Fayette County’s Joseph McNeel to be inducted into Agriculture and Forestry Hall of Fame

JACKSON’S MILL, W.Va. – The West Virginia Agriculture and Forestry Hall of Fame (WVAFHF) will honor the 2023 inductees with a banquet on Saturday, July 22, at Jackson’s Mill. The 2023 banquet and reception will start at 5:00 p.m. with a dinner to follow at 6:00 p.m.  

“The people we are honoring this year have contributed so much of their valuable time and effort to the residents of their communities and the State of West Virginia as a whole,” said WVAFHF President Jeremy McGill. “Their work and dedication to advancing the science and practice of agriculture and forestry has earned them this prestigious recognition. It is important that we come together and celebrate their achievements.”  

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 2023 inductees are:  

Arthur and Anna Mouser (Preston County, WV) – Arthur and Anna Mouser were one of the first farms to bring the Charolais breed of cattle into West Virginia and have been instrumental in promoting the breed and the bloodline within the state. Their efforts have netted them many awards, ribbons, and banners over the years, such as the Grand Champion Female at the State Fair of West Virginia in 2017, the West Virginia Association of Conservation District’s Carrol Greene Award, and the Monongahela Conservation District’s Luther Britton Award. They have also been active in many local and national organizations such as the West Virginia Association of Conservation Districts, the Monongahela Conservation District, West Virginia Envirothon, 4-H, Conservation Farm Recognition program, the West Virginia Association of Conservation Districts Auxiliary, and the Preston County Farmland Protection board, among others.  

James “Jim” Foster (Doddridge County, WV) – Though not a native West Virginian, his service in the U.S. Air Force brought him to the state as a young man, and in time, he chose a farm in the hills of Doddridge County to put down roots with his wife Earlene. Jim has dedicated himself to becoming a leader in agriculture through such organizations as the Doddridge County Farm Bureau, WVU Extension Service, the West Fork Conservation District, and the Farm Service Agency. He has served as a Chaplain to the National Grange. He is a founding member of both the Appalachian Grazing Conference and the West Virginia Envirothon Committee. He was also named the 2006 Grassland Farmer of the Year, 2006 Conservation Supervisor of the Year, and 2003 National Grange Family of the Year.   

Jewell Plumley, DVM (Hardy County, WV) – Dr. Jewell Plumley has spent nearly her entire career advancing the field of veterinary medicine in West Virginia. She is the first woman to be appointed State Veterinarian and Director of WVDA’s Animal Health Division, and one of only six women veterinarians overseeing a state Animal Health department in the entire country. She has also been active in 4-H and FFA, mentoring and instructing our youth. She is a 4-H All-Star, a recipient of the 2018 Women in Agriculture Award, 30-Year WVDA Governor’s Service Award, and the USDA Excellence Award for her response to Avian Influenza.  

Jim and Enid Crawford (Marion County, WV) – Though Jim and Enid are no longer with us, their farm in Marion County was more than just a farm. It was an example of their commitment to forest management in the state of West Virginia. In 1963, they were only the second farm to join the Tree Farm Program in Marion County and were heavily involved in many of the conservation organizations and local institutions. Over the years, their management practices were studied by local and international scientists alike, with professionals coming from as far as England and France to observe their activities. Among their many awards, they received the Tree Farm of the Year Award –not just once but twice — in 1971 and 2000 and went on to represent the Northeast Region of the U.S. at the 2001 National Outstanding Tree Farm Ceremony.  

Joseph McNeel, PHD (Fayette County, PA) – Dr. Joseph McNeel, longtime resident and native son of West Virginia, started his forestry journey at WVU with a B.S. in Forest Management and an M.S. and PH.D. in Industrial Forest Operations from Virginia Tech. During his tenure, he has been a tireless supporter of the West Virginia Forest Industry, and mentor to thousands of young students as the Director of WVU’s Division of Forestry and Natural Resources. He now serves as the Director of the Appalachian Hardwood Center at WVU. His research contributions are numerous and include the 2018 Outstanding Alumnus for the WVU Division of Forestry and Natural Resources Association, a member of the National Forestry Research Advisory Council from 2005-2008, and Extension Chair of the National Association of University Forest Resources Programs from 2006-2010.  

Joseph McNeel. Photo courtesy of WVU.

Howard ‘Larry’ Six (Mason County, WV) – A native West Virginian, Larry Six’s forestry dream began while he was still in high school in Cairo, West Virginia, when his ninth grade Civics teacher asked her class to write a paper on potential careers. He never looked back, becoming the first in his family to attend college, first at Glenville State, then at WVU for a B.S. in Forestry. He has worked a quiet life of service with the West Virginia Division of Forestry, serving the citizens of the State with dignity and honor for almost 50 years and counting. His loyal service has led to several awards over the years, including the Bronze Hardhat Award for number of tree farms nominated — four of which were awarded the West Virginia Tree Farmer of the Year in 1992, 1994, 1996 and 2020.

For more information or to secure tickets, contact Rebecca Williams (304-825-6983) or rebecca.j.williams@wv.gov.

Facebook
Twitter
Reddit
Email

Related stories

Give us your feedback