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www.wvhub.org/foodandfarmcoalition

In This Issue
Saving Energy: Extreme Season Extension with Greenhouses and High Tunnels Workshop, Nov. 5
West Virginia State University Extension Service Hydroponics Workshop, Nov. 8 and 12
Webinar: The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, Nov. 10
Free Grassroots Advocacy Training Workshops, Nov. 10 and 16
Webinar: Two Revolutionary Tools for Beginning Farmers, Nov. 17
Virginia Food Security Summit, Dec. 5-6
FOCUS WV Brownfields Redevelopment Program, Due Nov. 14
Chefs Move to Schools Grant, Due Dec. 30
Rural Microentrepreneurs Assistance Program
The Future of Farmers Markets: Evolving Technology
National Survey Confirms Youth Interest in Entrepreneurship
$3 Million Federal Grant Targets Food Deserts
 

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 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  

   

Kanawha Community Garden Tour Report  

Thanks to the Kanawha Community Garden Association, and Kanawha WVU and WVSU Extension Services for a wonderful community garden tour on Oct. 9.  Find an online fact sheet here, with information and lessons learned from the gardens. 

 

  

West Virginia Food News

 

Tri-State Farm and Food Conference to build local food connections

The second annual Tri-State Farm and Food Conference is almost here -- Nov. 4-5 in Huntington.  Geared for conference farmers, restaurateurs and other businesses owners, and everyone who has an interest in getting locally grown foods onto the tables of local people, the conference will offer a wide array of workshops and presentations on topics ranging from farm to school to farmers markets to production methods. The conference is hosted through the WV Small Farm Center at WVU Extension Service, with local support from Unlimited Future, Inc. and other partners.  Learn more and register here.  The Huntington Herald Dispatch promotes the conference here, with a profile of Dominique Wong of Yellow Goat Farms.

 

Huntington's Kitchen celebrates National Food Day

Huntington's Kitchen hosted a full day of food demonstrations, to bring the community together around healthy, local food in honor of National Food Day.  Marshall University's The Parthenon reports here and the Huntington Herald-Dispatch reports  here on the event's barley jambalaya demonstration, the "trick-or-treat" for preschool students with healthy snacks, and the session of crafts- and healthy-foods preparation for third-graders.

 

Charleston hosts International Master Gardeners Conference

Charleston and surrounding areas got a chance to shine in the global spotlight, by hosting the International Master Gardeners Conference, Oct. 11-14.  A core of dedicated local volunteers made the conference possible, and the WV Small Farm Center and WV Department of Agriculture did West Virginia proud by teaming up to source local food for the event, drawing rave reviews from Master Gardeners who had traveled from around the world to attend.Read the Charleston Gazette's articles here and here.

  

 

National Food News  

  

Farm Bill could be written more quickly than expected

A number of food and agriculture organizations are alerting readers that the Senate Agriculture Committee leaders have proposed to finish writing the 2012 Farm Bill this week -- a fast-track process of just two weeks for what traditionally takes over a year.  You can read AgWeek's report here, the National Coalition for Sustainable Agriculture's update here (with opportunities to take action), and Grist takes on the issue here.  Oxfam America also writes about the politics of the Farm Bill here.

 

Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act introduced 

The Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act, introduced Nov. 1 for inclusion in the 2012 bill, aims to help farmers and ranchers reach local markets.  The bill addresses production, aggregation, processing, marketing, and distribution needs.  It also seeks to improve consumers' access to healthy food. Read more here from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) and here from Agriculture.com.  NSAC also offers opportunities to voice your opinion on the bill from their website. 

 

Senate saves the potato on school lunch menus

While the Obama administration had proposed a limit for potatoes and starchy vegetables served in school meals, the Senate just moved to block that proposal.  With an amendment to the 2012 agricultural spending bill, the Agriculture Department can no longer limit the quantity of any vegetables in school meal programs. The New York Times reports here.

 

Upcoming Events
in and near West Virginia

Saving Energy: Extreme Season Extension with Greenhouses and High Tunnels Workshop

Sat., Nov. 5

   

First session: 10 a.m., Ryan's Glade Farm and Garden  

2207 King Wildesen Road

Oakland, Maryland 21550 (1 hour, 8 minutes from Morgantown)  

 

Second session: 1 p.m., FiveAcres Breeding, LLC

4965 Gorman Road

Oakland, MD 21550

 

Learn how two innovative farmers are using "extreme season extension" to raise fruits and vegetables with little to no fossil fuel inputs.  Techniques include wind power, solar power, circulating water, high tunnels, and vertical growing.  The event is free, but includes lunch, so registration is necessary. Learn more and register by contacting the Garrett County Office of the University of Maryland Extension at (301) 334-6960.    

West Virginia State University Extension Hydroponics Workshop

Tues., Nov., 8, 6-8 pm and Sat., Nov. 12, 10 am-noon  

 Ripley High School Ag Building and Greenhouse

 

The free, hands-on workshops will cover hydroponic gardening and growing techniques -- raising plants in nutrient-enriched water, without soil.  For more information and to register, contact WVSU Extension at (304) 204-4305 or extension@wvstate.edu.

 

Webinar: The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act -- What You Need to Know

Thurs., Nov. 10, 1-2:30 pm ET  

 

Last year Congress passed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act to address child nutrition.  Learn how to work with state and local partners to take advantage of the act. Find more information and register here.  

Free Grassroots Advocacy Training Workshops from the WV Environmental Council  

  

Morgantown Advocacy Training

Thurs., Nov.10, 6-8pm

Monongalia County Courthouse

243 High St., Morgantown

 

Charleston Advocacy Training

Wed., Nov.16, 6-8 pm

Universalist Unitarian Congregation  

520 Kanawha Blvd. West, Charleston 

 

These sessions include training on how a bill becomes a law, influencing legislation, effectively interacting with policy makers, an overview of key upcoming legislative issues, and more.  Trainers welcome anyone interested in local food advocacy. Free food included. To RSVP to reserve your spot or for more information, contact Rachel@wvfree.org or (304) 342-9188.   

Webinar: Two Revolutionary Tools for Beginning Farmers

Thurs., Nov. 17, 3:30 - 4:45 pm ET   

 

The webinar will present tools to address common hurdles for beginning farmers: designing a business model that creditors will fund, and creating a comprehensive food safety plan.  Webinar hosted by the National Good Food Network. Learn more and register here.   

Virginia Food Security Summit: Connecting our Farms, Food, Health, and Environment

Dec. 5-6  

Charlottesville, VA 

 

Virginia's farm, food, health and environment advocates will gather to plan for the future of food security in Virginia.  West Virginia attendees could also new ideas and insights for projects in West Virginia! Scholarships are available. Learn more and register here.      

Regional Food Policy Council Symposium

Thurs., Dec. 8, 10 am-4 pm  

Lecture Hall of the PIttsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, Pittsburgh, PA 

 

Join members of existing food policy councils to share experiences and goals in a day of learning through peer education. Find the answers to questions about forming, defining, and addressing local food system concerns.  Download a conference brochure  and registration form here or register by calling Tawnesha Anderson at (412) 473-2540.  The symposium costs $35 per person (lunch included), but a limited number of scholarships are available.   

 

For more information on the symposium in general, contact HeatherMikulas at hem12@psu.edu or Ann DeSanctis at aid5222@ag.psu.edu.  

 

Note: WVFFC is offering cost assistance and carpooling options for groups that would like to attend the event.  Contact Savanna Lyons for details: (304) 673-0053 or s.lyons@wvhub.org.

Opportunities
(grants, awards, partnership ideas)

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

Appalachian Community Fund Grant

Deadline: Nov. 8, 5 p.m.    

 

The Applachian Community Fund provides resources and support to grassroots organizations working to overcome the underlying causes of poverty and injustice in Central Appalachia (East Tennessee, Eastern Kentucky, Southwest Virginia and West Virginia). Click here to see if you qualify to apply for funding and here to download an application.

FOCUS WV Brownfields Redevelopment Program

Deadline: Nov. 14    

 

The Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center (NBAC) at WVU invites communities to apply for up to $5,00 in brownfield redevelopment assistance from the Foundations for Overcoming Challenges and Utilizing Strengths West Virginia (FOCUS WV) Program. The FOCUS WV Brownfields program helps communities create a redevelopment vision for brownfield properties of strategic community interest. 

 

Community garden projects are eligible -- successful applications would focus on the garden's economic and community benefits.  Learn more the program and how to start the application process here.  Learn more from the EPA about using brownfield sites for agriculture here    

Chefs Move to Schools Grant

Deadline: Dec. 30  

 

The Chefs Move to Schools Grant provides funds for culinary professionals to teach students about food, nutrition and cooking. Funds can be used from garden to table: culinary professionals may pursue any program that promotes health and wellness in schools. Culinary professionals seeking to implement projects in a public schools may seek funding from The Culinary Trust. Learn more here.  

Rural Microentrepreneurs Assistance Program

Deadline: Rolling     

  

The program provides loans and technical assistance grants to support the development and ongoing success of rural microentrepreneurs and microenterprises  businesses generally with 10 employees or fewer and in need of financing in the amount of $50,000 or less). Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, with funding awarded once each Federal fiscal quarter.  Find the Request for Applications here. 

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

UNITE HERE Launches Real Food, Real Jobs Campaign


UNITE HERE, the largest worker organization in the US representing food service workers, is launching a new initiative and website to bring food workers perspectives to the discussion on food quality and safety, access to healthy food, and diet-related diseases.   Learn more about Real Food Real Jobs here.
 

$3 Million Federal Grant Targets Food Deserts  

 

The ASI Federal Credit Union will soon start making loans to launch grocery stores and other healthful food businesses in low-income communities, after winning a $3 million federal grant for a revolving loan fund. ASI is one of a dozen community development financial institutions nationwide to win federal money in the initial round of $25 million in grants awarded through the Healthy Food Financing Initiative, a new U.S. Department of Treasury program.  The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports here.

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