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In This Issue
Healthy Food, Healthy Economies Webinar July 31
Advocacy 101 for Co-ops Webinar July 31
Strengthening Local Food System Initiatives Webinar August 2
New Carrots on the Block Webinars
WVU Organic Farm Field Day August 9
Making the Heathly Choice the Easy Choice Regional Events
Food Day October 24
Small Business Innovation Research Program Deadline September 6
Healthy Breakfast-4-Kids Deadline September 15
Captain Planet Foundation Grants Deadline September 30
Lowe's Toolbox for Education Deadline October 12
Aetna Foundation Grants
How to Advocate Locally to Support Sustainable Food & Farms
Cooking Up Community: Nutrtition Education in Emergency Food Programs
Profitable Farms and Woodlands: A Practical Guide to Agroforestry
School Composting Manual

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 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

Funding to increase farmers markets participation in SNAP
The WVDHHR EBT Office will be distributing funds to farmers markets for the purchase of wireless point of sale (POS) technology that will enable markets to accept SNAP benefits (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, formerly called food stamps).  Additional assistance from a different source may be available for other SNAP-related activities at markets, such as technical assistance setting up a SNAP system and promotion to SNAP customers.  The WV Food & Farm Coalition and WVDHHR have worked together to create a one-stop online survey for markets to express interest in these programs and receive more information.  Read more and complete the survey here.  

White House Google+ Hangout mentions WVFFC-sponsored study.
During the White House's Google+ Hangout on July 17, USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan mentioned the WVFFC-sponsored study of the economic potential of produce farming.  She said that if WV producers met local produce demand in season, $120 million and 1700 new jobs would be created.  In fact, the story is a bit brighter - according to the study, about $190 million would stay in the state instead of flowing beyond its borders.  Watch the video recording here, and hear our mention at minute 49:00. 

Farmers markets picked for training program

In order to support the efforts of markets and co-ops around the state, the West Virginia Farmers Market Association has launched the Farmers Market Training Network Pilot Program aimed at forming a training network for markets in all stages of development.  Developed in partnership with the West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition, WVU Extension Service and the West Virginia Community Development Hub, the purpose of the program is to strengthen the long-term viability of farmers markets and the income-earning capacity of their vendors through targeted technical assistance and peer networking.  Read more hereThe Charleston Gazette reports here


West Virginia Food News

The Wild Ramp opens with success
The Wild Ramp, the new local food retail market in Huntington, had a soft opening in early July and sold $2,500 in its first week.  17 producers are members so far, selling fruits, vegetables, herbs, eggs, beef, poultry, pork, milk, cheese, locally roasted coffee, jellies, sauces and soap.  The market will be open Wednesdays through Saturdays at Heritage Station, providing a year-round venue for farmers and other producers to get their products into the hands of local.  The Herald-Dispatch reports hereThe Charleston Daily Mail reports here.

Cabell County school cooks hold healthy cooking boot camp
In June, 80 school cooks from 15 counties participated in a healthy cooking boot camp put on by the Cabell County cooks.  The veteran cooks showed their peers how to use industrial cooking equipment to process hundreds of pounds nutritious fruits and vegetables.  Superintendent Jorea Marple highly values making schools in the state healthier, and they would train 80 more cooks in July, and more in the fall. The Charleston Gazette reports here.

Green Wheeling Initiative is growing
The Green Wheeling Initiative is growing interest in local food and farming, connecting people to workshops, community gardens, and training opportunities.  West Virginia Public Broadcasting has created a beautiful four-part radio series on the Initiative. The series covers a general introduction to the Initiative, an overview of the Small Farm Training Center, a piece on the East Wheeling Community Gardens, and highlights from a no-till workshop offered by the Initiative.

WV DEP highlights Williamson community gardens and farmers market
As a part of its Environment Matters series, WV Department of Environmental Protection produced a video highlighting the economic development work in the city of Williamson.  The video explores how community gardens and the successful new farmers market are adding to the local economy and health of Williamson.  Watch the video here

National Food News  

Farm Bill updates  

The House Agriculture Committee passed its version of the farm bill on July 12 by a vote of 35-11.  See comments from Agriculture Secretary Vilsack here, Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) here, Community Food Security Coalition here, and National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) here.  FRAC put together a list of amendments adopted and rejected by the committee here.  On July 20, 82 members of both sides of Congress sent a letter to the leadership urging them the House Agriculture Committee's farm bill to be sent to the floor for debate.

On July 27, the House Majority Leadership created its own version of the farm bill, without considering the House Agriculture Committee's version.  The House Majority Leadership version is a one-year extension of the 2008 farm bill, but one that terminates many important programs for 2013, like the Farmers Market Promotion Program, Specialty Crop Research Initiative, and Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, and cuts many others.  The House Majority Leadership plans to put this version on the floor for a vote on Wednesday, with no open deliberation, no hearings, no testimony, and no chance for amendments.  If this bill passes, it will mean no action on the 2012 farm bill this year.  Read comments from NSAC here, which include a table of programs to be cut or terminated by this bill.


Egg Safety Rule

As of July 9, 2012, shell egg producers with at least 3,000 but fewer than 50,000 laying hens must comply with FDA's Egg Safety Rule.  The Egg Safety Rule, finalized in 2009 and designed to prevent thousands of illnesses and dozens of deaths each year from consumption of eggs contaminated with Salmonella Enteriditis, requires that shell egg producers put measures into place to prevent Salmonella Enteritidis from contaminating shell eggs during their production, storage and transport. The requirements for industry compliance with the regulations were phased in over a three year period based on the number of laying hens in each operation.  Read the rule here and find out more here.  


USDA launches new Know Your Farmer Know Your Food Compass 2.0

The Know Your Farmer Know Your Food Compass is a digital guide to USDA resources that support of regional food productionThis new 2.0 version contains new case studies of successful regional food projects.  The interactive map now includes data on food hubs, farmers markets, meat processing facilities and more, as well as data on USDA-supported projects in all fifty states.  Search the map for West Virginia projects to find out how local groups are putting USDA funds to work.  Explore the compass here.


USDA announces National Farmers Market Week

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack proclaimed August 5-11, 2012 National Farmers Market Week.  All across the country, people will be celebrating farmers markets.  Read the announcement here.    

Upcoming Events
in and near West Virginia
Healthy Food, Healthy Economies: The Impact of Healthy Sustainable Food Systems Webinar
Tuesday, July 31, 2012 2-3:15pm 

How does policy shape our food systems?  How does adequate purchasing power for-and access to-healthy food contribute to strong local economies?  Join the Food and Agriculture Policy Collaborative for a webinar exploring why and how supporting efforts to improve food security and healthy, local foods can strengthen our communities.  This webinar will feature industry-leading speakers and data points to help you make the case in your own community.  Register here

Advocacy 101 for Co-ops Webinar  

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 3-4pm 

In this complimentary webinar, participants will receive: comprehensive overview of the advocacy process; talking points for discussing co-ops with legislators; insights into the National Cooperative Development Act and its impact on jobs and the economy;a Public Policy Toolkit for the 2012 International Year of Cooperatives; the opportunity to interact with experts.  For cooperative developers, representatives and volunteers; members of community service organizations; all who want to support the co-op movement.  Co-produced by the National Cooperative Business Association and the Campaign for Cooperation.  Register here. 

 Strengthening Local Food System Initiatives through Collaboration & Community Networking Approaches Webinar 

August 2, 2012, 2-4pm

WVU Extension and NESARE-WVU are offering a Webinar on the importance and benefits of collaborating and networking, which is vital for producers to enter and compete in locally-accessible high-value markets.  This Webinar will help participants understand how to design a collaborative food system initiative in your community, and the strategies to effectively assess, define, and implement a food system project to take greater advantage of higher value retail markets.  This Webinar is made possible through grant funding from Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NESARE).  This Webinar is intended for: Extension Agents, University Faculty, other Agriculture Service Providers, farmers and farmer groups who are leading, facilitating or initiating a local food system project in their community, region or statewide.  Register here.  Questions?  Contact Nola Wilson at 304-293-7312 or 

New Carrots on the Block Webinars 

Hosted by ChangeLab Solutions

August 6: Green for Greens: Finding Funding and Other Resources

   This webinar will discuss how to identify and leverage financing mechanisms to create healthier food options in local communities, provide tips on how to strengthen your application and develop your funding pitch, and have participants share examples of resources that they have found most useful. Register here

August 27: Rewarding Success: Providing Incentives with Certification Programs   

   Healthy food retailer certification programs reward stores that are providing healthy food to the community, and can have an array of positive benefits. This webinar will describe the goals and structure of current healthy corner store certification programs, provide tips on how to create an effective program, and include perspectives from experts who have experience implementing these programs in their own communities. Register here.

WVU Organic Farm Field Day 

August 9, 2012 1-7pm 

This Field Day, hosted by the Organic Research Farm, a multidisciplinary team from Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design and WVU Extension, is an annual event that helps illustrate the latest research in organic production methods through intensive workshops and wagon tours of research plots.  Although anyone who has an interest in organic production will benefit from the information shared, the event is particularly attractive to organic growers, home gardeners, agriculture teachers, veterinarians, extension agents and crop advisers.  The event is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is appreciated.  Learn more here

Making the HEALTHY Choice the EASY Choice

August 14 - Parkersburg 
August 20 - Huntington 
August 22- Bridgeport 
August 27 - Beckley 
September 5 - Shepherdstown 
September 17 - Charleston 

Change the Future WV is hosting six events in the state to share the findings of Change the Future WV and to learn what other communities are doing.  Topics to be explored: Starting and expanding local farmers' markets; Offering fresh fruits and vegetables in convenience stores; Creating "healthy checkout aisles" in grocery stores; Promoting the availability and affordability of fresh fruits and vegetables in grocery stores; Improving physical education and increasing fresh fruits and vegetables in schools; and more!
  Register and learn more here.  

Food Day 

October 24, 2012

This October 24, highlight the work you are doing to improve our nation's food system by celebrating Food Day! Food Day is a nationwide celebration and movement toward more healthy, affordable and sustainable food. The goals of Food Day are to raise awareness about food issues, to advocate for better food policies at the local, state, and national levels, and to strengthen and unify the food movement. Last year, there were 2300 events in all 50 states and we hope to triple that number this year. You can access organizing resources and register your event on our website or contact Connor Bell ( for more information. 
(grants, awards, partnership ideas)

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

West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey Technical Assistance Grants Program    

Deadline: August 10, 2012 

Due to the state of emergency at the end of June, the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey (WVGES) Technical Assistance Grants Program application deadline has been extended to August 10th.  Grants from the program are designed to target various sectors to strengthen West Virginia's ability to compete in an increasingly global online economy.  The main sectors may include agriculture, energy & the environment, economic development, education, emergency services, public libraries, e-government, health care, public safety, and tourism. Competitive grant funding is available in amounts ranging from $5,000 to $30,000 for broadband-based education, training and online application development.  Learn more here.

Healthy Breakfast-4-Kids  

Deadline: September 15, 2012 

The Healthy Breakfast-4-Kids (HB4K) goal is to create and improve access to breakfast in schools nationwide as a means to lessen the huge negative impact of hungry children across our nation.  In 2012 Food Family Farming Foundation (F3) and Walmart Foundation are partnering to grant 117 $2500 equipment grants to high needs schools for the purpose of implementing universal breakfast in the classroom programs.  Grant awardees will be able to order $2500 worth of food service smallwares or equipment for establishing universal breakfast programs.  Learn more here.  F3 has also created a breakfast resources section available to all schools via their website, The Lunch Box.

 Captain Planet Foundation Grants 

Deadline: September 30, 2012


Grants are made for activities that conform to the mission of the Captain Planet Foundation which is to: promote and support high-quality educational programs that enable children and youth to understand and appreciate our world through learning experiences that engage them in active, hands-on projects to improve the environment in their schools and communities. Grants from the Captain Planet Foundation are intended to serve as a catalyst to getting environment-based education in schools and inspire youth and communities to participate in community service through environmental stewardship activities.  Learn more here.  See past projects here, which include many gardens.   

  Lowe's Toolbox for Education Grants 

Deadline: October 12, 2012


Funded by the Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation, the Lowe's Toolbox for Education program provides grant awards of up to $5,000 to support school improvement projects at K-12 public schools in the United States.  Projects that encourage parent involvement and build stronger community spirit are encouraged.  Sample project ideas include reading gardens, vegetable gardens, physical fitness areas, school landscaping projects, and school nature trails.  Learn more here

Aetna Foundation Grants   

Deadline: rolling

The Aetna foundation gives grants with three focus areas in mind: obesity, racial and ethnic health care equity, and integrated health care.  Example grants include projects involving physical activity, providing people more nutritious meals, nutrition education, and cooking classes.  Grant applications for the Regional program and Letters of Inquiry for the National program are both accepted on a rolling basis.  Learn more here
Food for Thought
(fruitful reading, research & case studies)

How to Advocate Locally to Support Sustainable Food & Farms: A Brief How-To Manual 


The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association put together this manual to offer a systematic method to farmers and food advocates about effective advocacy at the local level.  This manual focuses on analysis and a methodology, and addes a few case examples and farmer and food advocate profiles to illustrate the method.  Read it here.

Cooking Up Community: Nutrition Education in Emergency Food Programs  


This resource by Why Hunger is an introduction and sharing point of innovative nutrition education programming currently being implemented in the United States.  While directed to Emergency Food Assistance Programs, this resource provides ideas for nutrition education that many different types of organizations can utilize.  Read it here.  See a list of other resources by Why Hunger here, like "Going Beyond Emergency Food: A Guide for Providers," "Growing Leaders, Growing Change: Youth and Urban Agriculture," and more. 

Profitable Farms and Woodlands: A Practical Guide to Agroforestry for Landowners, Farmers and Ranchers 


 USDA has released a practical agroforestry handbook that contains information to help establish, manage, and market agroforestry projects that are profitable and sustainable.  The handbook is written for underserved and limited-resource farmers and woodland owners living in the Southeast and includes five main agroforestry practices: alley cropping, forest farming, riparian buffer strips, silvopasture, and windbreaks.  Read it here

School Composting Manual 


This manual for Conneticut schools is based on the experiences of a group of dedicated people who developed the composting program at Mansfield Middle School.  Made for Connecticut, it has broad applications for our WV Schools.  Goals for the manual: to provide a model for initiating and implementing a school composting program; to help schools reduce their waste stream and increase their recycling rate; to teach students, our future community decisionmakers, the importance of responsible solid waste disposal and the environmental advantages of composting.  Read the manual here
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