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.

 Safe Produce Handling Class to be Offered at Small Farm Conference

The West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) will offer a “Good Handling Practices/Good Agricultural Practices” (GHP/GAP) training Thursday, February 28, during the WVU Extension Service’s 2013 Small Farm Conference, to be held at the Waterfront Hotel in Morgantown February 27-March 2. 2013. The training is ideal for any West Virginia produce growers marketing food directly to the public, or those seeking to become a Farm to School supplier. Although GHP/GAP certification is not currently required by law, increasingly stringent federal food safety standards may make GHP-GAP certification very valuable in the near future. And the class is a bargain compared to similar courses offered commercially.

“This is one of the services WVDA provides that helps the competiveness of our small agribusinesses,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Walt Helmick. “And it serves a dual purpose in that it also helps provide a safer food supply for every West Virginia consumer.”

WVDA Marketing and Development Director Jean Smith added that the training will cover safe production, processing and packing procedures, along with proper record-keeping to ensure traceability in case of a food-borne disease outbreak.

“Local foods are really booming in West Virginia, but for that to continue, consumers must believe in the products they’re buying. This class prepares producers for third-party audits that can go a long way toward ensuring long-term confidence in local foods,” said Smith.

Virginia Tech professor Robert Williams will lead the program. Professor Williams is a food safety and technology expert who has been conducting programs for WVDA for the past four years. The course is designed to be practical and give participants tools for immediate on-farm implementation whether or not they chose to participate in the official GHP/GAP certification program.

Attendance does satisfy the education requirement for the West Virginia GHP/GAP Audit Reimbursement Program. The Audit Reimbursement Program is funded through the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program and allows qualified farms the opportunity to recover up to 75 percent of their costs associated with a successful federal GHP/GAP Audit.

Cost for the course is $25, plus a $70 daily conference fee that includes breakfast and lunch. To register for this training, visit http://smallfarmcenter.ext.wvu.edu/conference.

Contact Information

Department of Agriculture