Walt Helmick Finds Much Needs to Be Done for West Virginia Agriculture

May 07, 2012, 20:26 ET from Helmick for Agriculture Commissioner

CHARLESTON, W.Va., May 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In a campaign that has taken him all over West Virginia, Sen. Walt Helmick, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for agriculture commissioner, has found much unmet potential around the state for economic development based on agriculture.

"As the primary campaign comes to an end, I've come to realize that we have a strong need to reorganize the way West Virginia deals with agriculture," Helmick said. "The potential for job creation is phenomenal, and we are not meeting our potential."

Helmick is the owner of a family-run agricultural business and has worked on many economic development efforts both as part of and outside of his work in the Legislature. He has served more than two decades as a senator from Pocahontas County, including several years as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

"To move agriculture from the back page to the front page will take a team effort," Helmick said.

Helmick has received endorsements from several organizations, including the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, the West Virginia Manufacturers Association, the West Virginia Hospital Association and West Virginians for Life. Mike Teets, who was the Republican nominee for agriculture commissioner in 2008, also crossed party lines to endorse Helmick.

Helmick is running to replace longtime Agriculture Commissioner Gus Douglass. In the Democratic primary, he faces Steve Miller, Bob Tabb, Sally Shepherd and Joseph Messineo.

SOURCE Helmick for Agriculture Commissioner