The WVU Collegiate Farm Bureau will hold aMeet the Candidatesnight from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 30.


Featured speakers will be all four candidates in the race for the office of West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture. The event, which is open to the public, will be held in room 1021 South Agricultural Sciences Building on the Evansdale Campus. A reception will follow the question and answer forum.

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A moderator will conduct the forum, using questions selected by a committee comprised of students and professors from the WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Forestry and Consumer Sciences. Audience members will also be able to submit questions to the candidates. All candidates will be given equal time and opportunity to respond to questions.

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The four candidates in the Commissioners race are Democrat incumbent Gus Douglas, Democrat Wayne Casto of Martinsburg, Hardy County Republican Mike Teets, and Republican Lawrence Beckerly of Craigsville.

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This is a very exciting time to be involved in agriculture,said Julie Roop, a Collegiate Farm Bureau member and event organizer who will complete dual majors in Agricultural and Extension Education and Agribusiness Management and Rural Development in May.

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As young adults we are just starting to vote and it is important to be properly educated about issues in agriculture,Roop said.It is also important for us as agriculturalists to understand where all the candidates stand on important issues so that we can make well-informed decisions when voting. This not only goes for us but for all voters as well. This gives the state an opportunity to meet and familiarize themselves with all four candidates for the position.

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But Roop feels strongly that the race shouldnt just be of interest to people in the agriculture industry.

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Other states have appointed secretary’s of agriculture,Roop said.This is a unique opportunity for the citizens of West Virginia, and because of this it is important for the community to be well educated and informed about the views of each candidate. This election is relevant to everyone and not just the agriculture industry because the Commissioner of Agriculture holds a seat on the Board of Public Works, which has a very important role in the state.