Six will be inducted into W.Va. ag hall of fame


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Six men have been selected for enshrinement into the West Virginia Agriculture and Forestry Hall of Fame. They will be recognized at a banquet June 21.

Those selected include:

Brookley Rush Butcher

Brookley Rush Butcher of Summersville, West Virginia. Butcher is a soil conservation district supervisor and leader of the conservation supervisors legislative committee. His also president of the Nicholas County Extension committee, livestock farmer and Christmas tree grower.

Butcher is a graduate of Berea College and a veteran of World War II.

James Kinsey

James Kinsey of Flemington, West Virginia. Kinsey is a graduate of Fairmont State College and highly acclaimed for his work in the beef cattle industry, especially his breeding and selection of genetically superior Angus cattle.

As a long-standing member of the West Virginia Cattlemen’s Association, his diligent efforts did much to improve management practices and production methods. On the state level, he was responsible for the daily operations of the West Virginia Beef Industry Council and for 28 years held numerous important positions with the Farm Credit System.

On the national level, he served as director of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Board and for nearly a decade was a member of the USDA Cattlemen’s Promotion and Research Board where he initiated several recognized programs.

Sam Tuckwiller

Sam Tuckwiller of Lewisburg, West Virginia. A graduate of West Virginia University, Tuckwiller is recognized for developing a nationally known beef cattle farm of more than 2,000 acres with approximately 300 Angus cows.

He has also led the West Virginia Farm Bureau beef cattle committee, served on the American Farm Bureau’s beef advisory committee and assisted in organizing the West Virginia Beef Industry Council.

He was a long-time director of the National Livestock and Meat Board and served in every office during nearly five decades of membership with the Greenbrier County Farm Bureau.

French W. Armstrong

French W. Armstrong of French Creek, West Virginia. Armstrong is a veteran of World War II and joined the West Virginia State Police in 1948. At about the same time, he started planting Christmas trees and acquiring timberland.

As a member of the West Virginia Christmas Tree Grower’s Association for more than three decades, he has served in various offices including multiple terms as a member of the board of directors of both the state and national associations.

He has served as a member of the West Virginia Forest Stewardship Committee since its inception.

Robert E. Keiling

Robert E. Keiling of Beckley, West Virginia. Keiling has more than five decades of service to the forestry industry.

After service in the U. S. Navy, he graduated from North Carolina State University and afterward worked for the West Virginia Conservation Commission, largely in fire protection in the Raleigh County area.

He then became an employee of the Tillinghast and Reed Consulting Forestry firm in Boone County. Moving from this to J. P. Hamer Lumber Co. as chief forester, Keiling was active in the West Virginia Sawmill Operators Association, forerunner of the West Virginia Forestry Association, president of the West Virginia Forest Council, and a noted participant in the Southern West Virginia Forest Fire Protection Association.

David C. McCurdy

David C. McCurdy of West Columbia, West Virginia. McCurdy served as superintendent of the West Virginia Division of Forestry forest tree nurseries for more than 40 years. A graduate of North Carolina State University, McCurdy started as a service forester, but soon moved to Parsons Forest Tree Nursery as superintendent.

He raised millions of seedlings for various forest tree and Christmas tree operations until the historic flood of 1985 destroyed nearly two decades of his work. He moved to and reopened the Clements Forest Tree Nursery in Mason County, which he still operates.

He is a long-time member of the West Virginia Christmas Growers Association, the Society of American Foresters, a founding member of the Northeastern Area Nurserymen’s Association and is a certified instructor for the U.S. Forest Service.


The annual enshrinement banquet will be held June 21 at Jackson’s Mill. The reception is at 5 p.m. at the Hall of Fame building, followed by dinner at 6 p.m. in the dining hall.

Tickets are $30 each and can be purchased from Brenda Aldridge at 304-293-5691 or Sherry Barnette at 304-372-1955.


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