Leonhardt praises Perdue confirmation

CHARLESTON — West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt sent his congratulates to Sonny Perdue Tuesday upon his confirmation as the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture by the United States Senate.

“This is a crucial time for agriculture in West Virginia and the United States as a whole. With the right policies and enthusiasm, we can grow agriculture and expand opportunities for our farmers,” Leonhardt said. “We look forward to working with Secretary Perdue to strengthen our partnerships and collaborations with the United States Department of Agriculture.”

The West Virginia Department of Agriculture receives approximately $19 million from the USDA through grants and collaborative agreements. These monies are used to fund programs such as Specialty Crop Block Grants, inspection of slaughter facilities and initiatives that help protect the state and national forests.

“For example, Specialty Crop Block Grants have allowed the WVDA to help facilitate growth in our maple syrup industry,” Leonhardt noted. “We’ve gone from a few small producers to a booming industry that’s attracting attention from around the world. We would not have seen this kind of success without support from the USDA.”