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In This Issue
Webinar: An Introduction to Organic Seed Finder August 21
Webinar: Microbiology 201 for Small Meat Processors August 29
Fall Mushroom Walk September 8
Kentucky Grazing School September 11-12
Webinar: Food Systems That Work September 20
WV Beekeepers Association Fall Meeting September 21-22
Make Food More Awesome Deadline August 22
Appalachian Community Fund Deadline September 4
Rodale Institute Your 2 Cents Fund Deadline October 3
ATTRA Sustainable Spotlight
AmeriCorps Farm to School Positions
Value Chain Resources
Mobile Markets Delivering Fresh Produce
Food System Tools

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

Meet WVFFC's first summer intern
This July we welcomed our first summer intern, Mo Early.  Originally from Vienna, WV, Mo is entering her senior year at Wake Forest University, where she will be working to complete a BA in Sociology with a minor in Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise.  When not leading fellow students on backpacking and climbing trips, she can be found volunteering in the campus garden or heard on the student radio station.  While Mo isn't completely sure about her future plans, she hopes to continue to work towards strengthening West Virginia's local food economies.  Mo was a great help with many of our projects during her month with us, including documenting SNAP promotion pilot projects at Morgantown Farmers Market and Community Garden Market in Philippi.  See the photos here.  


West Virginia Food News

WV recognized as leader in childhood nutrition 

State Superintendent Jorea Marple said the West Virginia Board of Education has adopted some of the strongest nutrition guidelines in the country.  The USDA and The American Dairy Association Mideast also recognize WV as a leader in childhood nutrition.  The Register-Herald explores how nutrition shapes student success and how the state's Universal Free Meal Program pilot provided made-from-scratch food to children for free across eight counties last year. 


WV legislators learn importance of Farm to School  

On July 24, David Seay, Child Nutrition Director for Fayette County Schools, told WV Education Subcommittee A that the Farms to Schools Initiative provides a host of benefits. He said, "Something that engages kids in an activity is the best way to teach them. Kids with behavioral problems excel in gardening. Self-esteem goes up if you're engaged in gardening, especially for little children."  The Fayette Tribune reports here.


WV beekeepers meet with WV legislators 

Gabe Blatt, president of the Cabell Wayne Beekeepers Association, told the Agriculture and Agri-business committee the about challenges for the bee population along with recommendations for how the state can help.  State Apiarist Paul Poling told the committee there are 1,132 beekeepers in West Virginia, embracing 11,424 colonies and 1,678 apiaries.  The Register-Herald reports here.   Meanwhile, The Fayette County Beekeeper's Association has started meeting.  The Register-Herald reports here.   


Preschool pilot project promotes gardening and reading

Thirty-two childcare sites across WV have participated in a WV Department of Education container gardening pilot project to introduce children to fresh fruits and vegetables.  Each site also received copies of "Holly Bloom's Garden," which introduces the children to basic gardening concepts.  The InterMountain reports here.   


National Food News  

Farm Bill updates  

In our last newsletter, we reported that on July 27, the House Majority Leadership created its own version of the farm bill, a one-year extension of the 2008 farm bill, without considering the House Agriculture Committee's version. This bill, which would have terminated many important programs, has since been pulled and will not be considered.  National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) reports here
Before leaving for the August recess, the House passed a stand-alone disaster bill. The Senate did not take up the House's stand-alone disaster bill in favor of broader disaster assistance provisions that come with moving forward with a comprehensive farm bill.  After the House vote, key figures from the House and Senate Agriculture Committees met to discuss options with moving the farm bill forward before the September 30 reauthorization deadline.  There are still many possible paths for the farm bill.  NSAC reports here.
  See also Central Appalachian Network's latest policy update here.
Representatives are at home now for the August recess, which is a good time to let them know your thoughts on what the farm bill should look like.

Ohio first to gain interstate approval for small meat plants
The USDA's new Cooperative Interstate Shipment Program allows small, state-inspected businesses with 25 or fewer employees to sell their products across state lines if they meet certain food safety requirements.  Last week, Ohio became the first state to gain approval to sell meat from small, state-inspected slaughterhouses across state lines. 
USDA reports hereFood Safety News reports here.  
Upcoming Events
in and near West Virginia
Webinar: Sourcing Organic Seed Just Got Easier: An Introduction to Organic Seed Finder
August 21, 2012 2pm 

This webinar will introduce Organic Seed Finder, a new database hosted by the Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies (AOSCA). Beginning this fall, Organic Seed Finder will serve as a valuable tool for the organic community by providing reliable organic seed availability information.  Hosted by eOrganic.  Learn more here.
Webinar: Microbiology 201 for Small Meat Processors
August 29, 2012 1pm

Every day, meat processors have to be food scientists, making sure the products they make are safe to eat. This requires knowledge of microbiology. This webinar, hosted by the Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network, will focus on microbiological testing.  Learn more here
Fall Mushroom Walk
September 8, 2012 9-11am
WV Botanic Garden

WVU Professor of Mycology Dr. Dan Panaccione will lead a walk in search of forest fungi.  Dan will show participants how to identify the native mushrooms at the garden by their unique characteristics. Meet in the lower parking lot at 9:00am. Learn more here

Kentucky Grazing School

September 11-12, 2012

Versailles, KY 

This two day event at the Woodford County Extension Office
C. Oran Little Research Center has an emphasis on ruminants - beef, dairy, sheep, & goats.  The program is packed with sessions including forage establishment, fence building, water and shade systems, extending the grazing season, and animal disorders.  Registration fee is $50.00 which includes all materials,
grazing manual, breaks, and lunch both days.  Learn more here.

 Webinar: Food Systems Networks That Work - Accelerating Learning and Increasing Commerce

September 20, 2012, 3:30-5pm

This webinar will bring together conveners of food systems networks of many different sizes: very local (a section of a state), to statewide, regional and even national.  Each of these networks have amplified and abetted the positive triple bottom line effects of its member businesses and organizations.  Learn how joining (or helping to foster) a food hub network can improve your regional food economy, and the strength of each hub.  Hosted by the National Good Food Network.  Learn more here.

WV Beekeepers Association Fall Meeting 

September 21-22, 2012

Jackson's Mill State 4-H Camp Weston, WV   


At their annual business meeting, WV Beekeepers Association members will learn about what stresses bees, honey bees as super organisms, and how to re-queen hives.  The program also includes a honey show, vendors, and a "show and tell" social hour.  To learn more, read their newsletter here.   

Other bee-related events: The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association is putting on a series of beekeeping webinars:
September 19 - Marketing Bee Products
October 17 - Putting the Hive to Bed for Winter
Learn more here
(grants, awards, partnership ideas)

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

Make Food More Awesome 
Deadline: August 22, 2012 

Awesome Food, the Food Chapter of the Awesome Foundation for the Arts and Sciences wants to help you pull off your ideas for improving our current food system or changing the way we think about food.  Share your awesome idea involving food, be it urban farming, a neighborhood food truck, pop-up cafes, or health.  Have you been building a new local food system to connect farmers with those who need access to fresh healthy foods most?  Are you spreading the word that food stamps can be used to buy seeds and food-producing plants?  The winner receives a $1000 grant.  Learn more here

Appalachian Community Fund

Letter of Intent Deadline: September 4, 2012  

Appalachian Community Fund (ACF) is awarding grants ranging from $2,000-$10,000.  Successful applicants for all of ACF's grant programs and initiatives must meet these basic guidelines:
* Work must take place in Central Appalachian counties
* Be community-led, community-driven and community-based
* Address change at a systemic level
* Demonstrate some understanding of forms of oppression
* Demonstrate that social change is a part of their work or project
Learn more here.

 Rodale Institute Your 2 Cents Fund

Deadline: October 3, 2012


This fund unites producers, consumers, researchers and educators to launch the next generation of organic farmers.  Funding priorities include:
* Scholarships to students of organic agriculture
* Support for new organic farmers
* Help veterans establish new careers in organic farming
* Research projects on organic agriculture  

Awards range from $1,000-$10,000 and are only available to
certified organic farms and farmers. Learn more here.

 ATTRA Sustainable Spotlight


The National Center for Appropriate Technology's (NCAT) Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas project (ATTRA) is celebrating 25 years of helping those who are passionate about sustainable agriculture, and would like to spotlight some of the results of that passion on the ATTRA website. Their new "Sustainable Spotlight" feature on the website will offer sustainable producers from around the country the opportunity to show off their operations and talk about their philosophy of sustainable agriculture.  Learn more here.  

Job Opportunities 

AmeriCorps: Farm to School Positions


Highrocks is currently taking applications for AmeriCorps Volunteers interested in serving farmers and educating students about local foods.  These volunteers will serve in Cabell, Fayette, Greenbrier, Kanawha, Pocahontas, or Wayne County.  Placed with Nutrition Directors, they will help implement Farm to School programs in those counties.  These positions involve coordinating relationships between farmers and schools, encouraging schools to buy local produce, and developing composting systems for cafeteria scraps.  Volunteers will also develop production-oriented school gardens, teach students about the benefits of locally sourced foods, and coordinate field trips to farms.  Learn more here

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

Value Chain Resources 


Rural Support Partners defines value chain here.  They say that in a value chain business arrangement, each actor in the chain must make a mental shift from simply "What is best for me and my firm now?" to "What can I do in my firm to maximize the economic, environmental and community benefit to all the members of this value chain, including myself?"  The Agricultural Sustainability Institute at UC Davis has put together a list of Food Hubs and Values-Based Supply Chains Resources here

Mobile Markets Delivering Fresh Produce 


Mobile markets are popping up all over the country in neighborhoods that normally don't have access to fresh, healthy food.  Some mobile markets are providing education and other incentives to increase the likelihood of community members actually changing their buying habits.  Time Magazine reports here

Food System Tools 


Nourish, an educational initiative designed to open a meaningful conversation about food and sustainability, particularly in schools and communities, explores the food system through infographics.  Find their Food System Tools 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.
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