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In This Issue
Future Harvest CASA Annual Conference Jan. 13-14
Save the Date! 2012 National Value-Added Agriculture Conference June 24-26
Still Time to Apply! WVFFC Rapid Response Mini-Grants
NRDC Growing Green Awards to Honor Contributions in Sustainable Food, Due Dec. 9
Webinar: Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Dec. 15
BJ's Wholesale Club Grants for Educational Support Due Jan. 7
Youth Service America Offers Sodexo Youth Grants for Community Hunger Projects, Due Jan. 17
AmeriCorps Formula Grants for Agencies to Host AmeriCorps Volunteers
Sustainable Food in Hospitals: A New Report
How is Local Food Marketed in the U.S.?

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  


Save the Date! "Road Map for the Food Economy"

In Spring 2011 many of you attended the Regional Roundtable Series on Food and Farms.  These events, hosted by a collaborative of partners, were a first step in developing the West Virginia Food Charter -- a roadmap for action towards a stronger local food system in West Virginia. Now it's time to move on to the next step: a statewide convening on January 23, from 10 am - 4:30 pm in Clarksburg, to develop a collaborative action plan.  Read a full announcement here on the WVFFC website.  Look for more details coming soon. If you have questions, contact Savanna Lyons at or (304) 673-0053.



West Virginia Food News


Greenbrier Valley's Small Farms Think Big

The Greenbrier Valley's efforts to increase local food production are gaining momentum. A new study by environmental consulting group Downstream Strategies outlines ways the region could develop its agricultural system even more.  The Charleston Gazette reports here on both the report and Greenbrier Valley's exciting progress in strengthening the food system.


Huntington Students Compete in Food and Fitness Revolution

It's been two years since British chef Jamie Oliver filmed portions of his reality television show at Huntington High School. It's also been 20 months since the high school started its own revolution apart from "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution." The Huntington Herald-Dispatch reports here on the school's Food and Fitness Revolution program, where teams of students compete in fitness and nutrition challenges.


The State's School Lunch Program

While West Virginia has been on the front lines of the national childhood obesity epidemic, the state has also become a leader in retooling school lunches to combat the problem. The Logan Banner reports here about the Lincoln County School District's recent national recognition for providing healthier lunches, as well as how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are now using West Virginia's policy on nutrition as a guide for other states.



National Food News  


Farm Bill "Super Committee" Misses Deadline; No Bill Yet

The National Farmers Union (NFU) reports here that the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (Select Committee) was unable to reach an agreement to reduce the national deficit by their Nov. 23 deadline. The failure to reach a deal will trigger automatic across-the-board cuts starting in Fiscal Year 2013. The funding for the next farm bill will likely be cut by $14-16 billion from current levels. Because the Select Committee was unable to reach agreement and this proposal was not enacted, the 2012 Farm Bill will likely be written under a more traditional timetable, meaning that it is unlikely that anything will be passed until late 2012 or early 2013.


Read the NFU's full report here (first article), as well as reports from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition here and the Congressional newspaper The Hill here.


Senate Bill Would Promote Loans to Local Food Entrepreneurs

A bill that would establish a revolving loan fund program that would support local farm businesses and market gardens was introduced in the Senate on Nov. 17.  The Growing Opportunities for Agriculture and Responding to Markets (GO FARM) Act of 2011 (S.1888) was introduced by Senators Robert Casey (D-PA) and Tom Harkin (D-IA).  Read more from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition here.


Congress Blocks New Rules on School Lunches

A slice of pizza still counts as a vegetable. Congress recently blocked rules proposed by the Agriculture Department that would have overhauled the nation's school lunch program. The proposed changes had intended to reduce childhood obesity by adding more fruits and green vegetables to lunch menus, and reducing the amount of potatoes served, according to Agriculture Department officials. The New York Times reports here.



Upcoming Events
in and near West Virginia

Future Harvest CASA Annual Conference 

January 13-14, 2012 

Landsdowne, VA  


The Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture (CASA)'s annual conference, "Farm to Institution: Making Local Food Economies a Reality," will feature pre-conference workshops, keynote speakers, a farmer panel, and several breakout session tracks.  Highlights include Anthony Flaccavento (founder of Appalachian Sustainable Design and consulting group SCALE, Inc.) and Mike Curtin of DC Central Kitchen. Find more information here , on CASA's website.

Save the Date! 2012 National Value-Added Agriculture Conference

June 24-26, 2012 

Traverse City, MI 


Conference participants will have the opportunity to interact with innovative business owners to discuss rural entrepreneurship, adding value to agricultural products, agritourism, and community development. The conference will include breakout sessions and tours. For more information, visit the conference announcement here or contact Sabrina Matteson at  

(grants, awards, partnership ideas)

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

Still Time to Apply! WVFFC Rapid Response Mini-Grants   


The grants will support capacity-building activities that help build the local food economy in West Virginia communities. The purpose of the WVFFC Rapid Response Mini Grant program is to provide a quick turnaround on small amounts of funding for time-sensitive opportunities that might be missed if a community had to wait for a larger grant to be approved.  The application process is simple; award decisions are made within three weeks.  Grants range $50-$2000.  Where possible, we also advise applicants on other sources of assistance for their projects.


Learn more here on our website. To apply, contact Savanna Lyons, Program Manager:  304.673.0053 /


NRDC Growing Green Awards to Honor Contributions in Sustainable Food  

Nomination Deadline: Dec. 9      


The Natural Resources Defense Council will award a Growing Green Award to an outstanding individual in each of four categories: Food Producer, Business Leader, Food Justice Leader, and Young Food Leader. Prizes of $10,000, $2,500 and $2,500 will be awarded in the Food Producer, Food Justice Leader and Young Food Leader categories, respectively. All winners will be widely celebrated through outreach to media and NRDC's networks. Learn more here

Webinar: Specialty Crop Block Grant Program  

Thursday, Dec. 15, 2-3 p.m. ET 

Webinar Registration Deadline: Dec. 9     


While West Virgina's Department Agriculture has not yet announced the 2012 deadline for the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, the USDA will offer this webinar to help interested applicants prepare for submitting a proposal. The grant program aims to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops, such as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops. Learn more and register for the webinar hereNote that this grant program is funded through USDA but administered at the state level.  In the spring, the WV Department of Agriculture will announce the details of how to apply West Virginia's SCBG program.

BJ's Wholesale Club Grants for Educational Support   

Deadline: Jan. 7, 2012       


Grants are available to nonprofit organizations that provide services in the areas of hunger prevention, self-sufficiency, health care and education.  Educational support will be given to nonprofits that provide academic and vocational opportunities for the disadvantaged and includes the purchase of supplies for literacy skills, mentoring, tutoring and career development.  Learn more here. 

Youth Service America Offers Sodexo Youth Grants for Community Hunger Projects   

Deadline: Jan. 17, 2012          

A hundred grants of $500 each are available for youth-led projects that address hunger on Global Youth Service Day (April 20-22, 2012).  Applicants must be between the ages of 5 and 25. Learn more here. 

AmeriCorps Formula Grants for Agencies to Host AmeriCorps Volunteers    

Application Deadline: March 1, 2012, 5 pm ET

New applicant Concept Paper Deadline: Jan. 20, 2012         


Volunteer West Virginia, the State's Commission for National and Community Service, is now accepting applications for 2012-2013 AmeriCorps Formula Grants for agencies interested in hosting AmeriCorps volunteers.   While applications are due March 1, all new applicants must first submit a Concept Paper, due January 20, 2012. 


Learn more about the application process and the schedule for technical assistance conference calls on the Volunteer WV website.  

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

Sustainable Food in Hospitals: A New Report 

The 2011 Menu of Change report, published by the Health Care Without Harm Healthy Food in Health Care program, found that many health care facilities are choosing to purchase and serve more locally sourced and sustainably produced food and beverages. In addition, 81.8 percent of survey respondents host a farmers market, farm stand, or community-supported agriculture on-site, and 60 percent purchased directly from a farm, ranch, or farm cooperative. 

How is Local Food Marketed in the U.S.? 

This USDA report, "Direct and Intermediated Marketing of Local Foods in the United States," analyzes which types of markets small farms dominate, and which types large farms dominate -- as well as how geography factors into marketing.
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