As the new Agriculture Development Coordinator for the Jefferson County Development Authority, I bring to the table a new, fresh perspective on agriculture, and an education to back it up. I grew up local, participating in 4-H and FFA, and a member of the 4th generation to have lived and worked on our family farm. While in college at WVU, I obtained my American FFA Degree, and participated in the 2021 WV Collegiate business plan contest. Turns out, we would go on to excel in the contest with a winning idea for an agribusiness located in Jefferson County. In May of 2021, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agribusiness Management, Minoring in Ag. and Natural Resources Law, Economics, and Environmental Economics. I am so excited to be able to come back home and share the knowledge I gained through my education with my community.
With that being said, I would like to talk a little bit about what I do. Agriculture is one of the strongest, most viable sectors for economic activity in Jefferson County. As part of my work with the JCDA, I will be issuing a monthly “letter”, detailing some of my projects, and highlighting local agribusinesses in our area. I plan to help develop and maintain current operations, bring in new operations, and work with local value-added agriculture operations as well. I hope to help get more local products available to consumers, whether it be through development of on-farm markets and agritourism venues, working to get local products in grocery stores, and supporting farm markets in any way I can. I envision Jefferson County not only as a place with picturesque scenes and rich history, but a place with the capability to be full of agricultural life, and what better way to do that than to keep farms farming. Be on the lookout in the coming months as JCDA begins to roll out some new and exciting agricultural opportunities and be sure to share this information with you family, friends, and coworkers.
My door is always open if you have ideas or would like some help. I know how difficult it can be to start an agricultural enterprise, and how helpful it can be to talk with someone who has experience in the field (see what I did there!). I am always available if you would like advice and resource for developing your enterprise, business planning, and marketing your products. I can also help with social media and your online presence. I am also building my network of peers, mentors and experts, so if I cannot answer your questions, chances are I know someone who can. I also love to serve as a sounding board for developing new ideas, in my experience the best ideas come from simply talking with someone. Feel free to send me an email any time at firstname.lastname@example.org, or give my office line a call at (304) 724-8427. If you’d like to drop in, our office is at 1948 Wiltshire Road Suite 4, Kearneysville, WV 25430. I hope to work with you soon!