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www.wvhub.org/foodandfarmcoalition

In This Issue
WV Farm to School Conference Sept. 27-28
Good Handling Practices/Good Agricultural Practices (GHP/GAP) Training Oct. 22
Northeast Sustainable Ariculture Working Group "It Takes a Region" Working Conference Nov. 11-12
National Good Food Network Webinar - The Farmer and the Dell: Technology for Good Food Sept. 15
Fall Online Courses for Beginning Farmers Open for Registration!
Woodlands Homesteading Festival at the Mountain Institute Oct. 1-2
AARP Foundation Hunger Grant Program
Gardens for Good Grant Contest
Free Application Workshop for Flex-E-Grant Sept. 27
National Gardening Association Subaru Healthy Sprouts Award
Youth Service, United Healthcare Greants to Combat Childhood Obesity
USDA to Host Organic Agriculture Listening Session
"As Farmers Markets Go Mainstream, Some Fear a Glut"
"Politics, Farmers, and Change: The End of Rural America"
Online Tool Helps Farmers Consider New Enterprises
 

The mission of the West Virginia food and Farm Coalition is to build, support and strengthen a statewide network of the many kinds of people involved in developing West Virginia's local food economies, with the intertwined goals of improving access to healthy, locally-produced food for all West Virginians and helping to viable food and farm businesses to grow.  The Coalition was launched in 2010 by the West Virginia Community Development Hub with funding from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.

 

We believe that as West Virginia farmers and food producers become more directly connected to West Virginia consumers, the results include healthier people, greater business opportunities, stronger communities, and a unique economy reflecting our state's proud heritage of self-sufficient food production.

 

The Coalition is guided by a 14-person Steering and Transition Committee which is helping to determine its future as an organization and to develop a more permanent, participatory leadership structure.

 



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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.
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Greetings!

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.

  

WV Food & Farm Coalition News  

  

Farm to School Efforts Heat up in WV 

Several WV school systems are now buying produce from local farmers for school lunches.  A WV Farm to School Conference co-hosted by the Center for Economic Options, the WV Department of Education and other partners on Sept. 27-28 will be the first of its kind on WV.  Farm to school efforts in WV heating up, and now's the time to get involved!  Read more here in an exclusive article from WVFFC.  

   

WVFFC partners to offer regional conference scholarships 

WVFFC is helping to offer a small number of scholarships for West Virginians to attend the 2011 Annual "It Takes a Region: A Working Conference" of the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (NESAWG).  Find more information about the conference and scholarships below in the "Events" section or here on our website.

 

West Virginia Food News

 

Putnam Farmers Market wins 4th place in online competition

Congratulations to Putnam Farmers Market for taking 4th place in the "Boutique Markets" category in "America's Favorite Farmers Markets" online voting contest. The contest was sponsored by the American Farmland Trust, a national organization dedicated to saving America's farm and ranch land, promoting healthy farming practices and supporting farms and farmers.   

 

Chesapeake Energy withdraws farmers market support after Morgantown bans Marcellus drilling

Chesapeake Energy, a natural gas corporation, recently withdrew a $25,000 donation to the Morgantown Farmers Market. According to the City of Morgantown, the withdrawal was because of the city's ban on Marcellus shale drilling (a ban later struck down in court). Cheseapeake Energy stated they focus on giving to areas where "natural gas production is supported by the community and its leaders." The State Journal reports here.

 

Fayette couple builds business as organic farmers, bed-and-breakfast owners

The Beckley Register-Herald profiled Ken and Jorene Toney, who run Ponderosa Lodge and farm in Fayette County. The Toneys describe the challenges and rewards of seeking a healthier, more self-sufficient lifestyle. Read the article here. 

  

National Food News  

  

USDA proposes new animal ID and tracing regulation  

A new rule proposed by the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service would require mandatory identification and special documents for poultry and livestock crossing state lines.  Read the USDA's announcement here, as well as their economic analysis of the rule here. The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition weighs in here.  Comments on the proposed rule can be submitted to USDA before Nov. 9, 2011 at this link. 

 

IRS clarifies EBT reporting rules for Farmers Markets

IRS has issued a  ruling on how farmers markets operating EBT systems must report electronic transactions. Small farmers markets (those with fewer than 50 vendors) are exempt from reporting each payment made through electronic transactions.  Markets with more than 50 vendors can also be exempt under certain conditions. The Farmers Market Coalition offers a clear, thorough summary and advice here. 

 

U.S. places $40 million chicken order

The United States is stepping in to help bail out another American industry -- chicken farmers and meat processors. The nation's chicken industry is having a difficult year, with higher costs and lower demand, as CNN Money reports here.  Still, in 2009, broiler chickens were West Virginia's #1 agricultural commodity and poultry / poultry products were our top agricultural export. 

Upcoming Events
in and near West Virginia

WV Farm to School Conference

September 27-28 at Lakeside Conference Center in Morgantown, WV

 

Join the Center for Economic Options, WesMonTy and Potomac Headwaters RC&Ds, WV Department of Education's Office of Child Nutrition, the WV Food and Farm Coalition 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.  The conference will also offer opportunities for people to farmers to meet food service directors.  

 

Register today!  Find a draft agenda, a registration link and other info hereQuestions?  Contact Cindy Manning: (304) 345-1298 cmanning@economicoptions.org.

Good Handling Practices/Good Agricultural Practices (GHP/GAP) Training

Saturday, Oct. 22  

at the WV State Fair Grounds, Lewisburg

 

Good Handling and Good Agricultural Practices (GHP's/GAP's) are recommendations for producers to help improve the quality and safety of produce. GAPs are becoming more important for farmers, since many wholesale buyers are requiring third-party audits certifying that a farm or facility has developed and implemented a plan to minimize the risk of contamination.   

 

The Oct. 22 training will not certify farmers, but will explain how to prepare to be inspected by the WV Dept. of Agriculture / USDA for certification.  Attendees may become eligible for a cost-share on certification from WVDA.   

 

Learn more in this memo from the WVDA.  Register for the training by Oct. 7 by contacting Danielle Kisamore, WVDA Marketing Specialist, at dkisamore@wvda.us or (304) 558-2210.  

"It Takes a Region" Working Conference  

Nov. 11-12  

Desmond Hotel and Conference Center, Albany, NY

 

This conference, hosted by the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (NESAWG), is for doers looking to work with others to rebuild our food system.  Share how your local efforts make a regional impact!  Find program details at www.ittakesaregion.org.   

 

Scholarships for West Virginians!  The West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition has partnered with NESAWG to provide a small number of conference scholarships for West Virginians (because yes, we are included in the Northeastern region).  Scholarships cover conference registration and a $150 stipend  toward travel costs.  Because we are committed to making attendance affordable, options by sharing lodging and travel will also be available to applicants upon request.

 

Click here to fill out the simple, four-question scholarship application, due Sept. 30.  Questions?  Contact Savanna Lyons at s.lyons@wvhub.org.     

National Good Food Network Webinar - The Farmer and the Dell: Technology for Good Food 

Thursday, Sept. 15, 3:30-4:45 pm EST

 

How can technology help get more healthy, fair, affordable, green food to consumers? Hear about five promising new technologies that help to get more Good Food into the food system. Each of these technologies represents a different method of bolstering regional food systems. The tools focus on the needs of actors in the food system: producers, aggregators, and even consumers. Learn more and register here. 

Fall Online Courses for Beginning Farmers Open for Registration!

  

The Northeast Beginning Farmer Project will offer seven online courses this fall, ranging from "Financial Records" to "Machinery and Equipment," to "Soil Health," and more.Those who successfully complete a course will receive a certificate and are also eligible for Farm Service Agency (FSA) borrower training credit, which can improve eligibility to receive a low-interest FSA loan. Find more info on the Beginning Farmer Project website.  

Woodlands Homesteading Festival at the Mountain Institute

October 1-2 at the Mountain Institute in Circleville, WV

  

Learn about regional ethnobotany, homesteading skills, fermentation, bio-diesel, biochar, Appalachian Old Time music and dance, grassroots cartography, community food security and more! Look forward to woodsman demonstrations, live music, local farm dinners, and camping in a breathtaking 400-acre preserve. For more info and to register, visit the festival's webpage.

Opportunities
(grants, awards, partnership ideas)

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

AARP Foundation Hunger Grant Program

Deadlines: Letter of Inquiry Sept. 15, application Oct. 17  

 

AARP is offering grants to nonprofits and government agencies to fund the development or scaling of innovative, sustainable solutions to hunger that incorporate collaboration and community development, and have the potential for making a significant impact on community food security and sustainable food systems for people 50 years and older.  Deadlines:  LOI by 9/15/2011; applications (if invited) by 10/17/2011.  To apply, visit the website here.

Gardens for Good Grant Contest

Deadline: Sept. 30  

  

Nature's Path and Organic Gardening magazine will award three organic urban gardening nonprofits with a share of $65,000 toward an organic, community garden project. Apply and vote online here, between August 1, 2011 and September 30.  From the 10 groups with the most public votes, Nature's Path will choose three winners to receive: a cash grant; technical design and production mentorship provided by Organic Gardening magazine; a free organic breakfast community celebration; and a donation of Nature's Path products to help fill the pantries of a local food bank. Learn more on the grant website, here

 

Application Workshop for Flex-E-Grant 

September 27, 1-3 pm 

Days Hotel and Conference Center (Days Inn) at the Flatwoods Exit off of I-79 in Sutton

 

This workshop will provide information about the Flex-E-Grant (FEG) program, including application info and updates on the rules and regulations governing it. A Flex-E-Grant is a small grant of up to $10,000 that may be used to support local leadership, civic engagement and capacity building.  Download more info here, and register for the workshop online (by Sept. 20) at www.wvdo.org/downloads.

 

For further information, contact James Bush at (304) 558-2234 or James.E.Bush@wv.gov. The Flex-E-Grant applications are due November 4. 

National Gardening Association Subaru Healthy Sprouts Award

Deadline: Oct. 1   

 

The awards support school and youth garden programs throughout the country that use gardens to teach youth about the environment, nutrition, and the issue of hunger in the United States. Fifty programs will receive a $500 gift certificate from the Gardening with Kids catalog as well as lessons and literature from National Gardening Association (NGA). Applicants must plan to garden in 2012 with at least 15 children between the ages of 3 and 18 years.  Application guidelines and forms are available on the NGA website.  

Youth Service, United Healthcare Greants to Combat Childhood Obesity  

Deadline: Oct. 17    

 

Youth Service America and United Healthcare are offering grants of $500 to $1,000 to schools, service-learning coordinators, and nonprofits for programs that demonstrate a clear understanding of the health risks associated with childhood obesity; propose creative solutions to fighting obesity; and can be easily implemented, scaled, and measured.  For details and to apply, visit the request for proposals.  

Get Involved!
(food policy issues, surveys, & more)

USDA to Host Organic Agriculture Listening Session

 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will hold a public listening session to receive input concerning the Department's activities and priorities related to supporting organic agriculture production, handling and markets. It will be held in Washington, DC on Sept. 11. Comments may be offered in person at the listening session, or submitted in writing prior to the session. Find more information, register for the listening session, or learn how to submit written comments here, from the USDA news release.  

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

"As Farmers Markets Go Mainstream, Some Fear a Glut"

Farmers in pockets of the country say the number of farmers' markets has outstripped demand, a consequence of a clamor for markets that are closer to customers and communities that want multiple markets. The New York Times explores the dilemma here.     

"Politics, Farmers, and Change: The End of Rural America"

Grist magazine examines President Obama's Iowa speech and reflections on his 2007 promises to farmers, particularly around saving family farmers' jobs and antitrust issues.  Read the article here

Online Tool Helps Farmers Consider New Enterprises

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has re-issued its 12-page Agriculture Diversification Compass, and is making the tool available online. The guide helps producers evaluate the potential of new crop and livestock enterprises they may be considering for their farm. Find the guide here, on the Minnesota Dept. of Agriculture website. 

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