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In This Issue
Sustainable Shepherdstown Presents "Local Food, Sustainable Food" Oct. 21
Webinar: Food Stamps Grow Gardens! Oct. 26
Save the Date for the Tri-State Farm & Food Conference Nov. 4-5
Local Webinar: Online Tools for Building a Food System Nov. 4
Pastured Broiler Management Oct. 28
Hands-On Beef Butchery Nov. 14
WV and Western Maryland SARE Professional Development Program
Youth Service America: State Farm Good Neighbor Service-Learning Grants Due Nov. 9
National Gardening Association Youth Garden Grants Due Nov. 28
Northeast SARE Farmer Grant Due Dec. 1
Downstream Strategies Seeks Sustainable Agriculture/Food System Analyst
Petition to Restore Funding to RC&D Councils
Maine Guide Helps Towns Support Small Farms
Maine Guide Helps Towns Support Small Farms

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.


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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This biweekly 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 coordinated by the West Virginia Community Development Hub


In addition to this newsletter, we now offer timely updates on specific food and farm topics.  To subscribe to updates on things you're interested in, go here and enter your email address. 


WV Food & Farm Coalition News  


Help Determine the Future of the WV Food & Farm Coalition

The West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition needs your help in determining its future as an organization.  Tell us what you think by completing our survey.  Weigh in on key questions like the future structure of the WVFFC, the kinds of services we should provide, and how we should provide them.


Celebrating a Successful Farm to School Conference

Learn about some of the achievements of the recent WV Farm to School Conference, as well as next steps for strengthening Farm to School projects across the state. Read the article here, on the WVFFC website. 


Update on Regional Roundtables and the WV Food Charter

Many of you attended one of the six Regional Roundtables on West Virginia Food and Farms that took place in April-May 2011.  You brainstormed great ideas and contributed to the ongoing development of a West Virginia Food Charter  -- a roadmap for action that will help us all focus, measure and celebrate our collective progress towards a stronger local food system.  Here's an update about what will happen next.  Remember, notes on the roundtables and an Executive Summary of findings are posted here



West Virginia Food News


Cabell County School Lunch Program "Making Its Own Magic"

Cabell County Schools and food service director Rhonda McCoy have put serious effort into serving healthier, fresher, and more local meals to students.  This article revisits the school system filmed in Jamie Oliver's "Food Revolution" and describes the efforts the county has made on its own: redeveloping recipes, holding after-hours taste tests, sourcing fresh and unprocessed ingredients at affordable prices, and buying new equipment and training school cooks.


ARC announces $1.5 million Global Appalachia Initiative

The state of West Virginia will receive a $100,000 grant from the Appalachia Regional Commission to help local small businesses increase exports. The state plans to use the grant to reach out to small businesses that sell specialty foods and help them with training and technology to market their products overseas. The Charleston Gazette reports here.



Point Pleasant High Schooler Supplies County Schools with Eggs

From one chicken he purchased in middle school, Wesley Davis of Point Pleasant High School has built a free-range chicken business that provides eggs for all nine Mason County Schools and local residents. Davis was recently chosen by Future Farmers of America as one of the top 10 Agri-Entrepreneurs. The Charleston Gazette reports here.



National Food News  


October Marks National Farm to School Month

Learn more about ways to celebrate National Farm to School Month -- and find tools to publicize your own projects -- at the National Farm to School website.  The National Farm to School Network is also hosting a poster contest for students in grades Pre-K-12, for the theme, "Celebrate Farm to School."  The winner in each category will receive $1,000 to benefit his or her school or classroom. Submissions are due Oct. 31. Learn more here.


What do Americans Think about Industrial Agriculture? 

Two brand new polls show a surprising degree of agreement on consumers' concerns about the quality of food and how it's produced -- with one poll conducted by an environmentally-oriented foundation, and the other by the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance, which represents industrial agriculture. Read more from the Environmental Working Group here.


National FoodCorps Aims to Fill Gap in Farm to School Programs

The Washington Post reports here on the FoodCorps program, which just launched in August, with 50 members in 10 states. Next year, FoodCorps plans to double its number.  The program works to develop the programs that many educators believe are important but may not have the resources to fund.


Upcoming Events
in and near West Virginia

Sustainable Shepherdstown Presents  

"Local Food, Sustainable Food"

Friday, October 21, 7-9 pm

The Robert C. Byrd Center for Legislative Studies, Shepherd University 


Presentations will cover community gardening, local farms, farm to school programming, local restaurants, and more.  Presentations will be followed by a networking reception with light refreshments. Co-sponsored by The Robert C. Byrd Center for Legislative Studies, Shepherd University. For more information, visit or contact 876-1505.

West Virginia Department of Transportation Equipment Auction

Saturday, October 22, 9 a.m. (registration begins at 7 a.m.)

Highways Equipment Division, U.S. 33 and Brushy Fork Rd, Buckhannon, WV 26201  


The WVDOT will hold the auction at their office in Buckhannon.  Items include dump trucks, pickup trucks, loaders, backhoes, and bulldozers. The auction will also be webcast over the internet, so bidding online is possible. Find more info here. 

Webinar: Food Stamps Grow Gardens! Leveraging SNAP to Grow Gardens

Wednesday, October 26, 12-1 pm E.T. 


Did you know that you can use SNAP (formerly known as Food Stamps) benefits to help plant a garden? This session from the USDA People's Garden Initiative will provide ideas for how garden-minded professionals and amateurs alike can spread awareness and connect SNAP recipients to resources and information that will enable productive gardening experiences for all.  Register here and select the "Food Stamps Grow Gardens!" option.  While you're on the website, check out other People's Garden Webinars here.

Tri-State Farm & Food Conference 

November 4-5

610 28th St., Huntington, WV  


Following a rousing success last year, this year's conference will offer workshops in farmers markets, high tunnels, poultry, and a youth 4-H/FFA Entrepreneurship event, and more.  Offerings include a full day of farmers market workshops, through a partnership between the WV Food & Farm Coalition and the WV Farmers Market Association.  The conference is coordinated by the WVU Extension Service Small Farm Center -- learn more and register here on their website.  

Local Webinar: Online Tools for Building a Food System 

Friday, November 4, 12-1:30 pm ET 


Local offers online tools for buying from local farmers and building a better food system. Join the Central Appalachian Network for a conversation about how these tools can benefit producers, wholesale buyers, consumers, and farmers markets in Central Appalachia.   


Please register for the webinar, as space is limited. You will receive call-in information and a link to join the online meeting on the morning of November 4.  

Pastured Broiler Management: Hands-On Processing, Health & Nutrition

Friday, October 28  

Dickinson College Farm, Boiling Springs, Cumberland Co., (1 hr 25 min from Martinsburg)  


In partnership with Dickinson College Farm and Fertrell; sponsored by the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) and the Food Alliance. Learn more here.

(grants, awards, partnership ideas)

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

WV and Western Maryland SARE Professional Development Program  


The West Virginia and Western Maryland SARE Professional Development program will focus during the next three years on training Agricultural Service Providers in ways to help producers respond to the growing consumer demand for fresh, local product.  The project will use a train-the-trainer model,  focused on the Cooperative Extension Educators/Agents, Natural Resource Conservation Service field personnel and other agricultural education professionals.  Read the full announcement here.


To learn more about this project or to discuss individual needs as an agricultural service provider, contact Doolarie Singh-Knights, SARE Coordinator for West Virginia University at (304) 293-7606/ , or Nola Wilson, SARE Professional Development Outreach Leader at (304) 293-7312/  

Youth Service America: State Farm Good Neighbor Service-Learning Grants

Deadline: November 9  


The State Farm Good Neighbor Service-Learning Grants program, administered by YSA, provides grants of up to $1,000 for the promotion of service-learning projects in K-12 public schools.  Eligible candidates include teachers, service-learning coordinators, and students in public schools, or staff and youth in community-based organizations working within public schools. Learn more and apply here.

National Gardening Association:  

Youth Garden Grants

Deadline: November 28   


The National Gardening Association (NGA), with support from The Home Depot, will award Youth Garden Grants to 100 schools and community organizations throughout the U.S. with child-centered garden programs. Five winners will receive gift cards valued at $1,000, and 95 winners will receive $500 gift cards, to purchase gardening materials and supplies specific to the needs of their program from their local Home Depot store.  Learn more here.  

Work Opportunities 

Downstream Strategies Seeks Sustainable Agriculture/Food System Analyst


Environmental consulting group Downstream Strategies seeks a Sustainable Agriculture/Food System Analyst within the organization's Land Program to support a range of environmental policy and science projects, with a focus on agriculture, food systems, and sustainability. The successful candidate will bring multiple skills and will be a key team member on projects in Appalachia and beyond.  


Ongoing projects include a food system assessment for the State of West Virginia, feasibility study for a poultry composting operation, and policy analysis of the barriers to organic specialty crop production in the state.

Read the full announcement hereTo apply,  e-mail a cover letter, resume, and two references to Kristen McKain, Office Manager, at  


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

Petition to Restore Funding to RC&D Councils

As you may know, Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) programs lost funding in April of this year.  RC&D programs focus on economic development and natural resource protection in rural areas..  A petition on the White House website seeks to restore funding to RC&D Councils. If the petition receives 5,000 signatures by October 27, administration staff will review it.


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

Apples to Twinkies: Comparing Federal Subsidies of Fresh Produce and Junk Food

This report from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group analyzed federal agricultural subsidies of produce and junk food.  One way to illustrate the contrast: if these subsidies went directly to consumers to allow them to purchase food, each American taxpayer would be given $7.36 to spend on junk food and 11 cents to buy apples, each year. That would be enough to buy 19 Twinkies but less than a quarter of one Red Delicious apple apiece.

Find the executive summary here, with a link to the full report. 

Maine Guide Helps Towns Support Small Farms

This article from the Bangor Daily News describes a guide, published jointly by the Maine Farmland Trust and the American Farmland Trust, which provides specific examples and suggestions of how communities can support farming. Learn more and download the guide here.

Food Tracing Gives Consumer the Power to Track Dinner   


Canadian retailer Sobeys can tell customers who caught the fish they'll eat for dinner. The new food tracing system is part of a trend that allows consumers to track products like coffee, milk, vegetables and fruits from the field to their table. Toronto's Globe and Mail reports here.


This is YOUR space, YOUR newsletter and YOUR Coalition. If you have suggestions, announcements or resources you would like to share please contact us.
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