WVFFC Newsletter header


In This Issue
Summer Agricultural Institute for Teachers June 16-17
National Value-Added Agriculture Conference June 26-28
Nat'l Sustainable Agricultural Education Assoc. Conference Aug 4-5
Lindbergh Foundation Grants due June 9
Harry Chapin Self-Reliance Grants due July 1
Nominate a Farmer for Glynwood Harvest Awards
Be a Peer Reviewer for USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program Grants
Federal Funds for Fresh Food Outlets - due July 11
Teen Entrepreneurship Summit - apply now for scholarships
Program Gives Low-Income Patients Prescriptions for Produce
Online Toolbox for Farmers, Agricultural Trainers
Charter for a Healthy 2012 Farm Bill

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.


West Virginia Food News


New Food Manufacturing Facility Rule goes into effect in WV 

A new Legislative Rule (64CSR43) passed by the WV Legislature may affect many value-added food processors.  From the the WVDHHR web site:  "A Food Manufacturing Facility is defined as:  Any person that manufactures, processes, or packs food for human consumption. This term does not include: farms, facilities regulated by Legislative Rule 64CSR17 'Food Establishments' and facilities under the regulatory authority of the West Virginia Department of Agriculture.  The Public Health Sanitation Division of the Bureau for Public Health is responsible for the inspection and approval of food manufacturers in West Virginia.  To obtain information on this program, contact (WVDHHR's) office at 304-558-2981.  The West Virginia Bureau for Public Health requires all Food Manufacturing Facilities to apply for and obtain a permit to operate.  Permits are required by July 1 of each year with an expiration date of the following June 30th. There is a fee attached to the permit which is based on gross sale of product."   


Manufacturers with a facility size of $0.00 - $24,999.00 would pay a $100 permitting fee; $50,000-$99,999 would pay a $200 fee, and so on; over $50 million would pay a $1000 fee.  Read more from WVDHHR.   


Inspired by Regional Roundtable series, Senator Rockefeller holds meeting on local food

After attending the particularly lively Regional Roundtable on Food and Farms in Berkeley Springs, which was co-hosted by WVFFC along with WVU Extension Service, Panorama at the Peak, Local Economy Network, the WV Small Farm Center and others, U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller's staff were impressed with the level of citizen interest in local food. So impressed, in fact, that the Senator organized his own "roundtable" to hear more.  WVFFC was proud to speak at the Senator's meeting alongside key players such as the WV Small Farm Center, the WV Deputy Commissioner of Agriculture, Kilmer Farms, WesMonTy RC&D and even WalMart. Read more here


WVU study to assess regional food security, food access

West Virginia University has joined Virginia Tech and North Carolina State University to identify barriers that prevent the availability of local foods in WV, VA, and NC.  The study will also assess food security - the ability for all people to have enough nutritious food for an active, healthy life. Cheryl Brown, a member of the WV Food and Farm Coalition's Advisory Committee and WVU Associate Professor in Agricultural and Resource Economics, spoke to WV Pubcast about the project last week. 


AP article describes Lincoln County farmer's diversification

The Associated Press reported on a Lincoln County farmer who has diversified from tobacco into a variety of niche markets: asparagus, strawberries, and shitake mushrooms (which he sells to the Purple Onion), along with raising bees and a new crop of Christmas trees. Read the article here, with a beautiful description of the farm operations and history.


National Food News  


Appropriations bill would slash funding for sustainable ag

The House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee adopted a government funding bill on May 25, which, if passed by the Senate, would cut $2.7 billion (13.4%) of the food and agriculture budget.  This 2012 bill makes steep cuts to conservation, extension, research, renewable energy, and rural development programs.  None of the cuts are directed at crop subsidies, the largest federal agricultural spending item.  Impacted programs include Farm Bill conservation funding, Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education programs, Value-Added Producer Grants, and the elimination of the Rural Micro-lending program and the Renewable Energy for America Program.  Before the bill becomes law, the Senate must develop and pass its own funding bill, those two bills must be reconciled, and the President must sign off on the final package.  Visit the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition Blog to learn how to take action. 


Obama calls for "revamping" of federal support for farms

In a CBS News Town Hall Meeting, President Obama agreed that the government's system of farm support should focus on family farms in crisis and not on big agribusinesses.  One "modest" first step, he suggested, was to create income caps for farms eligible for federal support.  However, the President also acknowledged that many farm-state representatives would resist change to the system.  


30-Mile Meal highlights local food in Athens, OH

Athens, OH offers inspiring examples of a rapidly-growing local foods movement. In one of Ohio's poorest counties, local food networks are thriving, including Athens County's "30-Mile Meal," to kick-off in July.  The project is a collaboration between the County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Appalachian Center for Economic Networks (ACEnet), and over 130 local food partners to identify and promote foods within a 30-mile radius of Athens. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports on the project and other highlights of the Athens food system.

Upcoming Events 
in and near West Virginia

2011 Summer Agricultural Institute for Teachers

June 16-17    

Ramada Inn, Morgantown, WV

The Institute gives teachers the opportunity to learn practical, hands-on applications and receive teaching materials for their classrooms; learn about nutrition, technology, and careers in agriculture; and earn graduate or professional credits. Sponsored by the West Virginia Farm Bureau Foundation, WVU Extension Service, and WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design.


Application deadline: June 10.


For more information, visit the WV Farm Bureau or contact Joan Harman at joanh@wvfarm.org  (800) 398-4630, ext. 306

Annual National Value-Added Agriculture Conference 

June 26-28

Pittsburgh, PA 

This year's conference will focus on the economic impact of value-added agriculture and includes sessions on direct marketing, value-added processing, and supply and distribution channels.  The conference will also include tours to explore marketing and valued-added production sites, as well as the challenges and opportunities of supply and distribution of value-added and local foods.


Registration fee: $200, or $150 if registered by June 1.


For more information, visit the conference website.

 4th National Sustainable Agricultural Education Association Conference   

August 4-5, 2001

University of Kentucky -- Lexington  


The conference will explore educational experiences across the food system: schools, universities, farms, and communities. The conference serves as the only national-level forum focused on the teaching and learning of sustainable agriculture.


The event will include fieldtrips, service learning, cooking opportunities, a materials exchange, and student panels and roundtable discussions.  Anthony Flaccavento will be the keynote speaker.


For more information, visit the conference website or contact Stan Ernst, Extension Program Leader & Marketing Instructor at Ohio State University, at (614) 292-6421 or Ernst.1@osu.edu.
(grants, awards, partnership ideas) 

Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation Grants        

Application Deadline: June 9, 2011   


Each year, The Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation provides grants of up to $10,580 to projects that advance the Lindberghs' vision of a balance between the advance of technology and the preservation of the natural/human environment.


For more information and a list of past recipients, visit the Foundation website.


Harry Chapin Self-Reliance Grants to Fight Hunger, Poverty       

Application Deadline: July 1, 2011   


Applications are now available for The Harry Chapin Self-Reliance Awards (HCSRA), a national grant program providing cash grants of up to $7,000 to ten U.S. community-based organizations that work to fight hunger and poverty.


Organizations must be nonprofits with a specific project/program and a budget of $500,000 or less that will benefit from the award.  


For more information and an application, visit the WhyHunger webpage.


Nominations Open for Glynwood Harvest Awards      

Nomination Deadline: July 20, 2011   


Nominate an individual, organization, or business for the Harvest Awards, sponsored by sustainable agriculture advocate Glynwood. In its ninth year, the Harvest Awards recognize farmers, entrepreneurs, organizations, and businesses across the United States that demonstrate innovation and leadership in support of regional agriculture and sustainable food systems.

For more information, visit the Glynwood website or contact kvargo@glynwood.org or (845) 265-3338, ext.131.

Become a Peer Reviewer for the USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program's 2011 Grant Cycle    


Lend your knowledge to the grant-making process. The USDA is especially seeking farmers who are direct marketers and reviewers with experience in implementing EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) projects.  In general, prospective peer reviewers are expected to have a general knowledge of the operational aspects of locally based farm marketing programs, EBT projects, farmers markets, and other agricultural direct-marketing businesses.


Learn more about the requirements here, or email Ricardo.Krajewski@ams.usda.gov or call the Farmers Market Promotion Program office at (202) 720-8317.

Federal Funds for New Fresh Food Outlets       

Application Deadline: July 11, 2011   


For the first time, the Department of Health and Human Services is requesting proposals for Healthy Food Financing Initiative grants and loans to help open new fresh food outlets -- supermarkets, farmers' markets, and expanded convenience stores -- in low-income and under-served communities. The grant, part of federal Health Food Financing Initiative, will award $10 milliion total to projects that will implement innovative strategies for revitalizing communities and eliminating food deserts, as well as achieving sustainable employment and business opportunities for low-income individuals.  Click here for more information

Teen Entrepreneurship Summit

June 12-18 at YMCA Camp Horsehoe 

For West Virginia High School Students

Tuition: $350 -- scholarships available!   


Do you know a young person who would like to explore the principles of entrepreneurship, civic leadership and volunteer service in six days of interactive learning?  Participants in this unique summer learning opportunity will meet business persons and successful entrepreneurs, make connections and discover new possibilities for their futures.  Please help spread the word to young people, teachers, and others in your community who work with youth.  Scholarships for $300 (towards the full $350 fee) are available to qualified West Virginia applicants.  For more information or to apply, contact Sharon Cassidy at YMCA Camp Horseshoe, (304) 478-2488 or sharon@hi-y.org.

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

Program Connects Low-Income Patients to Farmers Markets   


The Washtenaw County Public Health Department (in Michigan) has launched a "Prescription for Health" program that refers low-income patients at local medical clinics to farmers' markets.  Doctors give patients a prescription which doubles as a paid coupon for farmers market produce -- putting cash in farmers' pockets while improving awareness of healthy local food. Funding for the 2-year program was provided by the Kresge Foundation.  Learn more on Washtenaw County Public Health Department website.

Online Toolbox for Farmers, Agricultural Trainers    

The Beginning Farmers Project offers a wealth of information for both new farmers and organizations that support new farmers. The website includes webinars, articles and data, and worksheets on everything from farm finances to farm incubators, to environmentally-sound farming practices.

Charter for a Healthy 2012 Farm Bill  

Concerned activists and health professionals from Healthy Food Action, a project of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), have signed a Healthy Farm Bill Charter based on a broad set of principles to make the food system healthier and more sustainable. Partners include the American Public Health Association, the American Diabetic Association, the American Planning Association, and the American Nurses Association.
  View the charter here.
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