BURLINGTON, W.Va. – Rep. David B. McKinley visited Flying W Farms in Burlington Tuesday, May 13, as part of a three farm tour to highlight the importance of West Virginia farms.
Flying W Farms is owned and operated by Rick and Margaret Woodworth. This fifth generation farm is family-owned and consist of a herd of 200 Angus brood cows and also offers local pork, brown eggs, seasonal sweet corn, and a wide variety of vegetables and fruit.
McKinley viewed the Flying W Farm and its operations while discussing with Rick Woodworth how much agricultural means to West Virginia, and what could be done to help local farmers.
Rep. McKinley says the local farms are very important to West Virginia because we are a diversified economy. With West Virginia relying heavily on coal for jobs in the past, a more diversified economy will offer more opportunities for the children of West Virginia. It will also attract more people and business to the state.
“We need to make sure the government does not hold back our local farmers,” he said. ““They need to come out of the beltway and come back to rural America and see what they are doing to us here.”
As Rick Woodworth gave McKinley a tour, he explained the process of marking everything they produce and said it all leads to traceability.
“I never get away from liability. I am always one sick person away from being closed,” said Woodworth. He explained that even with what is required by USDA, they go above and beyond that to insure the best meat available. Woodworth said they think a lot about safety, noting that it is what he feeds his family, “It’s from our family’s table to yours,” he said.
When asked what could be done to help the agricultural community, Woodworth spoke on the tremendous push against using Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) grains. These grains have been genetically altered to resist insects, so no pesticides are used. Woodworth said he would like to see more support of these grains that have not had to be treated with pesticides.
Woodworth also said that talk about putting inspection cost onto the processor was not a good idea…