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Keep His Post

Keep His Post

Since he took office as state commissioner of agriculture in January 2017, Kent Leonhardt has worked hard to expand the role of farming in West Virginia’s future. He has gotten results from numerous initiatives.

Keeping Leonhardt at his post is important not just to the Mountain State’s agriculture community, but to all West Virginians. A first step toward that is ensuring he wins the Republican Party nomination for commissioner in the June 9 primary election.

Retired as a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Marines, Leonhardt and his wife, Shirley, raised cattle, sheep and goats on a 380-acre farm in Monongalia County. He understands both the opportunities and challenges facing the agriculture industry.

As commissioner, he has addressed the challenges by making the agriculture regulatory burden lighter.

Capitalizing on opportunities is Leonhardt’s specialty. When he took office, there were just eight producers of industrial hemp in our state. Now, there are 150. Leonhardt also is working to boost “agritourism,” one of the fastest growing sources of farm income in the nation.

We endorse Leonhardt for agriculture commissioner — and encourage West Virginians casting Republican ballots to vote for him in the June 9 primary election.

In many other ways, small and large, he is increasing the role agriculture plays here, and that will benefit not just farmers, but all of us in the Mountain State.

•••

Gov. Jim Justice said Wednesday that he wanted to thank all the front-line heroes in the battle against COVID-19 by doing something nice for them. But, he noted, it is inevitable that any list of such occupations will leave someone off.

So the governor decided every West Virginian should receive a 30% discount on state park lodging, from June 1 to Aug. 31. If you’re interested, go to the wvstateparks.com website. Use the promo code WVSTRONG for your reservation.

Justice is right about leaving some category of person off the front-line heroes list, of course. Here’s hoping lots of them do take advantage of the break, though.

They’ve earned it.

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