Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Walt Helmick ; Agriculture Commissioner

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Walt Helmick ; Agriculture Commissioner

Article excerpt

BOTH CANDIDATES for West Virginia agriculture commissioner are knowledgeable public servants, but we like the direction incumbent Walt Helmick has taken the department, so we endorse him f o r re- election. Helmick, a Democrat, was elected four years ago, and has grown into the job since. He sees specific opportunities for agricultural products grown in West Virginia to reach markets near and far.

For comparison, Helmick says, West Virginia consumes about $7.3 billion worth of food but grows only $1 billion. There is plenty of opportunity for West Virginia to close some of its own trade gap there, developing skills, products and workforce along the way.

Under his leadership, the department has opened "aggregation centers packaging plants that enable West Virginia farmers to get their products to market, nurturing these small growers and helping them to build a customer base. …

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