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 Four Students Named Honorary Commissioners of Agriculture for the Day


CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Four West Virginia students have been chosen as this year’s Honorary Commissioners of Agriculture for a Day. The students, ranging in age from 12 to 16, will serve during the State Fair of West Virginia, August 8-17. This is the third year of the program. Each student entered an essay, poem or project with the theme “The Future of Agriculture: How Technology Can Change the Industry.”  


“From biochemist to logistical engineers, our food system is more intertwined with science and technology than ever before. We must show our students agriculture is more than farming,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt. “The goal of the program is to inspire the next generation of agricultural thinkers.”


The students will spend their day at the fair shadowing Commissioner Leonhardt and this staff, sit in on meetings and events, tour the fair grounds and learn all the ways the WVDA is involved in the fair. The students will also be featured in the September edition of the Market Bulletin.


Cody Mitchell – Pendleton County

This 15-year-old is a student at Petersburg High School where he is involved in FFA and 4-H. He is a fourth-generation farmer who loves raising cattle, pigs and produce. He hopes to not only feed his family with the food he grows and produces but also his school and community.


Maverick Smailes – Greenbrier County

This 12-year-old knows all about farming. His family owns cattle and operates two high tunnels. The Western Greenbrier Middle School student urges everyone to purchase food grown by local famers. He says buyers can be confident they’re eating the very best.


Devon Price – Hancock County

The 16-year-old from Weirton enjoys gardening. This year he’s planted beans, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and sunflowers. His family also owns a farm in Doddridge County. Devon is a student at Weir High School


Elizabeth Friel – Pocahontas County

A 13-year-old student at Marlinton Middle, Elizabeth enrolled in horticulture class and loves working in the school’s greenhouse. She’s shown animals at local FFA and 4-H sales and has participated in her county’s Ham, Bacon and Egg Sales.


For more information about the Honorary Commissioner of Agriculture for a Day program, contact Jennifer Smith at 304-558-3708 or jensmith@wvda.us.

Contact Information

Crescent Gallagher, Communications Director cgallagher@wvda.us, 304-558-3708 or 304-380-3922