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US: Commissioner touts West Virginia’s ‘$6-billion opportunity’; explains plan to increase potato production

State Agriculture Commissioner Walt Helmick calls it “the $6 billion opportunity,” referring to the fact that less than $1 billion of the $7.3 billion worth of food consumed annually by West Virginians is raised in the state. Helmick is mobilizing the state Department of Agriculture to build — or rebuild — another industry in the state. His first step is encouraging West Virginia farmers to raise more food, and he’s starting with potatoes.


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