MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A West Virginia University Extension dean will soon become a member of the West Virginia Agriculture and Forestry Hall of Fame.
Jennifer Ours Williams studied animal and veterinary science and earned a master’s degree in agricultural education from West Virginia University. Now the associate dean for programs and partnerships, she has been recognized with multiple awards, including the West Virginia Women’s Commission’s Susan Dew Hoff Award.
Yet Williams’ passion for agriculture is rooted in her upbringing on a Hardy County family farm. Our Valley View Poultry Farm now operates the farm, in which the operators maintain 400 acres of corn and soybeans, as well as a million birds.
“I had two hard-working wonderful parents who worked the land and loved the farm and passed that love onto me,” she told MetroNews affiliate WAJR-AM.
Ours Williams described West Virginia as an agriculturally diverse state with untapped potential. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates West Virginia has 3.5 million acres of farm operations.
“I do think West Virginia is ripe with opportunities to grow our agricultural economy and thrive,” she said.
“We need the next generation of individuals to pick up that mantle and carry it forward to produce food and to love the land and feed the world.”
Ours Williams will be inducted during a July 23 banquet at West Virginia University’s Jackson Mill campus. Other class members include Bill Ingram of Tyler County, Tom McConnell of Preston County, and Juergen Wildman of Monongalia County.