West Virginia - Wild and Wonderful

About West Virginia

West Virginia is noted for its mountains and diverse topography, its historically significant logging and coal mining industries, and its political and labor history. It is one of the most densely karstic areas in the world, making it a choice area for recreational caving and scientific research.


West Virginia is full of opportunity for any business with a growing economy and a highly dedicated workforce. Whether you are running an existing business or thinking of starting a new business you can find all of the information you need throughout this business section.


West Virginia is fortunate to have a tremendous education system with a high standard of excellence. Please use the information provided here to learn more about the wealth of educational opportunities in our great state.


West Virginia is home to one of the finest workforces in the country based on our hard work and commitment to quality. Whether you are looking for new job opportunities, enhancing your job skills or researching future employment trends you can find all of the information you need throughout this employment section.


West Virginia offers the perfect balance of a rural and urban setting that suits a variety of lifestyles. This is a state where you can go whitewater rafting in the morning, go to an art exhibit in the afternoon and attend a concert in the evening. Whether you just moved to the Mountain State or your family has been here since it was founded, you are part of our community.


Maintaining proper health is vital to ensuring the highest quality of life possible. West Virginia strives to provide one of the best health care systems in the country that is affordable and available to all residents of the state. This section contains numerous resources to assist you in accessing the health care services provided in the state.


Exhilarate in the lasting beauty and natural wonder scattered throughout West Virginia. From unmatched outdoor recreation to world-class resorts, breathtaking scenery and a variety of cultural and historic attractions, West Virginia is an ideal spot to plan your next adventure. Discover for yourself what makes West Virginia wild and wonderful.

 Department of Agriculture Encouraging Largest Fruit and Vegetable Entries

Are you the member of your family with the proverbial “green thumb?” Are you the one who desperately foists basket after basket of zucchini on wary, but polite, neighbors?

If your answer is yes, then the West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) wants you to get busy this summer and grow a state-record largest fruit or vegetable.

“It’s been an excellent growing season so far, so I encourage everyone to see what they can do in the garden” said Commissioner of Agriculture Walt Helmick.

WVDA has kept records on the largest fruits and vegetables since 1996. Records are published on the WVDA website, wvagriculture.org, under the Marketing tab.

“This program is a lot of fun for the participants, and the public gets excited when they see some of the gigantic produce grown every summer,” said WVDA Marketing and Development Director Jean Smith. “We’ve all seen how popular the giant pumpkin contest is at the West Virginia Pumpkin Festival. I’m sure this will also be interesting to farmers and non-farmers alike.”

Of course, results won’t be known until later this year, but aspiring gardeners will need to get a start now if they want a page in the record book come fall.

The contest is open to any fruit or vegetable grown in West Virginia during 2013. Entrants should send photos and evidence of the size/weight of their prize plants to WVDA, 1900 Kanawha Blvd. East, Charleston, WV 25305.

Current record holders are:

Potato, 3.16 lbs., Gwen Wilson, 2000
Tomato, 3.9 lbs., Glen Knox, 2011
Sweet potato, 14.81 lbs., Ray Hendrix, 2012
Watermelon, 142.5 lbs., Walter Jones, 2005
Basil leaf, 18 sq. in., Susan Sauter, 1996
Sunflower, 13 ft. 11 in., Laird and Stacey Marshall, 2012
Zucchini, 10 lbs., Johnna Grapes, 1996
Pumpkin, 1,157, Scott Wotring, 2006
Apple, 1 lb., 8.5 oz., George S. Orr and Sons, 2002
Rutabaga, 9 lbs., 6 oz., Shawn and Christy Bittinger, 1998
Turnip, 9.26 lbs., Donald G. Thompson, 2001
Radish, 13.27 lbs., Michael R. Tolley, 2011
Mushroom, 9.83 lbs., Phillip D. Smith, 1999
Elephant Garlic 1.25 lbs., Shawn and Christy Bittinger, 1999
Cantaloupe, 27.45 lbs., Glen Knox, 2011
Cushaw, 57 lbs., Gail Cline, 2008
Ear of Corn, 12 1/8”, Nathan Milburn Sharp, 2009
Stalk of Corn, 13 ft. 2 in., Nathan Milburn Sharp, 2009
Cucumber, 41 in., Howard Hager/Ann Buggington

Contact Information

WV Department of Agriculture