News of the temporary closures of meat processing plants around the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic has left some store shelves empty and some people looking for alternative ways to stock their freezers and feed their families.
One local farm owner said the issue is not the amount of cattle available but is an issue of limited ability to process cattle. As production slows because of plant workers testing positive for COVID-19 it is creating shortages in some areas of the country.
“Local butcher shops also are seeing an increase in demand,” said Dr. Stephen Walker, owner of Double Shoe Ranch in South Point, Ohio. “We have steers available but appointments for slaughter are now into July.”
Walker began promoting his grass-fed beef for sale this year and has seen a surge in interest and sales. With a background in chemistry and veterinary medicine, he and his family have worked for more than 75 years to perfect their herd as well as their process to produce some of the best tasting, lowest fat, healthy beef available today.
“We want to be proud of what we produce,” Walker said. “That is what drives us to look at every step of production and make it the best it can be.”
Although the price for beef is rising nationally, Walker continues to offer his grass-fed beef at a reasonable cost and at nearly grain-fed prices. Orders of whole beef, half beef, quarter beef and eighth beef are available to reserve at https://doubleshoeranch.com/beef-for-sale/.
Double Shoe Ranch, located in the foothills of Southern Ohio, was started by the Walker family in 1943. What began on just 65 acres has grown into what now is nearly 1,000 acres of owned and leased land used to foster an exceptional herd of cattle. Find out more at https://doubleshoeranch.com/ and follow them on Facebook at @doubleshoeranch.
Every spring, the streets of Huntington come alive with bright flower pots and hanging baskets lining the streets of downtown. This year, while the ‘how’ and ‘when’ may have changed, the streets will still be filled with blooming flowers once again.
Huntington in Bloom plans to start planting flowers again the first week of June but due to the ongoing pandemic, and the risk of volunteers contracting the virus in a group setting, volunteers will not be used to plant this year. Instead, two local landscaping businesses have stepped up to complete the work.
“The Huntington in Bloom tradition brightens Huntington every year,” said Mayor Steve Williams. “During such a difficult time to many – this is a simple way to uplift spirits and show that we are and will be open for business.”
Also, for the second year, Goodwill Industries has agreed to provide watering services. A new watering truck was purchased prior to the pandemic and will eventually be wrapped in the HIB logo.
Due to the closure of so many downtown businesses, and the number of people in the community affected by COVID-19, the “Adopt a Pot” fundraiser has been canceled this year, but donations are always accepted on our website www.huntingtoninbloom.org.
Huntington in Bloom (HIB) is part of the City of Huntington, West Virginia and a fund of the Foundation for the Tri-State Community. A local volunteer organization, HIB was founded in 2013 to improve the quality of life in Huntington, promote community involvement and unity, and identify opportunities for improvement. HIB is responsible for the city’s year-round, seasonal decorations.
Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College Board of Governors / Presidential Search Committee is pleased to announce that Dr. Pamela L. Alderman will become Southern’s tenth president. Dr. Alderman was chosen following an extensive nationwide search that saw more than 50 applicants and three finalists. You may find the press release in its entirety here.
Thousands of West Virginia children are receiving nutritious meals while school buildings are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to the efforts of a local business owner.
Derek Kilmer, owner of Kilmer’s Farm Market at Inwood, West Virginia, delivers meal boxes to children in 10 counties in the northern part of the state. His work is part of a statewide effort to serve 1.4 million meals to children each week during the crisis in partnership with the West Virginia Public School System.
“With schools closed due to the pandemic, I had fruit spoiling and little need for my employees,” he said. “An updated business model made it possible to deliver complete meals to children who may otherwise go hungry.”
Kilmer received a Payroll Protection Program loan with the help of CNB Bank that allowed him to keep his workforce intact. The program is designed to help small businesses keep their workers employed during the coronavirus outbreak. The loans from the Small Business Association will be forgiven if all employees are kept on payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest or utilities.
“CNB Bank is fortunate to be in a position to help people when they need it most,” said Mark Harrell, President and CEO of CNB Bank. “Not only are people keeping their jobs but the added benefit in this case is that thousands of children in West Virginia can look forward to complete meals thanks to Kilmer’s Farm Market.”
CNB Bank is a full-service bank with assets over $420 million dollars. CNB Bank has eight locations including Berkeley County and Morgan County, West Virginia and Hagerstown and Hancock, MD. CNB Bank is a locally owned community bank serving the Tri-State area and has been committed to its communities for over 85 years. Being a community bank allows CNB to make decisions locally to better serve the residents and businesses of the region.
Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College’s Information Technology faculty are 3-D printing face masks to help with the shortage of PPE for healthcare workers. The effort is in conjunction with the West Virginia National Guard’s ongoing work to supply masks.
“We are doing all we can to help in this effort, and to help fight this pandemic,” Rick Thompson, Professor of Information Technology at Southern, said. “We are just now ramping up our production and hope to supply as many of these masks as we can, given that we’re a smaller college.”
Southern’s two 3-D printers are working around the clock to produce masks based on a prototype provided by the West Virginia National Guard, with five more printers coming online soon.
For more information on Southern’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit our website at https://www.southernwv.edu/coronavirus/
Mayor Steve Williams is reminding community members that, along with complaints of nonessential businesses, the Huntington Police Department will respond to and investigate complaints of large social gatherings that are in violation of West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s executive stay-at-home order.
“This is a crucial time when every single individual in our community plays a vital role in overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic,” Williams said. “That means staying at home and following the proper social distancing recommendations if you and/or your family members leave your home for any of the permitted purposes in Gov. Justice’s order. We simply are not going to tolerate blatant disregard for the order. Doing so creates a pubic health hazard and not only places our community at risk, but it places at risk all of our health care professionals and first responders.
“The Huntington Police Department will enforce the order on any large social gatherings that are outside its scope to the fullest extent of the law, including the issuance of citations or arrests if necessary.”
Gov. Justice’s order states that “all public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single household or living unit are prohibited, except for the limited purposes permitted by this Order (view the order in its entirety at https://governor.wv.gov
). Any gathering of more than 10 people is prohibited unless exempted by this Order. Nothing in this order prohibits the gathering of members of a household or residence.”
Anyone who would like to report a complaint about a large social gathering or nonessential business that is still operating is advised to call 911.
As part of Cabell County’s preparation for the 2019 novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19, the Cabell-Huntington Health Department has established a Joint Information Center (JIC) with community partners. The JIC is a virtual operation where public information staff with multiple agencies are coordinating and disseminating official, timely, accurate and consistent information to health-care providers and to the general public.
The following agencies are part of the JIC: Cabell-Huntington Health Department, Mountain Health Network, City of Huntington, Marshall University, Marshall Health, and Cabell County Schools.
On Wednesday, March 11, 2020, from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., the Cabell-Huntington Health Department and the Huntington Regional Chamber of Commerce will host an informational seminar to answer questions related to the potential impacts of the coronavirus. The event will occur in the Sister Celeste Auditorium at the St. Mary’s Highlawn Building, which is located at 2788 Collis Avenue in Huntington at the former Highlawn Baptist Church. Members of the media, public and Chamber of Commerce are invited to attend.
The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources has created an information hotline to address public and medical provider questions and concerns regarding the coronavirus. The hotline is being provided through a long-standing emergency preparedness partnership between DHHR’s Bureau for Public Health and the West Virginia Poison Center. Operators are available 24/7, toll-free at 1-800-887-4304 to provide accurate information about COVID-19, the risk to the public, and the state’s response.
Public Health Links
Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College will be hosting a job fair on Tuesday, March 10 on our Logan campus. The event will be held in Building A from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. The job fair is free and open to the community. There is no participation fee, and lunch will be provided. Additional details can be found on the SWVCTC website.
Community service is so important to Fast Change Oil & Lube that it is integrated into the way the company does business every day. Their passion to serve others in their communities has been recognized by National Oil and Lube News (NOLN), the quick automotive industry’s leading trade journal for more than 30 years.
Founder and Chief Operating Officer Kevin Davis is featured on the February 2020 cover of the magazine which highlights his lifestyle of giving and serving and helps inspire his employees to do the same.
“My heart is always to give and help others,” Davis said. “I’ve been entrusted with this business, but I’ve wanted to utilize it to help others.”
Examples of the company’s service mantra include spearheading Operation Soldier Care in 2015 to help send care packages to soldiers overseas. The effort has grown from raising $5,000 at its inception to $40,000 in 2019. The company also exceeded its goal last year in providing more than 300 free oil changes for the military on Veterans Day.
The Fast Change mission statement is integrated into the way they do business every day – “To serve with PRIDE in a manner consistent with Our Values honoring God and others in all we do.”
The NOLN article can be found at https://www.noln.net/articles/3958-serving-through-pride.
Established in 1994, Fast Change Oil and Lube has grown throughout Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Virginia while striving to be the best place anywhere our customers can go for an oil change or other preventative maintenance service. With more than 20 locations and growing, Fast Change promises to treat customers with professionalism and respect, to operate with integrity and dependability, and to deliver excellence at a fair price.
Reid Sutton is joining the team at Bloss & Dillard Inc. as a business development representative, traveling in Virginia to meet with current and new agents.
“Reid is a great addition to our team and has the management and people skills that will benefit him in this position,” said Kerry Dillard, president of Bloss & Dillard.
Sutton earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with a minor in Business Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2017. His background also includes work as a soccer referee for Central Virginia Soccer Referee Association/Sports Center of Richmond where he also managed groups of associate referees.
Bloss & Dillard recently moved to a new location at 7374 Creighton Parkway, Suite 100, Mechanicsville, Virginia. The company offers a wide and diverse variety of specialty and traditional insurance products to independent agents in West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Maryland and Virginia.
Bloss and Dillard, Inc. was founded in 1954 and has grown into a successful insurance enterprise with thousands of clients throughout the Southeastern and Eastern United States. As a Certified Managing General Agent, the Company provides insurance products and services to Independent Agents in many traditional and non-traditional markets. More information can be garnered about the firm from www.bloss-dillard.com.