Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt Addresses ALMBS

Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt

Kent Leonhardt is a longtime farmer who began his passion for the industry at a very young age while still serving in the United States Marine Corps. Towards the end of his military career, he bought a farm near Blacksville, WV that had sat abandoned for over 40 years. The farm, where he still lives today, was purchased in 1982, and started cultivating crops and raising livestock in 1997. For twenty years, Kent, with the help of his wife Shirley, raised sheep, cattle and goats and sold hay when there was a surplus available.

Kent received his formal education at the University of Missouri, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Wildlife Management. While earning his degree, he took a variety of courses covering issues pertinent to agriculture as well as natural resources and environmental protection. Kent furthered his education by earning a Master’s in Business Management from Central Michigan University.

Besides earning post-secondary degrees, Kent served in the United States Marine Corps for 20 years and retired at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 1996. During that time, he served on multiple joint service assignments leading men and women in war and peace. Throughout his service, Kent received a variety of decorations including: Legion of Merit, Combat Action Ribbon and 8 other personal decorations.

In 2014, Kent was elected to the West Virginia State Senate to serve the people of the 2nd Senatorial District. The district, at the time, was one of the largest and most rural in West Virginia. It contained parts of or all of the following counties: Marshall, Wetzel, Gilmer, Marion, Monongalia, Tyler, Doddridge, Calhoun, and Ritchie. In 2016, he was elected as the West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture.

Together, Kent and Shirley have three sons and six grandchildren. Kent is a member of the Monongalia County Farm Bureau Board of Directors and is a member of the Monongalia County Livestock Association.

More information: https://agriculture.wv.gov/