West Virginia currently produces a little more than $500 million of the $7 billion in food state residents consume in a year.
As Agriculture Commissioner Walt Helmick told me for today’s newspaper, he’d like to see West Virginia producing most of its own food, but that’s probably too lofty a goal at this point.
Instead, he hopes to help state farmers double their production by the end of his first term.
How? Part of it requires striking deals with state school systems and big box stores. The rest will depend on people looking to farming as a viable source of income. He’s kicking around the idea of hiring a young entrepreneur for the department, who would spend their days drafting business plans for farmers.
“You have to show you can make money at it or it doesn’t work,” Helmick told me.
In other news…
- Delegate Larry Faircloth, R-Berkeley, will have his legislative wages garnished following a 2007 circuit court ruling that Faircloth defrauded two men over a termite inspection.
- Fourteen counties soon will begin electronic filing of court records. That’s good news for lawyers and citizens, but I’m really exited about this. It can be a pain to get court documents from some of the more distant counties, who sometimes require payment before faxing the documents…but will only accept payment in-person.
- Someone might have won $1 million in a recent Powerball drawing, Lottery Director John Musgraves announced. Let’s hope this doesn’t end like the last $1 million Powerball winner.