Growing Opportunities: A Conversation with Joshua Higginbotham

DISCLAIMER: The appearance of any politician as a guest on the Kanawha Valley Hustlers Podcast does not constitute an endorsement or promotion of their political ideology, party affiliation, or policies. We extend an open invitation to politicians from all backgrounds to participate in discussions on our show.

Hey there, folks. Joe Justice here, back with another episode of the Kanawha Valley Hustlers Podcast. Today’s guest is none other than Joshua Higginbotham, a man on a mission.

Josh is diving into the world of politics, vying for the position of agriculture commissioner. But before we get into that, let’s rewind a bit and delve into what this role actually entails. It’s more than just a fancy title; it’s about regulations, inspections, and securing grants for rural development. And education plays a crucial role too, ensuring that the next generation is primed and ready to take on the challenges of the agricultural sector.

But there’s a problem lurking beneath the surface. While many kids get involved through programs like FFA, the reality is that most don’t pursue careers in agriculture once they graduate. Josh is determined to change that narrative, making sure that not only are they prepared for the future but that they actually step into the field, quite literally.

We also touched on the changing landscape of family farms. With the average farmer aging into their mid-60s, there’s a looming question of who will carry the torch forward. The rise of corporate farming adds another layer to the conversation, with big players like Blackrock snapping up acres left and right. But amidst these challenges, Josh sees opportunities, particularly in agritourism.

His own family farm, the Historic Woodlawn Estate, serves as both a working farm and an event venue, drawing in thousands of visitors each year. It’s a testament to the potential of blending tradition with innovation, of creating value-added products right here in West Virginia.

Speaking of innovation, technology is reshaping the agricultural landscape in more ways than one. GPS-guided combines and state-of-the-art equipment promise efficiency and productivity, but they come with a hefty price tag. The issue of right-to-repair laws looms large, highlighting the delicate balance between supporting manufacturers and empowering farmers.

But fear not, aspiring farmers! Josh assures us that you don’t need a thousand acres to get started. With resources from the state and federal departments of agriculture, even a small backyard plot can be the beginning of something great. And for those interested in learning more about Josh’s campaign or visiting the Historic Woodlawn Estate, he’s just a click or a call away.

As we wrap up, I can’t help but feel a surge of optimism. Despite the challenges, Josh’s passion for agriculture shines through, his vision of a vibrant and sustainable future for West Virginia. So, whether you’re a seasoned farmer or just starting to dip your toes in the soil, remember this: hustle hard, hustle smart, and always hustle with a smile.

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