The West Virginia Agricultural Advisory Board has come together to develop a five-year strategic plan to guide the growth of the agricultural economy in West Virginia. West Virginia’s abundant land holds promise for agricultural prosperity for the state and its people. In 2016, West Virginia farmers produced more than $700 million in sales of crops, livestock, poultry, fruits, vegetables and more. And, leaders believe this is only the beginning of what could be a major economic driver for the state’s economy.
In order to identify opportunities for growth, the Agricultural Advisory Board, which is comprised of Governor Jim Justice, Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt and Dean of WVU Extension Service Steven Bonanno, appointed a steering committee tasked with leading a process to develop a long-term, sustainable plan to maximize the agricultural sector in West Virginia.
We want YOUR HELP! Based on a survey of over 500 producers and agricultural stakeholders, we have honed in on 8 broad opportunities to grow the agriculture economy.
Our next step is to host community meetings across all 14 conservation districts in the state. Through these meetings, you will help us transform these broad opportunities into real strategies for change.
Pittsburgh-based Fourth Economy Consulting is facilitating a six- to nine-month process that will guide the advisory board in shaping the future of agriculture in West Virginia.
The process will involve the following steps:
Develop clear goals to guide the strategic planning process
Develop an initial analysis of opportunities to grow the agricultural economy based on: Reviewing existing plans and initiatives that have been developed; Collecting and synthesizing data to uncover opportunities and; Surveying agricultural stakeholders to solicit ideas - Take the Survey here!
Work with a broad cross-section of agricultural stakeholders throughout the state to vet, refine, and prioritize those opportunities highlighted in the initial analysis
Work with key stakeholders responsible for implementation of prioritized opportunities to develop detailed and actionable recommendations
Create a clear and attainable five-year strategic plan with a timeline and evaluation methodology