Leonhardt encourages area agriculture all through Weirton pay a visit to | Information, Athletics, Work


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Check out — Kent Leonhardt, West Virginia’s commissioner of agriculture, at correct, speaks with Doug Velegol and Dan Spickard of Blue Stream Farms for the duration of a pay a visit to to Weirton Thursday. Leonhardt also visited with proprietors of Birch Creek Farmery to study far more about their options to convert a former put up business in the metropolis to an indoor agricultural marketplace. — Craig Howell

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WEIRTON — As West Virginia’s commissioner of agriculture, Kent Leonhardt understands the great importance farming and associated industries have on the state’s potential.

“I’m often fascinated in what’s going on in agriculture in West Virginia,” Leonhardt spelled out all through a check out to Weirton Thursday.

Leonhardt, who operates a farm in Monongalia County, was in the space to study about some of the most up-to-date neighborhood agricultural efforts, such as a increasing hydroponics and aquaponics operation which provides academic prospects for youth across the Tri-State Place, and an expected agricultural marketplace established to open up in the metropolis later on this year.

“Agriculture is a good way to diversify the economic climate,” Leonhardt mentioned, noting a concentrate on regional farming will help to help save electricity and secure the nation’s source chains, as nicely as giving a lot more nutritious foods. “West Virginia agriculture is good for well being, fantastic for our citizens, excellent for the surroundings and fantastic for the financial state.”

The commissioner put in the initially part of his check out touring Blue Stream Farms and its David and Linda Payne Instructional Heart at 3236 Primary St., assembly with CEO Dan Spickard, COO Joe Edmiston and Executive Director Doug Velegol.

Blue Stream Farms operates a series of improve beds which deliver microgreens and numerous other herbs and veggies by way of equally hydroponics and aquaponics.

Pointing to one particular mattress, Spickard noted they are in a position to method the lights overheard to simulate the each day photo voltaic cycle, giving a diverse stage of gentle depending on the time.

“That variations during the day,” Spickard said.

Some of the beds also are applied as aspect of educational outreach plans with many location faculties, assisting with lessons in science, technological innovation, crafting, engineering, arts and mathematics.

Blue Stream Farms at the moment is in the approach of producing a business-grade kitchen area spot to help chefs and restaurants who are just commencing their endeavors.

Leonhardt advised they contemplate providing the kitchen to all those in the cottage food items industries, as well, these as these who generate their have jams, jellies, breads and other property-grown merchandise.

The group also took time to have lunch, using meats and generate provided by Birch Creek Farmery of Burgettstown, just before Leonhardt joined operator Teddi Maslowski at a former write-up office environment in the city’s north end to master about ideas to change it into an agricultural market.

Maslowski, a fourth-era farmer, declared the ideas in March, indicating anything highlighted at the market would be grown and made locally.

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