By Sarah Richardson
Lewisburg City Council met this week to issue a National Farmer’s Market Week proclamation, sign off on several resolutions, and approve the hiring of a new police officer. Lewisburg Mayor Beverly White signed and read the Farmers Market Week proclamation, which designated Aug. 6 through 12, 2023 as National Farmers Market Week in the City. The reading of the proclamation has been postponed for three months due to scheduling conflicts, but a special member of the community was in the audience to be recognized by Mayor White.
10-year-old Greenbrier County resident Avery McGuffin was in attendance with her parents, Dr. and Mrs. Aaron McGuffin of Lewisburg, and her sponsor, Mary Surbaugh, manager of the Courthouse Farmers Market.
Avery was named an Honorary Commissioner of Agriculture for a Day after winning an essay contest hosted by the WV Department of Agriculture over the summer. The essay topic was, “What will agriculture look like in 50 years?” Avery volunteers at the Farmers Market and participates in their special events, and after winning the contest got to spend a day at the West Virginia State Fair with the WV Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt.
“This is my third attempt to recognize Avery for her accomplishment of being named Honorary Commissioner of Agriculture,” said Mayor White. “I felt that it was important to recognize the impact the Farmers Market has on our economy, and the need for fresh fruit and vegetables as another option to help have a healthy lifestyle. And for a young lady to recognize the importance just shows that our children pay attention to what is going on around them.”
The proclamation read in part:
“Farmers markets serve as significant educational sites and as bridges between urban and rural communities, contributing to a better public understanding of farming and ranching, and the adoption of more sustainable farming practices is closely associated with farmer-to-consumer interactions facilitated by farmers markets. […] National Farmers Market Week is a time to recognize the unique and indispensable role farmers markets play in supporting food access, bolstering local economies, promoting healthy communities, and fostering sustainable farming, and $300,000 is generated locally at the Courthouse Farmers Market with 90% of the income staying in Greenbrier County.”
In other news, Resolution 532, invoices relation to the water system improvement project in the total amount of over $1.5 million, was approved. Roughly $1.4 million of this total will come from USDA monies, and the remainder from Water Development Authority Economic Enhancement Grant program funds. Also approved was Resolution 533, pay request #8 for the new public works building construction in the amount of $306,000.
Council also unanimously approved the hiring of a new police officer to the city’s force to replace DARE officer Justin Deeds. Deeds is moving to a position within the DNR, with Chief Teubert saying, “We do hate to see him go.” The new hire, McKenna Blankenship, currently works at Southern Regional Jail and is finishing a criminal justice degree.