WVFFC Newsletter header


In This Issue
Healthy Day In Huntington seeks exhibitors
Penn State hosts workshop for farm start-ups, April 16
Nat'l Conf. on Local Food Policies - scholarship apps due March 25
RWJF Health Impact Project calls for proposals
Host a Bill Emerson Hunger Fellow
New farmers: help set policy priorities
2011 WV Farming Heritage Award
Nominations open for WV's Unique Places to Dine
Bridgemont Sustainability Institute seeks director
Want to apprentice on a WV farm?
Who buys local food in WV - and why?
Wealth of Webinars on Food and Farm Issues

The West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition is an initiative of the West Virginia Community Development Hub with funding from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.  The Coalition is establishing a statewide conversation about the development of local food systems across West Virginia, with the goal of providing healthy, locally-produced food to all citizens, especially low income families and other vulnerable groups. 

The Coalition's startup process is advised by a temporary advisory committee.  As we gain members, we are working towards a more developed decision-making structure inclusive of the various geographic regions of the state as well as a broad range of stakeholders.  We invite you to get involved!

The West Virginia Community
Development Hub
is a statewide non-profit organization with the mission of engaging communities and providers in an intentional, aligned and continuous system of community development.
Join our mailing list, join our network!


This newsletter provides a regular compilation of events, resources, and ideas that are relevant to farms and food access in West Virginia.  Whether you are a producer, consumer, nonprofit organization, educator, agency or food-related business, there may be something here to help you with your work.  The information in this newsletter is compiled by the West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition, which is an organizing initiative currently coordinated by the West Virginia Community Development Hub.  Read more in the left sidebar of this newsletter or visit the WVFFC website.

National Food News


Still time to speak out for RC&Ds!

While Congress is still debating the 2011 fiscal year budget, RC&D's stand to lose funding for staff and operational costs.  There's still time to speak out to support this program  that has boosted community development in rural West Virgina - learn more at www.rcdnet.org.


Food Safety: New regulations impact farmers markets in PA 

In the wake of the Federal Food Safety and Modernization Act, states will likely begin responding with new food safety regulations of their own - so it's important to pay attention to these new rules, especially in neighboring states.  Pennsylvania's Act 106, which took effect in January, now requires farmers market vendors to obtain individual licenses for selling meat, eggs, dairy, or prepared foods. The Act also changes the vendor licensing and inspecting process by shifting all responsibility to local health authorities.  More information is available here, from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.


Federal government plans to strengthen school nutrition standards

School lunches could be in for a dramatic transformation, if the U.S. Department of Agriculture's new school nutrition requirements are implemented. For the first time, the proposed regulations would set a calorie maximum for school meals, as well as raise requirements for whole grains and fruits and healthy vegetables - while strictly limiting sodium content.The USDA released the proposed requirements in January, and the comment period is open through April 13.  The rules would be finalized in mid-2012.  CNN Health offers an overview

here.  You can submit comments here.


New Study: Healthy diet may help ADHD kids more than drugs

According to a newly-released study from the ADHD Research Centre in the Netherlands, a restricted diet could be the key to treating ADHD disorders. Approximately 64% of children diagnosed with ADHD are simply extremely sensitive to foods, reported the study's lead author. While not all children can be treated by diet alone, the study's 5-week diet program produced "flabbergasting" results.  Read more from NPR's report



West Virginia Food News


Regional Roundtables on local food opportunities - coming to your region soon!

West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition is partnering with WVU Extension, the WV Department of Education, Rural Support Partners (a 3rd-party facilitator) and other local and statewide organizations to host a series of six regional roundtable discussions on West Virginia's local food systems in April and May.  The regional roundtables are the first step in developing a West Virginia Food Charter - see an example of a Food Charter here Help is needed in publicizing these events to farmers, restaurants, food service personnel, educators, youth, health workers, nutrition educators, processors, market managers, and so on.  Want to get involved in organizing and publicizing the roundtable in your region?  Please contact us! 

WV Food Systems webinar with Ken Meter - now archived 

You probably saw our announcement last week that Ken Meter of Crossroads Resource Center, together with the West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition and the Greenbrier Valley Economic Development Corporation,  has released a statewide data analysis on West Virginia's food systems and one on the Greenbrier Valley's food system.  On Monday, WVFFC hosted a webinar in which Ken presented his findings, offered a vision for a stronger food economy, and answered questions.  You can view and listen to the recorded webinar here

New website celebrates community food and farm projects

Our Mountain State, launched this week, showcases local efforts to strengthen West Virginia communities.  While the website highlights a variety of projects, several feature friends and partners of the WV Food & Farm Coalition: the Fayette County Farmers Market and Huntington Community Gardens, Dale Hawkins and Fish Hawk Acres (scroll all the way to the right), and Feast From the Fields with Joy Marr of JMCatering.  The Hub, WV Prevention Resource Center, and Dream Catcher Creative collaborated to create the website. Submit story ideas for the site at contact@ourmountainstate.org.


Cookbook to promote healthy food, healthy families

Recognizing that sitting down together to eat healthy, home-cooked food can be a cornerstone for healthy, safe families, the Women's Resource Center is launching an inaugural fundraiser cookbook and cook-off competition.  WRC is currently accepting submissions to the cookbook, which will feature nutritious, four-recipe meal plans.  At the WV Food & Farm Coalition, we too believe that healthy food is a part of healthy relationships - and, incidentally, we enjoy sharing our office space in Beckley with the Women's Resource Center! Read more in the Beckley Register-Herald's article.


Upcoming Events 
in and near West Virginia

Healthy Day in Huntington seeks exhibitors for April 2

On April 2, 2011 Huntington Health Revolution will conclude its most recent 90-Challenge.  In honor of this event April 2 has been named a Healthy Day in Huntington.  To make this event a success, Unlimited Future, Inc. is looking for participants who are interested in furthering healthy lifestyles in the Huntington Area. Whether you are a restaurant, farmer, community group or specialty food producer we want you there.  Get your name, products and or services in front of an audience of health-conscious individuals who need to know about you! Click here for more info and to register.

Breaking the Barriers: Access to Land, Capital, and Equipment for Farm Start-ups  

April 16, 9 am - 5 pm

Delaware Valley College, Doylestown, PA  


For new and soon-to-be farmers, this full-day program will help tackle the most difficult barriers to starting a farm: access to land, capital, and equipment.  Experts and both new and experienced farmers will present creative and practical approaches, including land and equipment evaluation, legal aspects to land acquisition, strategies for obtaining loans, and risk management. Learn more here, at the Penn State Cooperative Extension's website.

Food Policy from Neighborhood to Nations  

May 19-21 Portland, Oregon; scholarship deadline March 25! 


This Community Food Security Coalition conference will unite people from across North America who are working to influence local and state food, agriculture, or nutrition policy. The agenda includes exciting field trips, educational and skill-building workshops, and networking opportunities. Scholarships are available -- deadline is March 25. For more information, visit the conference website here.

(grants, awards, partnership ideas) 

RWJF Health Impact Project calls for funding proposals    

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Health Impact Project is accepting proposals to demonstrate the effectiveness of Health Impact Assessments and to promote their use in local, state, tribal, and federal decision-making.  Health impact assessments (HIAs) allow decision-makers to analyze health impacts of proposals that would not ordinarily address health outcomes.  Organizations planning to carry out an HIA of a proposed project are invited to submit proposals to RWJF by by June 1.  Grants range from $25,000 to $125,000. Learn more on the RWJF website.

Apply to host a Bill Emerson Hunger Fellow    

The Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellows Program, a project of the Congressional Hunger Center, trains emerging leaders in the fight to end hunger. The program matches Hunger Fellows with leaders in both community-based and national organizations. The program is divided into two five-month placements: from September to February.  Fellows are placed in pairs across the country to work with community-based organizations in an effort to learn about and contribute to community efforts addressing hunger and poverty.


If your organization is interested in hosting a Hunger Fellow, contact Shana McDavis-Conway at smcdavis-conway@hungercenter.org.  Applications from potential host sites are due April 21, 2011.

New farmers: help set policy priorities!  

The National Young Farmers' Coalition (NYFC) has launched a national survey to learn more about the needs of young and beginning farmers - and needs input!  The council asks farmers to take five minutes to fill out a survey, and for those who work with farmers to invite them to take the survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NYFC.  The NYFC will use the responses to develop a beginning farmer Farm Bill petition.

Apply for the 2011 WV Farming Heritage Award!  

The WV State Fair and Farm Bureau are accepting applications for the 2011 Farming Heritage Award.  The awards committee explains, "Applicants must have tried to maintain their rural lifestyle by contributing to the community, acting as role models, dedicating time to efficient agricultural production, and maintaining the upkeep of their farm through generations." The winners will be awarded at the WV State Fair on August 18.  Entries are due at the State Fair office June 3. Applications are available online at www.statefairofwv.com and www.wvfarm.org.

Nominations open for WV's Unique Places to Dine 

The search is still on for the WV's Unique Places to Dine, Volume II. The WV Division of Tourism and the Collaborative for a 21st Century Appalachia are partnering to update the 2009 list of quality, state-owned eateries and to publish a new brochure describing the restaurants and their home regions. To submit a nomination, visit the Collaborative's web page, www.wvfarm2u.org.

Jobs and Work Experience 

Bridgemont Sustainability Institute seeks Director   

Bridgemont Sustainability Institute (BSI) is still accepting applications for the director position.  The director would be responsible for leading the BSI in developing the state's workforce, supporting and improving higher education programs, and supporting community development by helping communities use sustainable practices and materials as they grow. For more information, visit the Institute's Human Resources website here or contact Gene Lopez, Director of Human Resources at 304-734-6616.

 Know someone who wants to apprentice on a West Virginia Farm?    

The West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition is looking for individuals interested in summer or season-long apprenticeships to gain work experience on West Virginia farms.  If you or someone you know would be interested in such an opportunity, please contact us.

Food for Thought
(fruitful reading, research & case studies)

 Who buys local food in WV - and why?   

To assess rising popularity of buying local foods, the Collaborative for the 21st Century Appalachia partnered with the WV Small Farm Center on series of surveys - both of the general public and of food-purchasing institutions.  Two reports, available here on the Collaborative's website, describe trends and consumers' priorities for local food consumption.  If you have not already ready these studies, released last year, they are worth a look! 

Wealth of Webinars on Food and Farm Issues  

The National Good Food Network offers a wide array of food and farming information, through two-dozen archived webinars. The webinars feature top practitioners sharing their stories on everything from produce and meat production to food safety, infrastructure, and retail purchasing.  Visit the National Good Food Network's archives here.

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