Libertarians Announce Fifth Statewide Candidate: Buddy Guthrie for Commissioner of Agriculture

The Libertarian Party of West Virginia today announced the latest of its candidates for statewide office in this critical election year: Buddy Guthrie, of Morgantown, for Commissioner of Agriculture. “Our food system has been turned into a bureaucratic maze of health codes, regulations, licensing, taxation, and other roadblocks that have crushed our small farmers and destroyed innovation. I’m running to bring back free enterprise through deregulation and decentralization to the increasingly bureaucratized field of agriculture in West Virginia,” said Guthrie. “We do not need more laws, more subsidies, and more ‘helping hands’ to support farmers in this state. Instead, the government needs to get out of the way and let both farmers and consumers, exchanging voluntarily, meet our agricultural needs,” he added.

“The centralized power of Big Agriculture is a product of the regulations of Big Government. There’s nothing inherently wrong with ‘Big Ag,’” Guthrie observed, “but there’s a lot wrong with using the heavy hand of government to benefit insiders at the expense of small businesses and ‘Mom-and-Pop’ farms, on the one hand, and the beleaguered family trying to stretch their limited means to put fresh, healthy products on the dinner table for their kids,” he explained. “Too often the big business is merely trying to stifle or limit the competition. That’s not right and that’s not fair to West Virginians.”

Guthrie becomes the fifth Libertarian to announce for statewide office this year, joining David D. Moran of Preston County for Governor, Karl Kolenich of Upshur County for Attorney General, John Buckley of Hardy County for Secretary of State, and Brent West of Wood County for Treasurer. The Libertarian Party of West Virginia is now the third-largest political party in the state in terms of registered voters.

With an undergraduate degree in business administration and a master’s degree in software engineering, both from West Virginia University, Guthrie has a background in family farming as well as experience in a multitude of fields, ranging from construction and event staffing to fitness instruction. He has been an avid volunteer for Boys & Girls Clubs and for programs bringing inner-city kids to the country for outdoor sports and character-building. He also teaches snow-boarding at West Virginia’s Snowshoe Mountain Resort.

Guthrie intends to advocate in particular for West Virginia’s nascent hemp industry, to promote “cottage food law” reform to enable home-based agricultural businesses to flourish, to speak out for local poultry farming (not just the industrial poultry processing facilities), and to represent small dairy and beef farmers seeking to break down barriers between producers and consumers. He calls for enhanced education of, and support for, farmers utilizing sustainable permaculture farming practices, such as those advanced by farmer/author and permaculture legend Joel Salatin.

The Libertarian Party of West Virginia (LPWV) will hold its state nominating convention on Saturday, May 7, at the Sutton Days Inn and Conference Center in Flatwoods. The LPWV anticipates nominating a full slate of candidates for the six statewide races in West Virginia this year as well as candidates for Congressional and state legislative office.