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.

 State Department of Agriculture Scientist to Present Paper at International Meeting

West Virginia Department of Agriculture’s (WVDA) Regulatory and Environmental Affairs Division (READ) Microbiologist Amie Minor has been invited to present a paper at the International Association of Food Protection (IAFP) in July as part of the infectious disease research she has been conducting through WVDA’s cooperative work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) and Food Emergency Response Network (FERN).

“We have been selected to present on our research for the ‘Enrichment Temperature Variation Effects on Shigella qPCR in High Background Food Matrices’,” said Minor, who heads up the Food Safety Laboratory at the WVDA headquarters at Guthrie.

Shigella is a bacteria closely related to Salmonella. In molecular biology, qPCR (quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction) is used to amplify and simultaneously quantify a targeted DNA molecule.

“In plain terms, normally when we look for Shigella in raw foods, there are a lot of other competitive bacteria present as well. By finding an ideal enrichment temperature that our target Shigella could grow well in – but also cut down on the competitive bacteria – we were able make the test more efficient,” Minor said.

Minor also noted the contributions of colleagues, READ Microbiologist Kellie Littlefield and READ Assistant Director Brenda Keavey, who helped with the analysis during the study.

Commissioner Helmick stressed the importance of the WVDA’s lab work to the citizens of West Virginia.

“The work being done in the WVDA laboratories is of outstanding quality, and is fundamental to the health and safety of the citizens of West Virginia,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Walt Helmick. “It’s all the more important that we get these programs into facilities designed and constructed for analytical scientific activities. The current buildings at Guthrie are dated and simply inadequate for their current use.”

IAFP is an organization of 3,600 food safety professionals that provides members worldwide with a forum to exchange information on protecting the global food supply. The IAFP Annual Meeting is attended by more than 2,500 of the top industry, academic and governmental food safety professionals from six continents.

The mission of FERN is to integrate the nation’s food testing laboratories at the local, state and federal levels into a network that is able to respond to emergencies involving biological, chemical or radiological contamination of food, whether accidental or intentional. FERN is a joint effort among the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other agencies dedicated to public health and security. WVDA has been a FERN member since 2005.

Other FERN-related projects at WVDA have included using a $220,000 grant to study the prevalence of E. coli O157:H7 in raw ground beef in West Virginia, and providing food testing for national political conventions and presidential inauguration activities.

Contact Information

Department of Agriculture