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In This Issue
WV Junior Master Gardener Training September 1
Vision Shared Entrepreneurs' Cafe Pilot Programs
Food, Farm, and Nutrition Curriculum Connections Webinar September 11
Small Business Innovation Research Program Grant Deadline September 13
AARP Foundation InnoCentive: Drive to End Hunger Grants Deadline September 20
BALLE Local Economy Fellowship Deadline October 1
Value-Added Producer Grants Deadline October 15
Food Food on a Tight Budget
 

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

WVFFC presents at the Family Nutrition Program training
The Family Nutrition Program employs over 50 Nutrition Outreach Instructors (NOIs) who work out of the WVU Extension Service county offices to provide nutrition education classes for adults and youth.  On Tuesday, WVFFC presented at this program's Fall In-service Training, facilitating a discussion with 100 instructors and Families & Health Extension Agents on how nutrition instructors can incorporate local food into their education programs.  NOI Belinda Nicholas presented on a pilot program, funded through WVFFC's Food Access Working Group, in which she took her SNAP-Ed nutrition class to the Morgantown Farmers Market, provided cooking demos, and helped them create new habits of healthy eating while supporting local farmers.  More NOIs are taking interest in offering these kinds of programs.  See photos from Belinda's program here.  Find your local Nutrition Outreach Instructor here.

WV Farmers Market Association holds first convening

This summer the WV Farmers Market Association selected 10 WV farmers markets this summer to become part of its new Farmers Market Training Network.  The Training Network is a pilot training program offering technical help, networking opportunities and mini grants to improve the profitability and stability of WV farmers markets, with funding from the Benedum Foundation and help from the WVFFC.  Last week, the markets in the program came together for the first time in Jackson's Mill to hear from fellow market managers as well as folks from the WV Small Farm Center and WVU Extension, WVDHHR's new Community Transformation Grant, and other helping entities. Topics of discussion included how to show the economic impact of a farmers market, risk management, recruiting SNAP customers, and more.  Markets in the program will now go home to work with technical assistance providers on projects of their choosing, such as marketing plans.  Find info on the program here.

  

West Virginia Food News

Berkeley County preschoolers learning through gardening
Pikeside Learning Center in Berkeley County uses its gardens to teach preschoolers science, math and language skills while promoting healthy eating.  Each teacher gets one row of the school garden to plant.  Students are learning what seeds need to grow and how to plant them while learning how their food grows and that its source is not the grocery store.  The Journal reports here.

  

Elkins garden connects homeless and community

The Randolph County Homeless Shelter has transformed a vacant lot into a garden full of flowers, fruits and vegetables.  The garden raises money for the shelter, starts conversations between neighbors and clients, and teaches people of all ages about gardening.  The Inter-Mountain reports here.

  

Appalachian foods compete in Cookoff at Heritage Farm Museum

On Saturday, September 1, Heritage Farm Museum and Village hosted a second annual cookoff of Appalachian-style foods.   Participants use cast iron pots or skillets to cook traditional Appalachian dishes like soup beans, fried potatoes, and biscuits and gravyThe Herald-Dispatch reports here

  

National Food News  

Farm bill news

The current farm bill expires on September 30.  Should the current law expire at the end of the month, 40 programs will not be financed after the 2012 fiscal year.   But if the House can pass a bill this month, then the Senate and House can negotiate in October and produce a final farm bill in November.  Over the summer, the Senate passed their version of the bill, while the House never took up the House Agriculture Committee's version.  The New York Times reports here and here.  Explore the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition blog here, which gives frequent updates about the farm bill.  The National Agriculture Law Center gives information about the current language of the debated bills here, along with comparisons with past farm bills. 

 

Local food belongs on grocery shelves

Kathleen Merrigan, deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, discusses the uniquely local economic benefits of food hubs, cooperatives, and infrastructure like regional storage facilities, processing plants, and distribution networks.  The Atlantic reports here.  Merrigan mentions Charlottesville's Local Food Hub - read a report of findings from a WVFFC trip to learn about the Local Food Hub's distribution and aggregation model.    

Upcoming Events in and near West Virginia
Do you have events that you want included in our newsletter?
 Please contact us
Change the Future Statewide Summit
September 17, 2012 10am-2pm
Marriott Town Center, Charleston, WV 
 

During the past two years, six counties in the Mid-Ohio Valley have been using a new approach to promote healthy eating and physical activity.  Five regional events have been held to share the results to date and to learn what other communities are doing to tackle the issues.  The culminating statewide event in Charleston will explore future collaborations and all sectors of the community - local businesses, schools, health and social service organizations, government agencies and faith-based groups - are encouraged to attend.  Register here.  

Presentations and discussions will explore a variety of strategies, including:

  • 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
  • Including healthy options on concession stand menus at youth sports events
  • Developing trails and paths for walking and biking
  • And more!
Annie's Project - Training for Women Farmers

10-week course offered this fall or spring in West Union, Keyser, Princeton, Glenville, Spencer, and Parsons, as well as online - go here for dates and details for each location

 
Annie's Project provides the training, resources and networking opportunities for West Virginia women to help build viable, efficient and sustainable farm businesses.  Small classroom sizes and local experts help provide support and networking opportunities that extend well beyond the course.  The course is designed to appeal to everyone including aspiring, beginning, or life-long farmers.  Annie's Project training is administered by members of the WVU Extension Service Women in Agriculture team.  Learn more here.  WVU reports here.   

Building Food Value Chains Webinar - A Wealth Creation and Rural Livelihoods Exchange  

September 20, 2012 1-2pm 


This webinar will explore the critical role of high-capacity regional food networks to increase wealth creation opportunities.  It will also explore why collective impact approaches that build trust and work across organizations are more likely to create systems change and increase wealth creation opportunities than isolated projects led by single organizations.  Organized by the Wealth Creation and Rural Livelihoods Community of Practice.  Learn more here.

Strength-Based Grant Writing for Nonprofit Organizations 

September 26-28, 2012

Columbia Gas Building, Charleston, WV 


This three-day, hands-on, intensive workshop will help aspiring and experienced grant writers approach grant writing from a strength-based perspective.  One of the key differences between strength-based grant writing and more traditional approaches is that strength-based grant writing fosters a larger community of participants to generate and support the outcomes.  Strength-based grant writing seeks collaboration, shared understanding, and commitment to action by the organization and the larger community in identifying opportunities for change and new direction.  Learn more here. 
Free online course with Johns Hopkins University: An Introduction to the U.S. Food System 
 

This six week course will explore how food intersects with public health and the environment as it moves from field to plate.  The course starts in January, 2013 with a workload of 4-6 hours/week. See course details here.  Coursera is a social entrepreneurship company that partners with the top universities in the world to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free, including topics such as Community Change in Public Health, Principles of Obesity Economics, Nutrition for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, and Equine Nutrition. 

Opportunities
(grants, awards, partnership ideas)

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

To use this calendar, scroll ahead to see what grant deadlines are coming up.  Also look back to see what grants came out last year, so you can anticipate the same grants coming out in the year ahead. 

 WV Business Volunteer Council (BVC) Matching Mini-Grant

Deadline: September 15, 2012 

 

The purpose of the BVC Matching Mini-Grant is to encourage partnerships between for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations for the good of the community.  Additionally these grants will foster corporate volunteerism by helping small businesses actively engage in their communities.  Two BVC Matching Mini-Grants will be available every quarter in amounts up to $500.  Learn more here.

Green Thumb Challenge Grant 

Deadline: September 30, 2012  


Green Education Foundation and Gardener's Supply Company have teamed up on an exciting funding opportunity for established youth garden projects nationwide!  The organizations are calling on schools and youth groups to submit chronicles of their garden projects in a race to win a $5,000 prize.  The award is designed to support the continued sustainability of an exceptional youth garden program that has demonstrated success, and has impacted the lives of kids and their community.  Learn more here.

 NE SARE Patnership Grants  

Deadline: November 1, 2012

 

The purpose of the NE Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education's (SARE) Partnership Grant program is to support agricultural service providers (extension staff, nonprofits, consultants, state departments of agriculture, and others working in the agricultural community) who work directly with farmers to do on-farm demonstrations, research, marketing, and other projects that will add to our understanding of sustainable agriculture.  NE SARE includes WV.  Learn more here.

 NE SARE Sustainable Community Grants   

Deadline: November 15, 2012 

 

Sustainable Community Grants make a direct connection between community revitalization and farming.  Projects must address specific key issues such as farm finance, marketing, land use, water use, enterprise development, value-added product development, or other topic areas.  Learn more here

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

Farm to School Policy Brief  

  

The Community Food Security Coalition's policy brief provides an overview of the benefits of Farm to School programs, as well as the history of the development of local and state Farm to School programs and legislation.  This brief also illustrates the current landscape of national and state Farm to School legislation and shares information about important initiatives and agencies that support Farm to School programs.  Find the policy brief here.  October is Farm to School month - learn more here!  

"REAL" Certification for Healthy Restaurants  

  

The U.S. Healthful Food Council offers the REAL Certification Program (Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership).  For those foodservice providers who want to market the healthfulness of their menu as a selling point for business, REAL signals the public that the entire menu of a certified restaurant meets key nutrition standards.  The "REAL Index" will be used to recognize foodservice providers for nutrition best-practices such as the use of: Fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs; Leafy greens and whole grains; Free-range meats , wild and sustainable fish and cage-free eggs;  Organic, local and minimally processed foods; and more.  Read more here.   

PA and NY Local Food Challenges   

   

September is Local Food Month and Pennsylvania and New York are both kicking off their first local food challenges!  These month-long campaigns are aimed at engaging consumers in actively supporting the local organic food movement.  Check out their weekly challenges and calendars, events, and resources!  

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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