On September 6th at Jackson's Mill, Republican nominee for Commissioner of Agriculture J. Michael Teets spoke about how to expand West Virginia's horse industry.
According to West Virginia University, the horse industry employs over 13,000 people while boosting the state's economy by $509 million per year. According to Teets, West Virginia can compete with Virginia and Kentucky if it offers similar economic incentives such as funds to breed a wider variety of horses. Modern show facilities would also boost the industry's profile in the state.
An expanding horse industry means more jobs, not only in farming but also construction. Potomac State College recently built a show facility while expanding its equine programs. Because of Potomac State's commitment in this field, a Teets victory in November could pay huge dividends regionally. Horse care requires many different inputs from feed to veterinary medicine. This means more opportunities throughout the area.
Teets in recent months has aggressively pushed innovative ideas to help farmers increase their income and productivity. Small farmers could benefit from programs designed to introduce new crops more appropriate to their acreage. He founded Teets Farms in Hardy County and has served on that county's commission for fourteen years.