Charleston, WV - West Virginia Women in
Agriculture stand out in their field! Whether they're tapping maple trees for
sweet water or raising a herd of cattle, this year's four honorees work hard to
make their agribusinesses a success. Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt
will recognize this year's recipients at a reception on August 13 during the
State Fair of West Virginia.
The West Virginia Department of Agriculture began honoring Women
in Agriculture in 2010. Since then 42 women, including this year's honorees,
have been recognized for their significant contributions to the agriculture
"Now more than ever, women are pursuing opportunities in
agriculture at a higher rate than their male counterparts. From traditional
livestock operations, to floriculture, agribusiness, agritourism and specialty
crop operations, women are strongly leading in many emerging agricultural
fields. This is a chance to honor their hard work, entrepreneurial spirit and
innovation," said Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt.
Amy Martin- Loves lane Farms/Mountainview
Veterinary Services, Hardy
Amy grew up on a poultry, beef and crop operation in Old Fields.
Early on, Amy was actively engaged in beef cattle marketing operations through
the South Branch Valley Livestock Exchange. She also worked full-time as a
broiler service technician for Pilgrim's Pride Corporation. Mrs. Martin and her
husband Bill operate Lovers Lane Farm, one of the largest family diversified
agricultural operations in the state of West Virginia.
Amy soon noticed the need for additional professional veterinary
services and amenities in the
cattle-rich Eastern Panhandle. Working with Doctors Isaiah and
Anna Smith, Amy opened another branch of Mountain View Veterinary Services,
providing a full line of competitively priced animal medicines and vaccines as
well as bulk and custom feeds, minerals and supplements. Amy is widely known
through the surrounding counties for her knowledgeable and dependable customer
Amy's future goals include implementing the use of computerized
record keeping and data analysis that will ultimately improve the efficiency of
not only the farm's herd, but those of her customers.
Amy resides in Moorefield with her husband and sons Will and
Pamela Yost - Pleasant Valley Farm, Natual
Resource Conservation Service, Monongalia
Pam began her agriculture career at an early age when she
gathered black walnuts to sell. She used the money to purchase a horse. Knowing
that she wanted a career in agriculture, Pam attended WVU and graduated with a
Bachelor's Degree in Natural Resources and a Master's in Agriculture Economics.
Pam is the 4th generation to operate Pleasant Valley Farm.
Charolais cattle, horses, backyard
poultry and hay are her current enterprises. Pam also enjoys
gardening and donates the garden and orchard surplus to the local food pantry.
A Watershed Economist with NRCS for 27 years, Pam utilizes her expertise to
benefit rural and agricultural communities by managing several different kinds
of water resource infrastructure projects in WV through the Small Watershed
Program. Among her list of accomplishments is the Dunloup Creek Voluntary
Floodplain Buyout located in Fayette County which is used as a national model.
Pam serves as a board member, treasurer, and public information
chair with the Monongalia
County Farm Bureau, is a member of the Monongalia County Fair
Board and secretary of the
Barn Committee and a member of the FFA Advisory Committee for
University High School. Pam also serves as a WV Envirothon judge.
Pam resides on the family farm and enjoys gardening, canning, quilting and
Betty Hickey - Valley Bend Farm, Marshall County
At a young age, Betty recalls working alongside her father on
the family farm, in operation since 1760. The family dairy operation was
dismantled in the 1990s but with the help of her son and the support of her
daughter, Betty has transformed the acreage into produce production and an
agritourism destination. Sweet corn is the predominant vegetable. Betty is also
known for her ability to produce the hard to find WV63 tomato variety from seed.
Her U-pick pumpkin patch features 20-plus varieties of pumpkins and gourds and
is a field trip destination for local Head Start programs and Sand Hill
Elementary School students.
Betty became a Master Gardener in the first class held in West
Virginia. She served as the director of the All-American Rose Garden at the
Hare Krishna's Palace of Gold for 28 years until retirement in 2011. Under her
direction, the garden was awarded the "High Maintenance Award" for 10
Betty was involved in 4-H as a child and the Marshall County
Fair remains an important part of her summer. An active member of the Community
Educational Outreach Service, Betty works diligently to promote the
Betty resides in Wheeling.
Britney Farris - Family Roots Farm, Brooke County
Following her graduation from Waynesburg University, Britney
moved back to the family farm which has been in the Hervey family since 1775.
She is the 7th generation to manage the farm and established the Family Roots
Farm brand in 2012 with 40 maple taps. The operation has expanded into an
agritourism destination with more than 1,000 maple taps, six acres of produce,
a one acre u-pick strawberry patch, a crop of sweet sorghum and two high
tunnels. Produce is marketed directly to customers at farmers' markets, fairs
and festivals. She also offers a small-scale CSA to customers. Many doors have
opened for Family Roots Farm after winning the International Maple Sugar Award
Britney began managing the Brooke County Farmers' Market in
2015, expanding the number of
vendors and doubling the customer base. She assists with the
Brooke County Agriculture Day for all 5th graders in the county. This two-day
event reaches approximately 230 students. She is also actively involved with
the Brooke County Kids Garden.
Britney resides in Wellsburg with her husband, Charlie.
Crescent Gallagher, Communications Director firstname.lastname@example.org, 304-558-3708 or 304-380-3922