Local and Regional Organizations that serve Charleston, WV.
Located at :
1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East State Capitol, Room E-28,
Charleston, WV, 25305-0170
Commissioner Walt Helmick invites all farmers, regulated community members, and various citizens in between to learn about the West Virginia Department of Agriculture. West Virginia is known for its small family farms that "help preserve a way of life in the mountain state that is the envy of many". The department strives to make information easily accessible and the vibrant farmers of Appalachia have the opportunity to convey that message to all fellow mountaineers and to the rest of the world. The West Virginia Department of Agriculture welcomes all questions, concerns, and comments at all times!
Walk Helmick, Commissioner
General About the Organization/Mission
Walt is constantly moving forward and pushing new projects for the department. The most recent include projects such as apiaries on reclaimed mine sites, also the potato initiative at Huttonsville and Lakin state farms. The have divisions throughout the state involving animal health, communications, executive, marking & development, meat & poultry inspection, plant industries, regulatory & environmental branches.
|Type of Organization||Non-profit|
Walt Helmick Office - (304)-558-3550
Issues of Focus
History of Organization
Farming in West Virginia goes back to our European ancestors' first settlement in the 16th century. One could even say primary cultivation of the land occurred even before the arrival of Europeans when Northern America was primarily Native American territory. Shortly after the Civil War in 1890 there were about 73,000 farms throughout West Virginia including the infamous West Virginia distilleries of the colonial era. Around this time however the growth of the agricultural community caused outbreak and plagues among the plants and animals. Thus, the 1891 State Board of Agriculture was born. The West Virginia Department of Agriculture formed a partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 1915 and growth in West Virginia products were booming. Around 1966 slaughterhouses, processing plants and meat products were introduced throughout the region and inspections began along with that. As of 2014, West Virginia family totaled at an approx. 21,400 farms throughout the state equaling out to 3.6 million acres of land. Out of all of those farms 98% are considered small farms.
Programs and Projects:
The Young Ag Project is designed to provide education to any child throughout the state of West Virginia that has interest about farming, agriculture and horticulture!
Three-year pilot project in the western and southwestern areas of the state designed to expand potato production in the Mountain State.
Farm to School Program
Deisgned by West Virginia Farm to School Community Development Group (WVFTSCDG), the Farm to School program aims to increase the amount of local foods served in schools throughout the state,
Partners and Frequent Collaborators
- West Virginia University at Parkersburg
- National Farm to School Network
- Ag MRC (Marketing Resource Center)
- West Virginia Farmers Market Association
- West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition
- United States Department of Agriculture
Future Developments for This Wiki
- update the programs once they are updated on the .gov website.
- update partners