The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

February 4, 2013

This record-breaking tater is not a tot


A Greenbrier County man set his eye on West Virginia’s sweet potato record and now holds the new spud title.

The West Virginia Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday that Ray Hendrix, of Asbury, smashed the former 10.98-pound record with his 14.81-pound sweet potato.

Also broken in 2012 was the record for the tallest sunflower.

A sunflower grown by Laird and Stacey Marshall of Jefferson County grew 13-foot-11-inches tall, beating the old record by 1 inch.

“The department’s Marketing and Development Division is receiving more interest in this program, and I’m told we’re seeing new records just about every year,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Walt Helmick. “West Virginia’s farmers are doing something right when it comes to growing these impressive specimens.”

Entries for next year are open to any fruit or vegetable grown in West Virginia during 2013. Entrants should send photos of their prize plants and documentation to verify their sizes and/or weights to WVDA Marketing and Development Division, 1900 Kanawha Blvd. E., Charleston, WV 25305, or e-mail them to

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