Agriculture and Forestry Hall of Fame inductees announced for 2022

JACKSON’S MILL, W.Va. – The West Virginia Agriculture and Forestry Hall of Fame (WVAFHF) will honor the 2022 inductees with a banquet on Saturday, July 23 at Jackson’s Mill. The 2022 banquet and reception will start at 5:00 p.m. with a dinner to follow at 6:00 p.m.

“As we continue to see supply chain issues ravage our economy, its vital to invest in local agricultural systems. The people we are honoring this year have worked their entire careers promoting West Virginia agriculture,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt. “It is important we recognize the work of these great West Virginians.”

Chartered in 1974, the West Virginia Agriculture and Forestry Hall of Fame honors West Virginians who have made outstanding contributions to the establishment, development, advancement and improvement of agricultural and forest industries in West Virginia and around the world.

The 2022 inductees are:

William P. “Bill” Ingram (Tyler County) – is a third-generation dairy farmer and owner of Ingram Farms in Sistersville. Known for his agriculture wisdom, Ingram is recognized for helping youth learn and grow while providing hands-on farm experience. He was a founding member of the Tyler County 4-H Foundation, received the WV Farm Bureau Distinguished Service Award and was honored as the 1975 Outstanding Soil Conservation Farmer.

Thomas R. “Tom” McConnell – (Preston County) – received his B.S. and M.S. in agriculture from WVU. He was the WVU Extension Service Preston County Agriculture Agent for 20 years before being promoted to Extension Assistant Dean and finally as the Program Leader for the WVU Extension Service Small Farm Center. He retired in 2020 and continues to operate a large beef cattle and sheep farm in Terra Alta. He’s a founding member of the Preston Farmers’ Market and the Preston County Chamber of Commerce.

Juergen A. Wildman – (Monongalia County) – was born in Munich, Germany and received his M.S. in Forestry at WVU. He began his career with the WV Division of Forestry in Kanawha, Marion and Taylor Counties as a service forester. Over his 31-year career with the WVDF, he wrote more than 250 forest management plans for landowners. He retired in 2017 as the Landowner Assistance Specialist. He continues to do consulting forestry work. He is a two-time WVDF Employee of the Year.

Jennifer Ours Williams (Monongalia County) – has dedicated her entire career to being an advocate for agriculture. She joined the WVU Extension Service in 1993 as Upshur County Agriculture Extension Agent and has worked her way up through the organization to her current position as Associate Dean. She is the recipient of the Susan Dew Hoff Award and was instrumental in the creation of the WV Women in Agriculture Conference. She is the co-owner of Ours Valley View Poultry Farm, raising over one million birds a year.

For more information or to secure tickets, contact Jennifer Keaton at 304-558-3200, or jkeaton@wvda.us.

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