates the life’s work of those hard-working individuals who have helped to shape the past and grow the future of agriculture, forestry and family life,” said Jennifer Ours Williams, past president of the organization.
Larry S. Barger (Randolph County) – began his career with the U.S. Forest Service in 1967. Working in Richwood, Petersburg, Bergland, Mich. and Elkins. He was the only person in the state with Master Estimator Certification until his retirement in 1994, when he started his own company, Barger Forestry Services. During his first year of college, he planted 200 Christmas trees, an operation he still continues.
Barry Lester Cook (Raleigh County) – worked for 45 years in the forestry industry before being appointed Director of the WV Division of Forestry in 2017. He was known as an energetic, resilient and innovative leader who took great pride in promoting the state’s forest industries and who expanded forestry-based educational opportunities and business opportunities.
Mark L. Double (Monongalia County) – is considered among the world’s foremost experts in tree pathogens. With a career spanning 41 years at the WVU Division of Plant and Soil Sciences and 60 publications to his credit, he is regarded as a meticulous researcher who has contributed significantly to the knowledge of Chestnut Blight and Oak Wilt. He received an Outstanding Service Award from The American Chestnut Foundation in 1991 and has been active in the Rowlesburg Chestnut Festival.
Stacy A. Gartin (Monongalia County) – taught agriculture at WVU for 35 years, teaching dozens of courses and overseeing numerous M.D. and Ph.D. projects. He was named outstanding advisor and teacher at the Davis College four times each, among many other national and regional recognitions. He was instrumental in developing high-quality supervised agricultural experiences programs for high school agriculture students. He also coached youth soccer, baseball and basketball teams.
Hayward “Harry” Huff (Tyler County) – worked more than three decades as the WVU Extension County Agent in Lincoln and Cabell Counties. During that time, he was instrumental in establishing a number of livestock-related programs, including a cooperative feeder calf program, purebred sheep and calf programs and the Tyler County FFA Ham, Bacon and Egg Show and Sale. He also helped to establish the Tyler County 4-H camp and helped to bring electricity and telephone service to rural areas of the county.
Jeffrey D. Orndorff (Monongalia County) – spent five decades developing and increasing participation in 4-H programs. He recruited volunteers and directed numerous camps throughout the state that impacted hundreds of thousands of young people. He was also instrumental in establishing after-school programs for first- and second-graders and pioneered “Everything in a Box / Pick Up and Go” educational programs that are fun and easy to deliver.
Jean Field-Smith (Kanawha County) – was born on a dairy farm in Mineral Wells and was active in 4-H growing up. After graduating Glenville State College in 1972, she joined the WVU Extension Service as the 4-H Agent in Wood County. In 1984, she joined the West Virginia Department of Agriculture’s Marketing Division, eventually becoming Division Director in 2001. She retired in 2015 and has been acclaimed as the “true initiator of the West Virginia local food movement.”
For more information or to secure tickets, contact Jennifer Keaton at 304-558-3200, or email@example.com.
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.