WV Commissioner of Agriculture Speaks to ALMBS

Kent Leonhardt is a lifetime farmer. His wife and Kent restored a farm that was abandoned for over 40 years and made it once again a viable functioning farm. Their farm is located in the western end of Monongalia County near Fairview, West Virginia. They purchased their first 205 acres of West Virginia farmland in 1982, while he was still on military active duty. They began developing and cultivating the farm in 1997, following his retirement from the Marine Corps. Today, they have 380 contiguous acres and two farm leases for hay production and additional grazing. They raise sheep, cattle and goats and sell hay when there is a surplus available.

Mr. Leonhardt is a Marine. He served for 20 years and retired with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 1996. As a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Marine Corps, he coordinated operations between all four branches of our military, the Department of Defense and other federal agencies. During that time he served on Joint Staffs leading men and women in war and peace. He received personal decorations during his service including: Legion of Merit, Combat Action Ribbon, 8 other personal decorations.

As well as serving in the Marines for 20 years, he was elected in 2014 to the West Virginia State Senate serving the people of the 2nd Senatorial District. The 2nd Senatorial District is one of the largest and most rural in West Virginia containing parts of or all of the following counties: Marshall, Wetzel, Gilmer, Marion, Monongalia, Tyler, Doddridge, Calhoun, and Ritchie. As a State Senator, he fought to create a business friendly environment to foster economic growth. He is currently serving as the Agriculture Commissioner for West Virginia.

Lastly, he received a formal education in the Science of Agriculture, earning my Bachelor’s Degree in Wildlife Management from the University of Missouri. In addition, he took a variety of courses covering issues pertinent to the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Environmental Protection. His undergraduate education had a concentration on both wildlife and agriculture and included courses in the following disciplines: Livestock and Meat Science, Soil Sciences, Plant Taxonomy, Entomology, Ichthyology or fisheries, Agricultural Economics, Biology and Chemistry.

For more information: https://agriculture.wv.gov