Newsletter header
In This Issue
Social Media Strategies Webinar May 2
Green Wheeling Initiative Workshops
WV Non-Profit Association Town Hall Talks Across WV in May
School Grants for Healthy Kids Deadline May 5
Training Program for Farmers Markets Deadline May 10
Farmers Market Promotion Grant Deadline May 21
Community Economic Development Grants Deadline June 5
WV Farmers Market Association Seeks Project Coordinator
WVHUB seeks Operations Coordinator
USDA Regional Food Hub Resource Guide
The Boston Tree Party
Local Food for Local Government

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.
Join WVFFC's Mailing List!
Sign up for this newsletter or change your subscription

Like us on Facebook


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  

WVFFC partners with WV Farmers Market Association

We have partnered with the WV Farmers Market Association to launch a new Farmers Market Pilot Program. Farmers markets that want to participate should apply by May 10 - learn more here. The WV Farmers Market Association also seeks a contracted program coordinator - learn more here. 


New WVFFC Facebook page

We are happy to announce our new Facebook page! Like us on Facebook to keep up with new and interesting things happening with local food in the state of West Virginia. 


Like us on Facebook 


West Virginia Food News

West Virginia beekeeping at a low
West Virginia had less honey-producing bee colonies last year than any year since at least 1994. Honey production decreases with too much rain, late freezes, and droughts, but beekeepers are hopeful this year. The Charleston Gazette reports here.

Community gardens thrive in Huntington
Huntington Community Gardens was started in 2009 and is now in charge of five gardens, including a peace garden. This year the group received a federal grant for $660,000 that will allow them to create a  program called SCRATCH: Sustainable Community Revitalization in Appalachia Through Children's Hands. West Virginia Public Broadcasting reports here.

Kanawha County debates fresh food in schools
Cabell County schools cook from scratch every school day, with mostly fresh ingredients. Some from Kanawha County would like to do the same, but have run into opposition. Last summer, seven other counties volunteered for the state's school nutrition pilot project without protest. Kanawha County Schools is looking for a Child Nutrition Director that will lead the way to slowly creating fresher school meals. The Charleston Gazette reports here.


National Food News  

Senate releases Farm Bill draft
The Senate Agriculture Committee released its draft of the 2012 Farm Bill on Friday afternoon, April 20. Chairwoman Stabenow says the bill saves $23 billion, reforms farm policy, consolidates and streamlines programs. The Committee is scheduled to mark-up the draft bill on Wednesday, April 25. Policy analysts are still working reviewing it. Read Stabenow's summary here. Read the draft here.

New FRAC analysis finds rural food hardship
Food Research Action Center finds the proportion of rural households reliant on SNAP (formerly called food stamps) is comparable to central city households. SNAP is even more effective in reducing the depth and severity of poverty in nonmetropolitan areas than in metro areas. FRAC announces this as the House Agricultural Committee considers making cuts in the SNAP program. Food Research and Action Center reports here.
Upcoming Events
in and near West Virginia

Webinar: Social Media Strategies for Farms to Generate Education, Awareness, and Action    

Wednesday, May 2 1-2pm  


How can you use social media to build a supportive community online and in-person? Whether you are a farmer, a farm-based educator, or an Extension educator, this webinar will provide guidance for creating a strategy to use social media effectively and manage related risks. Sponsored by University of Vermont Extension, UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Plymouth State University Center for Rural Partnerships, and the Farm-Based Education Association. To attend webinar, log in here five minutes before the webinar begins. Contact for more information. 

Green Wheeling Initiative Workshops  

Wheeling, WV 


May 6 - The Basics of Square Foot Gardening, Raised Beds and Cold Frames....A Simple Set-up

May 13 - The Early Early, Really Early Garden

May 19 - No Dig Organic Gardening

May 27 - Herbs for Health and Healing in Your Backyard

June 3 - Cows are Cool

June 10 - Getting Kids Excited about Where Their Food Comes From

June 16 - Integrating Nature & Sustainability into Family Life

June 24 - The Wild Medicinal Herb Expedition


See a list with locations, times, and descriptions here.

WV Non-Profit Association Town Hall Talks

Join representatives from the newly formed WV Non-Profit Association (WVNPA) Advisory Board, the WV Grantmakers, and the WV Community Development Hub for an interactive discussion around the creation and future work of the WVNPA. RSVP: or 304-517-1450. Learn more here.  


May 2nd -- Huntington -- United Way of the River Cities -- 3pm

May 3rd -- Charleston -- Goodwill Industries -- 10am

May 3rd -- Clarksburg -- ARC of Harrison County -- 3pm

May 10th -- Beckley -- Erma Byrd Center -- 2:45pm

May 11th -- Lewisburg -- Carnegie Hall -- 10am

May 21st -- Wheeling -- WV Northern Community College -- 3pm

May 29th -- Parkersburg -- Fort Boreman Room (Judge Black Annex) -- 9:30am

(grants, awards, partnership ideas)

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

School Grants for Healthy Kids

Deadline: May 5, 2012


Action for Healthy Kids will award over 500 schools grants that will range from $1,000 to $5,000 with significant in-kind contributions in the form of people, programs, and school nutrition expertise. West Virginia schools are eligible for grants for school breakfast program creation and/or expansion - to include alternative breakfast programs (i.e., breakfast in the classroom, grab and go breakfast, breakfast after 1st period, breakfast on the school bus) and universal breakfast programs. Learn more here.  

Farmers Market Network Pilot Program 

Deadline: May 10, 2012


WVFFC has partnered with the WV Farmers Market Association to launch a new Farmers Market Pilot Program to provide training, networking opportunities and technical assistance to farmers markets. In a state where the number of farmers markets has tripled over the last ten years, this program is designed to improve the long-term viability of markets and the income-earning capacity of their vendors. The program is designed to address four areas of need: risk management, business planning, producer development, and structure and unity. Learn more here.

Farmers Market Promotion Program Grants

Deadline: May 21, 2012


The Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) offers grants to help improve and expand domestic farmers' markets, roadside stands, community-supported agriculture programs, agri-tourism activities, and other direct producer-to-consumer market opportunities. Priority is given to projects that expand access to healthy foods in food deserts and low-income communities. Learn more here. For grant questions, call the USDA office at 202-720-8317 or email

Community Economic Development (CED) Project Grants 

Deadline: June 5, 2012   


This year, in coordination with the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI), the CED program will provide up to $10 million to nonprofits for community economic development projects located in food deserts and designed to improve access to healthy, affordable foods. Learn more here.  



Do you have a local food project that needs funding? Consider Kickstarter, a crowd-source project funding website. Kickstarter allows you to post a project online with a description and short video. People from all over can donate money in exchange for small rewards. Each project sets a fundraising goal and the project is not funded unless the goal is reached. Example projects include creating a winter farmers market, constructing a greenhouse for a farm, building a teaching kitchen for a nutrition education program, creating a volunteer-run urban farm, and kickstarting local food restaurants. See West Virginia projects here, food projects here, and project guidelines here

Employment Opportunities

  WV Farmers Market Association seeks Project Coordinator  


The West Virginia Farmers Market Association (WVFMA), in conjunction with the WV Community Development Hub and the West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition is seeking applicants for the contracted position of Project Coordinator. The Project Coordinator will support the West Virginia Farmers Market Association in its work to assist and promote successful development of farmers markets across West Virginia. The successful candidate must demonstrate knowledge of farmers markets and experience working with farmers markets or as a vendor at farmers markets. Position open until filled. Learn more here

WVHUB seeks Operations Coordinator 


The WV Community Development Hub is seeking a resourceful, performance-focused individual to serve as Operations Coordinator for the organization. The Hub seeks energetic candidates with problem solving skills who cares about improving West Virginia's communities, and can assist Hub staff in working with organizations, agencies, and individuals across the state in support of their community development efforts. This individual in this position will have the potential to move into some program management and to advance in the organization. This position is expected to provide a starting salary in the range of $25,000 to $28,000 annually, with a $4,800 per year benefits package. You can find a full job description here, including information about applying for this position.     


Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act


Earlier this month, President Obama signed the JOBS Act into law, which aims to make it easier for startups to grow, hire new workers, and to contribute to the economy. Small businesses now have a broader pool of potential investors (instead of only Securities Exchange Commission accredited investors) and can more easily connect with investors with common interests. The Huffington Post reports here. Read about the JOBS Act here.  

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

USDA Regional Food Hub Resource Guide    

On Friday, April 20th, the USDA introduced the first Regional Food Hub Resource Guide. This guide will help promote local and regional efforts to support small and medium sized producers. The USDA says that anyone interested in starting a food hub will find everything they need in this one guide, which outlines funding opportunities, support resources, best practices, strategies to address challenges and more. In 2011, USDA identified more than 170 food hubs operating around the country. Read more here. Find the guide here.  

The Boston Tree Party:  

Community Apple Tree Plantings 

This 20 minute documentary explains the origins and efforts of the Boston Tree Party, a collaborative campaign to plant pairs of heirloom apple trees in publicly used spaces across Greater Boston. Together, these trees form a decentralized public urban orchard that symbolizes a commitment to the environmental health of the city and the vitality and interconnectedness of  communities. Watch it here.  

Local Food for Local Government:

Considerations for Giving Preference to Locally Grown Food

This guide, by Public Health Law & Policy, provides an overview of the factors affecting whether a state or local agency may procure locally produced food and agricultural products. An accompanying chart highlights state laws that promote the use of locally grown food and agricultural products in public contracts, to help show when a government agency can give a purchasing preference to locally grown or produced food. Read more 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.
If you received this email from someone else, and would like to subscribe to the West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition Newsletter, please visit this link to sign up.