WV Agriculture boss in Parkersburg

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PARKERSBURG, W.Va.-(WTAP) West Virginia is known for its mineral resources-such as coal and natural gas.

But a speaker reminded members of the Parkersburg Rotary Club Monday agriculture remains a big part of the state's economy.

State Agriculture Commissioner Kent Leonhardt gave members an update on the state's farming industry.

He says state and locally-grown fruits and vegetables have advantages over those coming from other states-and countries.

"It's good health for the citizens, because the less food travels, the safer and healthier it is," Leonhardt said. "It's good for the economy, because if you buy from a West Virginia farmer, those dollars stay in West Virginia. And now, with the new technology, be it precision agriculture or the high tunnels, it's good for the environment."

Leonhardt says hemp farming is increasing in the state, particularly the production of CBD oil.

He notes dairy farming has declined, not so much because people are consuming less dairy products, but because it has become more efficient.