WVFFC Newsletter header


In This Issue
Expanding Farm & Food Businesses in the Greenbrier Valley April 27 & 28
Conference on Local Sustainable Meat & Poultry May 5
Working Conference To Build Our Northeast Food System, November 11-12
Local & Community Events
USDA Grant to Improve SNAP
Conservation Practices Grant for Organic Producers
Job Opp: Mock's Greenhouse
Job Opp: Fayette County Farmers Market
Job Opp: Morgan's Grove Market
Local Harvest Potluck in Spencer Nov. 18

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 & Farm Coalition, which is an organizing initiative currently coordinated by the West Virginia Community Development HubRead more in the left sidebar of this newsletter or visit the WVFFC website.


National Food News

New FDA Rule: Food Businesses Must Post Calorie Information

Chain restaurants, convenience stores, concession stands and vending machines would be required to display calorie information for all food products they sell under rules proposed April 1 by the Food and Drug Administration. The Washington Post reports that the rules are outlined in last year's health care reform act, and are open to a public comment period before the FDA finalizes and implements them in 2012.


USDA to Update Farmers Market Directory - Needs Your Help 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has begun its 2011 updates to the  USDA National Farmers Market Directory, the official count of the nation's farmers markets. Not only does this searchable directory offer a way for customers to find farmers markets, but it also helps USDA to understand where and how farmers markets are growing -- which may inform policy and funding decisions.  WV markets should update their own info online by clicking here, and can expect a follow-up call from the West Virginia Farmers Market Association to collect some further information.  The complete directory will be released in time for National Farmers Market Week, August 7-13.


West Virginia Food News


Last Chance to Join a Regional Roundtable on Food and Farms 

This spring's series of Regional Roundtables on Food and Farms offers citizens a chance to be heard on food and farm issues.  The roundtables discuss how to strengthen our state's local food economy while getting more healthy, locally-farmed food to the plates and forks of West Virginians.  Are you a farmer, dietician, doctor, chef, food service director, food distributor, community gardener, farmers market manager, food pantry volunteer, or advocate for low-income consumers? Do you care about the quality of food and the viability of farming in West Virginia?  This event is for you. 


Three more roundtables are scheduled for May: 

May 2:  6:30-8:30pm in Berkeley Springs - details here  

May 3:  6:30-8:30pm in Philippi - details here  

       May 4:  6:30-8:30pm in Charleston - details here


The six roundtables are organized by the West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition in partnership with WVU Extension Services and the WV Small Farm Center, the WV Department of Education, the WV Department of Agriculture and many local partners.


The first three regional roundtables, in Wheeling, Hico (near Fayetteville), and Parkersburg, drew over 100 participants and produced a wealth of creative, specific ideas.  The WV Food and Farm Coalition released this news article on the events.  They also received coverage from the Parkersburg News and Sentinel and the WVU Small Farm Center web site. 


New Community Garden Association Funded to Support Charleston-Area Gardens 

Across the greater Charleston Area, the community gardens will get a boost with a recent grant from the Sustainable Kanawha Valley Initiative. The funding will provide training and other support to the volunteers who run the area's gardens through the Kanawha Community Garden Association. By next year, the group plans to establish a garden where families can pick a plot to raise their own food. The Charleston Gazette reports on the grant and the growing community garden movement.


New Organization Unites Gardeners to Feed the Hungry

Jim Shaver of Buckhannon has launched a new website, OneMoreRow.org, asking gardeners to dedicate a single row of their gardens this summer to help improve the quality of life for West Virginia's homeless, disabled, financially struggling and senior citizens. The organization suggests taking your harvest to senior citizens, to disabled people who are physically unable to garden, to impoverished urban neighbors who do not have the space or tools to grow a garden for themselves, or to a food bank, soup kitchen or other organizations assisting citizens with financial need. The Charleston Gazette reports.


Upcoming Events 
in and near West Virginia

Expanding Farm & Food Businesses in the Greenbrier Valley  

April 27 & 28

Join nationally-acclaimed food expert Ken Meter of the  Crossroads Resource Center in Lewisburg and Union for two evenings of conversation on the Greenbrier Valley's local food system.  


With support from  Greenbrier Valley Economic Development's Local Foods Initiative, Meter recently completed a reporton the present-day and historical states of food and agriculture in Pocahontas, Greenbrier, and Monroe Counties.


Two Dates, Two Locations: 

In Lewisburg:   April 27, 7-9pm, WV School of Osteopathic Medicine, Alumni Room

In Union:  April 28, 7-9pm, Monroe Courthouse, top floor


For further information contact 

 Local Foods VISTA Stacie Gilmore at stacie.gilmore@gmail.com / (304) 497-4300, or visit  http://www.greenbriervalley.org.

Conference on Local Sustainable Meat & Poultry: Making the Shift in Institutional Purchasing 

May 5, 7:30 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.   

 Ten Oaks Ballroom and Conference Center


Clarksville, Maryland


Maryland Hospitals for a Healthy Environment will bring together a wide variety of key stakeholders to address the barriers, identify solutions and share cost-effective strategies for establishing new institutional purchasing practices of local sustainable beef, pork and poultry.

- Featuring local, sustainable continental breakfast and lunch.

- Registration fee: $25 in advance, $35 at the door.

For more information, visit the event site or contact sustainablefoods@son.umaryland.edu; (410) 706-1924.

Save the Date: Working Conference To Build Our Northeast (WV included!) Food System


November 10-12, 2001

Desmond Hotel and Conference Center, Albany, New York

The "It Takes a Region" Conference, sponsored by the Northeast Sustainable Working Group (NESAWG) and partners will examine efforts and plans to build the regional food system, including distribution logistics, research, messaging, access & nutrition, and policy advocacy (such as influencing the 2012 Farm Bill). New participants are welcome - especially emerging food system leaders and community activists.  West Virginia is included in the NESAWG region.

For more info, visit www.ittakesaregion.org or email Kathy Ruhf, NESAWG coordinator, kzruhf@verizon.net.

Local & Community Events


Rock Cave Ramp Dinner to Benefit for the New Appalachian Farm & Research Center

A Fancy Ramp Dinner: Celebrating Spring Tonics

Sunday May 1, 12-3 p.m

Banks District Civic Center in Rock Cave, West Virginia

Menu includes rhubarb mule; green garlic and ramp baguette; puree of fresh asparagus soup with wild leeks; and "New Appalachian" shepherd's pie (with ramps!) and more. 

Cost: $30 per person, to benefit the New Appalachian Farm and Research Center -- a nonprofit whose mission is to support the agricultural community's efforts of building a local food system for West Virginia. For tickets and full menu, email Dale Hawkins, chefhawkins@gmail.com


Morgan's Grove Market Opening Saturday, May 7 -- outside of Shepherdstown 

Morgan's Grove will open with a new outdoor marketplace for local farmers, bakers, chefs, artists, crafters and musicians to promote, display and sell their locally grown and locally made products. Sustainable Shepherdstown community garden plots available - contact info@sustainableshepherdstown.org. For more information on the market, contact: morgansgrove@live.com or (703) 861-1722

(grants, awards, partnership ideas) 

USDA Grant to Improve SNAP     

Application Deadline: June 6, 2011, 5 p.m.  


The USDA will award up to $5 million in grants for improving access to and increasing participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). State and local governments and private non-profit organizations can apply to propose projects that simplify SNAP application and eligibility systems and streamline program administration, with the goal of providing more critical nutrition assistance to those in need. Proposals are during by 5 p.m. EDT on June 6, 2011. Grant awards will be announced by September 30, 2011, funding is available September 30, 2011-August 2014. For more information, visit the USDA announcement or contact greg.walton@fns.usda.gov.

Conservation Practices Grant for Organic Producers     

Application Deadline: May 20, 2011


Certified organic producers and growers transitioning to organic production can apply for a Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) fund to implement resource conservation practices on their agricultural operations. Applications are accepted on a continuous basis, with a cut-off date of May 20, 2011. Up to $50 million total is available, through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)'s Organic Initiative. Submit applications through your local NRCS Service Center.

Jobs and Work Experience 

Mock's Greenhouse Hiring Market and Greenhouse Workers 

Mock's Greenhouse seeks a passionate individual to sell locally grown produce at the Leesburg, VA Farmers Market, Saturdays May-August. The ideal candidate will reside within 60 miles of Berkeley Springs. Early risers encouraged - candidates must arrive at the farm by 5:30 to deliver produce, and sell from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.  The position is paid, with the perk of fresh greens and tomatoes. No experience required.  

- Also seeking seasonal employees for work in the hydrponic vegetable greenhouse. 

Call Paul Mock today, (304) 283-9419.    

Fayette County Farmers Market seeks Booth Coordinator

The Fayette County Farmers Market is seeking a part-time contracted Booth Coordinator / co-Market Master for its Fayetteville and Oak Hill locations.  Must provide own transportation and must be available to work at markets on Thursday evenings, Saturday mornings, and additional hours as needed, May-October.  Previous retail and marketing experience is a plus.  Pay rate will be determined according to experience.  Please submit resume and cover letter to fayettemarket@gmail.com.    

Part-Time Position at Morgan's Grove Market     

General Description: Marketing and selling local farm products at our outdoor marketplace outside Shepherdstown, next to Morgan's Grove Park.  Learn all aspects of farmers market operation, including Market Manager training.  Must be willing to learn products and comfortable selling to the general public.  We will be there to help you, as our booth will be nearby.

Position duration: May 7th- at least September 30

Wage: $8-10/hr, depending on qualifications

Hours of operation:  Saturdays, 7:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m.

Deadline: Apply by April for 2011 season.

Questions?Call 703-871-1722, mail application to: P.O. Box 536, Shepherdstown, WV 25443, or email manager@morgansgrovemarket.com.    

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

National Farm to School Network Launches mini-webinar series on May 10 

May 10, 2 p.m. EDT   

The National Farm to School Network is launching a brand new 20 minute webinar series titled "Lunch Bites." This short, information-packed series will cover presentations on a variety of Farm to School topics, and will take place at 2 p.m. EDT on the second Tuesday of every month. The next "Lunch Bite" is scheduled for Tuesday, May 10, 2011, focused on "Evaluating your Farm to School Program -- Best Practices and Tools." Register here: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/572430177.

New Report: "Harnessing the Power of Supermarkets to Help Reverse Childhood Obesity"     

This report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and The Food Trust examines marketing strategies that may help parents, caregivers and youths select and purchase healthier foods and beverages at the grocery store. For retail owners, the report includes case studies and recommendations about marketing tactics that can encourage healthy eating, increase customer satisfaction and help increase profitability.

RWJF and The Food Trust also produced a related video about how neighborhood corner stores and a new grocery store in North Philadelphia are finding innovative ways to market healthier foods to customers.
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