CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – The West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) invites producers and the public to discuss the current state of the dairy industry in West Virginia. To gather input, the Department will host five meetings around the state during the month of November.
“The dairy industry is struggling across the country, just as it is here in West Virginia. As genetics improve and demand stays flat, farmers are finding it harder to stay afloat. Our goal is to discuss how we can improve the regulatory process, as well as find new ways to grow the industry,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt.
The WVDA will begin regulating all milk products as of January 1, 2020. Authority to regulate Grade A milk was transferred from DHHR to the WVDA during the 2019 Legislative Session. The agencies have been working together to transfer all resources and information over the last six months. Previously, the WVDA only regulated Grade B milk products as well as managed the state’s herd sharing program.
“We have a lot of experience related to the dairy industry housed within the Department, but we thought it was appropriate to hear from the public as we take on this new responsibility. Our goal is to have a clear plan on how to move the industry forward,” Leonhardt said.
The public meetings will be held:
- 7:00 p.m. November 4 – Cedar Lakes Conference Center (Holt Lodge)
- 82 FFA Drive Ripley, WV 25271
- 7:00 p.m. November 6 – Kearneysville Tree Fruit Research and Education Center
- 67 Apple Harvest Lane Kearneysville, WV 25430
- 12:00 p.m. November 14 – Monroe County Diner
- 37 Main Street Union, WV 24983
- 7:00 p.m. November 19 – Highlands Convention Center
- 355 Wharton Circle Triadelphia, WV 26537
- 11:00 a.m. WVU Extension Office – Kingwood
- 115 West Court Street Kingwood, WV 26537