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In This Issue
Small Fruit Production Workshops through April
Appalachian Food and Agriculture Summit March 23-25
School Garden Workshop March 24 & June 18
Whole Measures Community Food Security Intensive Training April 23-25
Article Headline
Specialty Crop Block Grant Deadline March 16
KCS Food Services Director Needed Deadline March 9
Article Headline
Oxford Study on Greener 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.   



West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition News 


Action Plan from "Road Map for the Food Economy" released and presented at Small Farm Conference 

On March 3, WVFFC Program Manager Savanna Lyons delivered an update on the West Virginia Food Charter at the  WV Small Farm Conference.  Conference attendees had a chance to respond to the draft action plan created at the recent  Road Map for the Food Economy event.  Read more here.


WVFFC also partnered again this year with the West Virginia Farmers Market Association to deliver a track for farmers markets at the Small Farm Conference.  Read more and download the presentations here


New Policy Tracker

WVFFC has begun sending regular updates on state policy developments related to food and agriculture. If you did not get our first State Food Policy Update last week, but would like to, sign in here to change your subscription preferences, and check the box for "Food Policy." Or, just contact us.


West Virginia Food News


Student Ham and Bacon Programs on the Rise

High school meat processing programs are growing in popularity in West Virginia, providing workforce-ready graduates with the training to help meet demand for locally-grown products. Read more here.


Students Promote Local Food Hub

Three Marshall students are working together to create a local food hub while trying to figure out what barriers exist to getting locally grown organic produce. This project also received a WVFFC Rapid Response Mini Grant to bring in speaker Anthony Flaccovento, a recognized expert on direct marketing and food hubs. The Herald-Dispatch reports here.


Ronald McDonald House Getting Food Donation  

The Huntington Ronald McDonald House will be receiving a donation of food from the West Virginia Farm Bureau as part of Food Check-Out Day. The annual Food Check-Out Week observance recognizes that America's farmers and ranchers are committed to producing safe, abundant and healthy food. The Herald-Dispatch reports here.  


National Food News  


Expanded Loan Eligibility for Beginning and Minority Farmers

The USDA FSA announced a new rule that expands loan opportunities for beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, while also establishing a new Land Contract Guarantee Program.

Ohio's Country Journal reports here and Western Farm Press reports here. Online Portal Introduced
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and American Farm Bureau Federation have introduced, a new online portal that provides assistance to beginning farmers and ranchers. The portal includes links to training, financing, technical assistance, and other support services, as well as case studies.


USDA Secretary Promotes Local Food Movement
West Virginia has seen growth in agri-business and aggressively promotes West Virginia grown food products. The USDA is also actively promoting the local food movement with a program called "Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food." WV Public Broadcasting reports here.
Upcoming Events
in and near West Virginia

Small Fruit Production Workshops 

 Pumpkin Park, Milton, WV 


WVU Extension Service is launching a workshop series about small fruit production targeting home gardeners and small farm owners:

March 27- Grapes

April 3- Fruit Trees

All workshops are free, scheduled from 10 a.m. until noon, and made possible by a Specialty Crop Block Grant from the WV Dept. of Agriculture.  Registration is required by calling Jeanie Sutphin at 304-204-4305   

or emailing


Appalachian Food & Agriculture Summit 

March 23-25, Blacksburg, VA    


The 2012 Appalachian Food and Agriculture Summit aims to provide opportunities for interested students and Appalachian community members to engage in workshops, discussions, and hands on experiences focused around regionalized food systems. Organized by Virginia Tech's Sustainable Food Corps and students, the summit is about learning, connecting, and collaborating around Appalachia's food and agriculture.  

Learn more here.  


School Garden Workshop   

Sat. March 24 & Mon. June 18  

Lexington, KY  


This workshop, designed with K-12 teachers in mind, will highlight the unique contributions of a variety of school garden programs to provide a landscape of ideas you can adapt to your school setting. Each school garden story will provide a glimpse into the ways garden programs can be structured and the myriad rich opportunities they offer. Organized by the Sustainable Communities Network, the class is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and costs $45. Learn more here.


Whole Measures Community Food Security Intensive Training 

April 23-25  Lexington, KY  


You are invited to come explore value-based planning and evaluation and learn about a new tool based on six core practices of whole communities: Justice & Fairness, Strong Communities, Healthy People, Vibrant Farms & Gardens, Sustainable Ecosystems, and Thriving Local Communities. Learn more about this intensive multi-day course here.


(grants, awards, partnership ideas)

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

2012 Specialty Crop Block Grant      

Deadline: March 16, 2012           


The 2012 Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBGP) application materials have been posted.  The grant program encourages cooperative efforts to integrate technology at the farm level, improve marketing and promotion of locally-grown specialty crops, and increase production efficiency through research projects. Specialty crops include fruits, vegetables, herbs, horticulture goods, nursery stock and value-added products. Projects that encourage youth agriculture entrepreneurship, beginning/young farmer initiatives and farm to school concepts are also encouraged. The WV Department of Agriculture has created a SCBGP toolbox, accessible here Find grant materials here.   


In addition, WVDA staff will be available to discuss specific projects and answer questions about the program during the 2012 Agritourism Workshop (February 29) and the 2012 Small Farm Conference (March 1-3), in Morgantown.   

Employment Opportunities

Executive Director Food and Nutrition Services for Kanawha County Schools Needed  

Deadline: March 9

 KCS seeks a dynamic professional who has a proven work record with an in depth understanding of the changing tide with respect to Child Nutrition Programs to lead the Kanawha County Schools Food Service Department. The ideal candidate will be committed to change and have proven progressive experience in managing a large-scale, food service operation. Learn more here.  

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

Farmland Values Project 


Explore ideas of farmland preservation with this interactive website, resulting from a study by faculty of UNC Asheville, Appalachian State, and Old Dominion. Listen to farmers share their stories and see photos. This tool helps communities recognize the spatial interplay among the economic, social, and environmental factors in their region and thus assist them and policy makers in directing farmland preservation and rural development efforts in a manner that is both socially desirable and economically efficient. Experience it here.


Integrated Farms Can Be Greener Than Organic, Says Oxford Study


A study led by Oxford University scientists and published in the journal Agricultural Systems compared the environmental impact of different farming systems. The researchers found that "integrated" farms that maximized crop yields while using environmentally friendly techniques-such as crop rotation, organic fertilizers, over-winter cover crops, and minimal use of pesticides-would use less energy and generate lower greenhouse-gas emissions per unit of production than either organic or conventional farms. Learn more here.  

Veterans Sustainability Agriculture Training Program Video     


Colin and Karen Archipley, of Archi's Acres Small Scale Organic Farming, created the Veterans Sustainability Agriculture Training program to offer newly returned veterans an intensive 6-week course in farming skills. This 25 minute TV show tells their story.

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