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In This Issue
Food Marketing 101 Webinar June 19
Grass-Based Beef Webinar June 21
USDA Rural Development: An Online Conversation June 22
Procurement and Preperation: Field to Plate at The Stop's Drop-In Meals Webinar June 27
SBIR Phase I CAP Deadline June 22
Teaching the Food System Grants for Educators Program Deadline June 30
Sodexo Foundation Lead Organizer Program Deadline July 15
Rural Business Opportunity Grant Deadline August 6
WVHUB seeks Operations Coordinator
Study on Fresh Food: Access and Equity
Extension Matters
Small Scale Slaughterhouses
 

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

WV Agri-Prenuers Video: Making the Case for Local Food
WVFFC recently produced a short video, sponsored by the Collaborative for the 21st Century Appalachia, introducing the economic potential of WV agriculture.  The video was shown as part of a presentation on the importance and innovativeness of today's high school Agriculture Education programs in West Virginia.  We have made the video public so that other groups can use it to help "make the case" for the potential of local food.   Watch the video here.

 

Regional Gathering on School Gardens Report 

WVU Extension Service and WV Food & Farm Coalition teamed up to organize a regional gathering 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-nine individuals participated, including representatives from school gardens in seven counties, key WV agencies, and staffers of the WV Senate Education Committee. Read our report here.

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West Virginia Food News

Local food market to open in Huntington
A new, year-round local food market will open in Huntington early this summer, with all products coming from local WV, OH, and KY sources. More than 30 farmers have committed to supplying products, which include fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, and eggs. The market will also sell locally crafted wool, candles, soaps and other items. The Herald-Dispatch reports here.  

Five Farm Service Agency offices to close in West Virginia
To deal with federal cuts, the USDA Farm Service Agency will be closing 125 of it's 2,100 national offices, including 5 offices in West Virginia. The FSA offices in Huntington and Summersville will close by mid-July and the Glenville, Morgantown, and Keyser offices will close by the first of October. The Charleston Gazette reports here.


Davis & Elkins receives grant to build greenhouse

A Lowe's Community Project Partnership was given to the Davis & Elkins College Students in Free Enterprise team to build a greenhouse that will serve as a teaching classroom for both North Elementary School and Davis & Elkins. YouthBuild, a project partner, will work on construction of the greenhouse. The purpose of the grant is to promote community involvement through partnerships for greenhouses and gardens. The Intermountain reports here

 

National Food News  

Farm Bill updates

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) says that there is a chance that the Senate may reach a deal for debating and voting on the farm bill early this week. Almost 300 amendments have been written for the Senate's version of the farm bill and the way the Senate deals with looking at these amendments will be crucial. NSAC writes about possibilities here. The Farm Bill Primer writes about some of these amendments here. A House draft farm bill is currently being evaluated by the Congressional Budget Office, and may be finalized by the end of the week, with Committee debate and voting on amendments next week. The Community Food Security Coalition gives frequent farm bill updates here.

  

New proposed USDA microloan program 

The Farm Service Agency has proposed a rule for a new microloan program which helps farmers avoid high interest credit card and personal loans. The USDA reports here and the NSAC reports here. The comment period for this proposed rule ends on July 24. Make a comment here.

Upcoming Events
in and near West Virginia

Food Marketing 101 Webinar 

Tuesday, June 19 3:30-4pm   

 

This webinar will tell you what you need to know to promote local food in your state. The presenters will explain the amount and types of food marketing to children, policy options for dealing with marketing, evidence linking food marketing with children's poor diets and health, and the effectiveness of industry self-regulation. Hosted by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, the Food Marketing Workgroup, and the National Policy and Legal Analysis Network to Prevent Childhood Obesity. Register and learn more here.  

Webninar: Grass-Based Beef: The Business Case

Thursday, June 21 3:30-4:45pm  

 

This webinar will make the business case for grass based beef production, including grass fed and finished beef. It will focus on the techniques that have the potential for enhanced profitability, such as the importance of pasture management, animal genetics, aggregation, use of existing infrastructure and brand development in establishing a sustainable grass-fed business. Hosted by the National Good Food Network. Register and learn more here. 

USDA Rural Development: An Online Conversation with the Central Appalachian Network

Friday, June 22 12-1pm  

   

USDA Rural Development is committed to helping improve the economy and quality of life in rural America. USDA Rural Development program supports a wide range of services, from rural health clinics to small farmers and value-added food producers.  Lisa Sharp, Rural Development Coordinator in the West Virginia State Office, will help us navigate this complex system and answer all of your questions about USDA Rural Development programs. Hosted by the Central Appalachian Network. Register here soon, space is limited.

Procurement and Preparation: field to plate at The Stop's drop-in meals  

Wednesday, June 27 12pm   

 

This webinar will focus on the food served at The Stop's Drop-in meal program. This webinar will cover procurement, our commitment to supporting local-sustainable food, resources and infrastructure for a high-volume kitchen, funding, perspectives on healthy food, how it all fits together with the 'anatomy of a meal' and more. Learn more and register here

 Real Food - Real Local - Real Good Institute  

Tuesday, July 10 - Thursday, July 12

Athens, OH 

  

The Institute provides an opportunity for farmers, local foods producers, processors, and distributors, community and not for profit leaders, and economic development officials to share ideas and glean tools and inspiration for building and strengthening regional food systems. This multi-day event will immerse you in all aspects of building and growing a resilient local foods system from farm to fork. Hosted by the Athens County, OH Convention and Visitors Bureau. Learn more here.

Opportunities
(grants, awards, partnership ideas)

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

SBIR Phase I Commercialization Assistance Program    

Deadline: June 22, 2012

The USDA Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) Commercialization Assistance Program (CAP) program will provide support to successful applicants to provide commercialization assistance to SBIR Phase I winners from FYs 2012, 2013 and 2014. The goals of the commercialization training program are: 1) Enhance the commercialization skills of SBIR Phase I grant recipients through introductory commercialization training that can be obtained by the grant recipients at a time and place that is convenient to them; 2) Help enhance the ability of SBIR Phase I grant recipients to write competitive commercialization plans; and 3) Monitor the impacts of commercialization training on Phase I grant recipients. Learn more here.

Teaching the Food System Grants for Educators Program 

Deadline: June 30, 2012

The TFS Grants for Educators Program, of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, is designed to (1) encourage high school teachers to become early adopters of the TFS curriculum by introducing and evaluating three or more TFS modules in their classrooms; and (2) provide funding support that enables teachers to implement innovative activities that can enhance and/or build upon the TFS curriculum and provide students greater opportunity to apply what they learn. Learn more here. And find the Teaching the Food System curricula here, free and classroom ready,  spanning topics from food to plate, emphasizing the relationships between food, public health, and the environment.  

2012 Census of Agriculture 

Deadline: July 1, 2012

 

National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS) conducts a census of all agricultural operations every five years. In order to be included in future surveys and censuses, add your farm to the list by July 1. We strongly encourage young and new farmers to register! To sign up, go here and click the "Make your voice heard - Sign up" green box.  

Sodexo Foundation Lead Organizer Program   

Deadline: July 15, 2012

   

The Sodexo Foundation Lead Organizer program is for organizations interested in addressing the issue of childhood hunger through youth engagement. The goal of this program is for participants to engage youth, ages 5-25, in solving an issue that affects many of their peers. Sodexo Foundation Lead Organizers will engage at least 600 youth volunteers in learning about and addressing the issue of childhood hunger in their communities. 12 organizations will receive $2,000 in financial assistance as well as travel and lodging expenses for the Youth Service Institute provided by the Sodexo Foundation. Learn more here

USDA Rural Business Opportunity Grant  

Deadline: August 6, 2012

 

The primary objective of the RBOG program is to promote sustainable economic development in rural communities with exceptional needs. Grants are awarded on a competitive basis  to public bodies, nonprofit corporations, institutions of higher education, Indian tribes on Federal or State reservations and other Federally recognized tribal groups, and cooperatives with members that are primarily rural residents. Learn more here

Employment Opportunities 

WV Department of Education Office of Child Nutrition Seeks Coordinator  

Deadline: June 28, 2012

   

Office of Child Nutrition seeks a Coordinator whose responsibilities will include expanding the Farm to School program statewide. The Coordinator's activities will include developing resources to help county school systems buy local products, increasing awareness of Farm to School initiatives statewide, working with partners to develop agricultural entrepreneurship programs surrounding Farm to School, and more.  See the WV Department of Education position posting here.

Doddridge County WVU Extension Service seeks VISTA for agriculture co-op work 

   

Doddridge County WVU Extension Service is seeking a qualified candidate to fill an AmeriCorps*VISTA position.  The VISTA will be engaged in structuringan agricultural co-op that supports the development of local food.  The work will build off existing efforts to market natural beef from multiple farmers under the Mountain State Natural Brand.  Activities will include:

  • Securing commitment for participation from potential co-op members
  • Developing sustainable co-op leadership from members
  • Securing commitment from other key stakeholders
  • Researching existing models and present findings to co-op members
  • Helping the co-op form long and short term goals
  • Recruiting and coordinating volunteers in local food development
  • Communicating with statewide local food movement partners and publishing successes

The commitment is for one or two years.  For more information contact Zona Hutson, Doddridge County Extension, at  zona.hutson@mail.wvu.edu or 304-873-1801.

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.  

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

W.K. Kellogg Foundation Study on Fresh Food: Access and Equity 

 

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation found that three-quarters of Americans say they support a national program that would double Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly "food stamps") benefits at farmers markets. For other interesting statistics, view the infographic here and find the full results here. The Washington Post reports here

Extension Matters 

 

WVSU's "Extension Matters" Magazine and TV Show both cover a variety of topics, keeping the community up to date about programs offered by WVSU Extension and offering helpful advice on topics like planting kid-friendly gardens. Explore it here

Small-Scale Slaughterhouses 


With slaughterhouse consolidation, much of our "local meat" travels hundreds of miles to be processed.
In fact, four corporations slaughter 80% of the cattle in the U.S. But there's a growing movement for more local processing options, from regional to "nano-scale" processing options. NPR reports here.
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