Kent Leonhardt, West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture, to Deliver Inspiring Keynote Address at The American Legion Mountaineer Boys State!
Kent Leonhardt is a dedicated public servant and experienced farmer who has been serving the State of West Virginia since 2014. After being elected to the West Virginia State Senate representing the 2nd Senatorial District, which encompassed several rural counties, Kent went on to be elected as the West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture in 2016, now serving his second term.
Kent's passion for farming developed at a young age while serving in the United States Marine Corps. In 1982, he purchased an abandoned farm near Blacksville, WV, and together with his wife Shirley, revitalized it. For two decades, they raised sheep, cattle, and goats, as well as cultivated crops and sold hay when there was a surplus.
Kent's education includes a Bachelor's Degree in Wildlife Management from the University of Missouri, where he took courses in agriculture, natural resources, and environmental protection. He also holds a Master's in Business Management from Central Michigan University.
With a distinguished military career, Kent served in the United States Marine Corps for 20 years, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1996. He received numerous accolades during his service, including the Legion of Merit and Combat Action Ribbon.
Beyond his agricultural and military background, Kent is actively involved in various organizations. He is a member of the Monongalia County Farm Bureau, has served as President of the Southern Association of State Departments of Agriculture, and holds the position of President of the Agriculture and Forestry Hall of Fame. He also serves on the board of Directors for Operation Welcome Home and is a life member of the Marine Corps League and The American Legion.
Kent and Shirley have three sons and six grandchildren, and they continue to reside on their farm in Blacksville, WV.
For more information on the Office of the Commissioner of Agriculture visit: https://agriculture.wv.gov/