President Donald Trump’s signing of the 2018 Farm Bill, Commissioner of
Agriculture Kent Leonhardt released the following statement:
everywhere finally have certainty with the signing of the 2018 Farm Bill.
We know vital programs will now remain funded and our farmers can continue
to focus on feeding the world,” Commissioner Leonhardt said. “I thank
Congress and the President for finally getting this across the finish
The 2018 Farm Bill
maintains funding for several vital initiatives, including conservation
programs, Specialty Crop Block Grants, and food and agriculture research.
The bill also included a provision to legalize the commercial cultivation
of industrial hemp at the federal level by removing it from the list of
federally controlled substances. Oversight to regulate this cultivation
will continue to rest with individual state department of agricultures upon
approval by United States Department of Agriculture.
McConnell has proven to be a true friend to farmers. Through his effort,
our growers will have access to a new cash crop. We hope to see tremendous
growth within our own industry now that the path for regulation of these
products has been firmly established,” Leonhardt said.
In 2018, West
Virginia licensed 46 industrial hemp growers who grew roughly 155 acres of
crop. For the 2019 season, WVDA has received applications for 199 permits
thus far. The increased interest is largely due to a bill that was passed
by the West Virginia Legislature in 2017 which allow cultivation of
industrial hemp for commercial purposes.
“Changes in the
2018 Farm Bill will allow the transport of raw industrial hemp products
across state lines. We hope our farmers will take full advantage of this
revision to the federal law,” Leonhardt said.