Press Releases

Friends of Coal Endorse Walt Helmick

Use of Post-Mining Land Sites for Agriculture Is Cited

CHARLESTON, W.Va., Oct. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Friends of Coal, the political action committee of the West Virginia Coal Association, has endorsed Walt Helmick in his campaign to be elected West Virginia's next agriculture commissioner.

"Although coal mining does not come under the purview of the agriculture commissioner, Walt Helmick shares our interest in converting former surface mining sites to productive use for agriculture," Bill Raney, president of the West Virginia Coal Association said.

Helmick said, "These former mine sites located throughout our state have the potential to become major agri-business assets. It will take the involvement of industry, our research institutions and the Department of Agriculture to make this type of development a reality."

Helmick is the owner of a family-run agricultural business and has worked on many economic development efforts both as part of and outside of his work in the Legislature. He has served more than two decades as a senator from Pocahontas County, including several years as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

"My goal is to be the farmers' advocate and move agriculture from the back page to the front page," Helmick added. "I'm ready to think outside the box and use my background in economic development to make better use of all of our resources."

Helmick, a Democrat, will face Republican Kent Leonhardt in the November election. For more information about Helmick, go to:


SOURCE Helmick for Ag Campaign