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In This Issue
Woodlands Homesteading Festival June 2-3
Food Business Workshop June 4
Teen Entrepreneur Summit June 10-16
Roadmaps to Health Prize Deadline May 31
USDA Farmers Market Directory Deadline June 5
Walmart State Giving Program Deadline August 10
Plant the Plate Infographic
Farm to Conference
USDA Report: Are Healthy Foods Really More Expensive?
 

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 newsletter provides a biweekly selection of news, events, resources, and ideas that are helpful to farms and food access projects 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 initiative of the West Virginia Community Development HubIn addition to this newsletter, we also offer updates on specific food and farm topics.  To subscribe to special updates, go here and enter your email address.

 

West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition News

Dieticians Support West Virginia Agriculture 

The WV Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the WV Dietetics Association) partnered with the West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition this year to plan a service project supporting WV agriculture and healthy communities. At WVAND's annual meeting in Morgantown last week, dieticians from around the state pledged to conduct volunteer nutrition-related educational activities in partnership with local farmers markets, community or school gardens, and local farms. WBOY News reports here.

 

Regional Gathering on School Gardens 

WVU Extension Service and WV Food & Farm Coalition teamed up to organize a regional event on school gardens on May 21 at the Kanawha County Extension Office. The event helped to network the school garden projects in southern WV, identify resources for those projects, and identify possible activities for a Youth Agriculture Education Working Group.  Twenty-eight individuals participated, including representatives from school gardens in seven counties, key WV agencies, and staffers of the WV Senate Education Committee. Look for a report of key findings on WVFFC's web site soon.

West Virginia Food News

Local food for Fayette County Schools
Fayette County Schools, currently sourcing from three local farmers, wants to bring more local fruits and vegetables into school cafeterias. Finding enough producers is the key challenge.  Fayette County Farmers Market hopes to create a system for farm to school, putting farmers in direct contact with partnering schools. The Beckley Register Herald reports here.

Tucker County Ag Ed students learn with new greenhouse

When Tucker County High School received grants from the US Forest Service and the WV Department of Education to build a new greenhouse, agriculture education students got right to work, helping with construction and taking care of the plants. With a spirit of entrepreneurship, students will be selling produce on-site and at local farmers markets, as well as providing fresh food for their own school meals. The InterMountain reports here.

West Virginia schools selected to receive more free meals

West Virginia was one of four states chosen to participate in the Community Eligibility Options for the coming school year. Under this program, if at least 40 percent of a school's students qualify for free meals, the entire school can participate. At least 293 schools in West Virginia already qualify, which means thousands more children will get free meals every day. The Republic reports here.


West Virginia ranked number 11 in Locavore Index 

The Locavore Index, created by the Vermont-based group "Strolling of the Heifers," is an indicator of how states compare in their commitment to raising and eating locally grown food. Using 2010 and 2011 data from government sources, the index measures the commitment of states to locally-sourced foods by measuring the per-capita presence of Community-Supported Agricultural enterprises and Farmers Markets. Strolling of the Heifers reports here

  

National Food News  

Farm Bill updates

Now that the Senate Agriculture Committee's version of the farm bill has passed out of the committee, it needs to be considered by the full Senate, which the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) estimates might happen mid-June. The House Agriculture Committee is working on its own version of the Farm Bill, which is not based on the Senate committee-passed bill. Main differences have to do with commodity and crop insurance titles and the size of the cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps). NSAC reports here. Also see the New York Times Farm Bill section here.

Upcoming Events
in and near West Virginia

Woodlands Homesteading Festival 

June 2-3 

The Mountain Institute's Spruce Knob Mountain Center  

 

From skills workshops to old time square dancing, local farm dinners to local craft vendors, the conference promises to be a rampant good time to inspire you this growing season. Workshop topics include edible landscaping, curing meat, keeping bees, felting wool, and stonemasonry. View the schedule here, and register here

Food Business Workshop

June 4, 7:45am-5:45pm 

Unlimited Future, Huntington

 

A workshop for those who want to start and/or successfully operate a food business in West Virginia. Intended for extension educators, business owners, farmers and producers, micro and home based businesses, food vendors, restaurant owners, and farmers market vendors. Sponsored by the WV Dept. of Agricutlure and WVU Extension. View the flyer here and the agenda here. 

Teen Entrepreneurship Summit 

June 10-16

YMCA Camp Horseshoe

  

The Teen Entrepreneurship Summit is a project focused on 

economic education, civic leadership, and service and is open to high school students who want to learn, participate and build their futures. Teens will learn skills of organization to get things done, communication, teamwork, how to help groups succeed through effective governance. Scholarships available. View the flyer here and the application here.
Opportunities
(grants, awards, partnership ideas)

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

Roadmaps to Health Prize   

Deadline: May 31, 2012

   

The Roadmaps to Health Prize recognizes and honors the
efforts and accomplishments of U.S. communities working
at the forefront of population health improvement. The Prize is rooted in the idea that every community is on a unique journey toward better health and that communities' stories of success are as diverse as their populations. Learn more here.

USDA Farmers Market Directory 

Deadline: June 5, 2012

 

Monday, June 5 is the deadline for submitting your farmers market's information to be included in the official 2012 farmers market count. Even if you listed your market in previous years, you'll want to resubmit your market listing to make sure your latest market information is listed. Add your information here.

Walmart State Giving Program  

Apply between June 11 and August 10

   

Walmart State Giving Program, with an interest in health and wellness, seeks to support projects that improve access to health care, reduce health care disparities and promote nutrition. Examples include cooking and meal planning classes for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) recipients, healthy snacks for kids in summer programs, and support for doctors planning community health programs for underserved children. Learn more here.

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

Plant the Plate Infographic     

 

The Union of Concerned Scientists created a visual display of the fruit and vegetable production in the U.S., highlighting that American farmers could grow the additional fruits and vegetables we need. Increasing fruit and vegetable production could bring 189,000 new jobs in local food systems and $9.5 billion increased sales in healthy food. See the infographic here.

Farm to Conference 

 

The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA) provided local, seasonal, and organic food to 1,200 attendees at its annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference in November. CFSA believes that sourcing from local farmers and local food artisans is the future and that any type or size of organization can incorporate local food into meetings and conventions. The Professional Convention Management Association's Convene reports here

USDA report: Are Healthy Foods Really More Expensive? 


The USDA Economic Research Service published this report which investigates the assumption that healthier foods are more expensive. The authors compare prices of healthy and less healthy foods using three different price metrics: the price of food energy ($/calorie), the price of edible weight ($/100 edible grams), and the price of an average portion ($/average portion). For all metrics except the price of food energy, the authors find that healthy foods cost less than less healthy foods. Read the summary and report here
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