WVFFC Newsletter header


In This Issue
WVU Organic Field Day Aug. 4
Value Added Producer Grant: Step by Step Assistance via Teleconference Aug. 4
National Farmers Market Week Aug. 7-13
WV Recipe Challenge @ State Fair Aug. 14
WV Farm to School Conference Sept. 27-28
STEMester of Service Grants due Aug. 8
Sodexo School Engagement Grants due Aug. 15
Lowe's Toolbox for Education Grant
ShadeFund: Small Loans for Green Entrepreneurs
Farmers Market Delivery Services on the Rise
Choices Magazine Highlights Beginning Farmers and Ranchers
Sales Heat Up for Locally Made Sauces and Seasonings

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


High tunnel boosts farmer's production

As the trend in high tunnels and other season extenders picks up, Fayette County farmer Rick Rutledge serves as one example of a successful operation. The Beckley Register-Herald reports on season extension and on Rutledge's experience, which includes selling produce to local schools.


Eight WV school systems to offer free school meals for all students this fall

School cooks will prepare more meals from scratch, and every student will receive free breakfast and lunch in Clay, Fayette, Gilmer Lincoln, Mason, McDowell, and Mingo Counties. The Parkersburg News and Sentinel reports on how school officials hope the change will improve student academic performance and increase school meal participation.


Class teaches cooking with farmers market fare

Randolph County residents can learn how to select and prepare fresh food from a farmer's market during a special class at the Randolph County Community Arts Center in Elkins. The class will include "field trips" to the Elkins Farmers Market, reports the Inter Mountain.


Food, Inc. to air on WV PBS

In this Academy Award nominated film, Robert Kenner

lifts the veil on our nation's food industry, exposing the

highly mechanized underbelly that's been hidden from the

American consumer.  See it on WV PBS: August 9 at 9pm.


National Food News  


Cuts to SNAP/Food Stamps would eliminate significant economic stimulus

The Economist reports on the impact of the SNAP/Food Stamp Program on both families and the economy. The article describes how one in seven Americans are participants in the program, and half of those are children. Each $1 in SNAP/Food Stamps also generates $1.73 in economic activity.


First lady, grocers vow to build stores in 'food deserts'

Supermarkets joined with first lady Michelle Obama on Wednesday in a pledge to build more than 500 stores in poor neighborhoods that have historically lacked access to fresh groceries, part of her signature effort to combat childhood obesity. Participating retailers include Wal-Mart, the country's largest grocer, Walgreens and Supervalu and regional supermarkets. The Washington Post reports.


Maryland Hospitals Recognized for Buying Local Foods

Maryland Hospitals for a Healthy Environment were recognized by the state Agriculture Secretary for their commitment to local food purchasing -- undertaken by more than 36 hospitals around the state participating in the Buy Local Challenge. Read more here.


Upcoming Events 
in and near West Virginia

WVU Organic Field Day

Thursday, August 4, 1-7 p.m. 

WVU Organic Research Farm, Rt. 705 Morgantown, WV


West Virginia University's Division of Plant and Soil Sciences is hosting its 12th annual Organic Field Day. The Field Day is open to the public, and anyone interested in organic farming is encouraged to attend.  It will include a wagon tour of research and demonstration plots emphasizing transitional practices for growers considering converting from conventional to organic practices. New this year will be a symposium on organic management for Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, and a project on sheep health and nutrition.   A dinner featuring organic produce grown on the farm will be served at 6 p.m. 


Registration is required.  For a registration form, email plantandsoil@mail.wvu.edu or call Tessy Warnick at 304-293-2961.  For information, call Dr. Jim Kotcon at 304-293-8822

Value Added Producer Grant: Live Step by Step Assistance via Teleconference 

Discussion with Lyn Millhiser of USDA Rural Development

August 4, 2-3 p.m.


The USDA's 2012 Value Added Producer Grant is now open for applications, with a deadline of August 29, 2011. West Virginia State University Extension Service is partnering with USDA to host a teleconference that will provide step-by-step instructions on how to develop your application.  Prospective applicants will have the opportunity to ask questions of staff who manage the grant program at USDA's Washington office.


To dial into the teleconference at 2pm on Aug. 4:

Dial (712) 451-6000

Enter PARTICIPANT CODE: 191712#  


 For questions regarding the teleconference, contact Mary Legg-Moses, Rural Business Services Coordinator with WVSU Extension Service at (304) 619-8111 or leggme@wvstateu.edu. For additional VAPG grant assistance in WV, contact John Comerci of USDA Rural Development,(304) 252-8644 extension 146.   

National Farmers Market Week

August 7-13


This 12th annual National Farmers Market Week is an opportunity for farmers markets to reach out to the media and public officials to tell their stories and tout their successes. Learn more here.

To help farmers markets get maximum recognition during this time, the Farmers Market Coalition has prepared a toolkit which you can access here.

WV Recipe Challenge at the State Fair!  

Competition date:  August 14   


Have you ever dreamed of seeing your favorite recipe on the grocery store shelf? The Recipe Challenge is a competition for people who have an original recipe and product and would like to begin producing and selling that product commercially.  New food entrepreneurs will compete for over $10,000 in goods and services and a chance to have their product launched in the marketplace.  Existing businesses can compete for a prize package valued at over $2000 in goods and services. 


The West Virginia Recipe Challenge is a collaboration of West Virginia State University Extension Service, the State Fair of West Virginia, Tamarack and the West Virginia Department of Agriculture.  Registration forms, category definitions and more information about the contest are available here or by calling (304) 645-1090.

WV Farm to School Conference

September 27-28

Days Inn, Bridgeport, WV


SAVE THE DATE!  Join the Center for Economic Options, WesMonTy and Potomac Headwaters RC&Ds, WV Department of Education's Office of Child Nutrition, and others to explore issues and opportunities related to farm to school initiatives. Discussion topics will include purchasing, food safety, food preparation, pricing, supply and production/availability.


Look for more information soon from the Center for Economic Options (CEO) and in the WVFFC newsletter.  Questions? Contact Marilyn Wrenn at CEO:  mwrenn@economicoptions.org / (304) 345-1298 ext. 15. 

(grants, awards, partnership ideas)

* Find a full grants calendar here, on our website!

STEMester of Service Grants     

Application Deadline: August 8, 2011  


STEMester of Service Grants support middle school educators at sites with large populations of disadvantaged youth in STEM subject areas (science, technology, engineering, and math - including agriculture!) in engaging their students in a Semester of Service. The $5,000 grant (that includes travel and training at YSA's Youth Service Institute in Philadelphia in October) supports teachers and after school program facilitators as they engage local partners and guide students in addressing local needs through planning and implementing sustainable service projects. Find more info here. 

Sodexo School Engagement Grants     

Application Deadline: August 15, 2011  


The programs funded through this grant will engage teachers and students, grades K-12, in learning about the incidence of childhood hunger in their community, and in leading meaningful activities that facilitate access to nutritious food for all children; especially those most at risk. The Sodexo School Engagement Grant is designed to address the need to ensure that every child in the United States grows up with access to enough nutritious food. The program will be implemented through a service-learning "Semester of Service" focused on childhood hunger. Find more info here. 

Lowe's Toolbox for Education Grant       

Application Deadline: October 14, but the application process will close after 1,500 applications    


The Toolbox for Education Grant Program, offered by Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation, provides grants of $2,000 to $5,000 to public K-12 schools and school parent-teacher groups associated with public schools throughout the U.S. that develop projects that encourage parent involvement and build stronger community spirit. Preference is given to funding requests that have a permanent impact such as facility enhancement (both indoor and outdoor) and landscaping/clean up projects. Find more info here.


ShadeFund: Small Loans for Green Entrepreneurs


Do you have an innovative small business that uses natural resources sustainably? Do you need capital to expand your business? ShadeFund provides small loans for entrepreneurs who are using natural resources sustainably. Learn more here.

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

Farmers Market Delivery Services on the Rise  

Businesses are springing up across the country to provide home delivery of farm produce. Read here about entrepreneurs at Green Bean Delivery in Columbus, Ohio, Doorganics in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Holy Cow Delivery in Kingstowne, Virginia, who are bringing farmers market bounty of vegetables, meat, eggs and dairy products to customers' doors. Read more here (click the links for examples).

Choices Magazine Highlights Beginning Farmers and Ranchers

The special Innovations to Support Beginning Farmer and Rancher edition of Choices magazine is full of articles that highlighting the demographics of the growing population of new farmers and ranchers in the US, as well as the challenges that these farmers face now and in the future.   The magazine also analyzes federal programs aimed to support beginning farmers and ranchers, and provides recommendations for new programs that would ensure that farming is a vibrant and sustainable industry in the US. 

Sales Heat Up for Locally Made Sauces and Seasonings

Consumers at Hiller's Markets, a seven-store chain based in Detroit, are gravitating toward sauces and seasonings made in Michigan. "If we stock a locally made brand of brine next to a national brine, for instance, many of our shoppers will choose the local one," said Vice President Justin Hiller. "The same goes for other specialty seasonings and sauces made in Michigan." Read more from Supermarket News.

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