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In This Issue
Fall Herb Festival September 28-29
Webinar: Farm Bill and SNAP Cuts October 10
Tri-State Farm and Food Conference October 12-13 - Scholarships for AmeriCorps!
NESAWG's It Takes a Region Working Conference October 28-30 - Scholarships for West Virginians!
The North Face Explore Fund Deadline October 8
Subaru Healthy Sprouts Award Deadline October 31
EPA Environmental Regional Grant Program Deadline November 21
NE SARE Farmer Grants Deadline November 27
Farm to School AmeriCorps Position in Pocahontas County
Appalachian Sustainable Development Job Opportunities
Marketing 101 Manual
Report: Household Food Security in the U.S. in 2011
 

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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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 Hub.  In 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

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WV welcomes new AmeriCorps Farm to School volunteers 

Last week, High Rocks Educational Corporation held a training to welcome and orient six new AmeriCorps Farm to School volunteers.  In Cabell, Fayette, Greenbrier, Kanawha, Pocahontas, and Wayne Counties, these volunteers will be creating school gardens and connecting  farmers to schools.  Leah Smith, WVFFC VISTA volunteer, trained the volunteers on a draft version of a school garden toolkit that, when completed, will provide West Virginia school gardeners resources for their projects.

  

West Virginia Food News

**Has your food or farm project received media attention lately?  We would love to include it in our newsletter.  Send us your news story here.

  

Putnam County to hold Farm to School meeting

A meeting was held on Thursday at the Putnam County Courthouse to get farmers, 4-H and FFA members and school officials excited about the state Department of Education's "Farm to School" initiative.  WVU Extension Agent Chuck Talbott wants Putnam schools to start the program next year, which he said is already a success in neighboring Mason County.  The Charleston Gazette reports here.       

 

WVFFC presents at Change the Future WV statewide event
The September 17 statewide event highlighted the many initiatives of Change the Future WV
, including healthy check out lines, putting fresh food in convenient stores, and increasing SNAP use at farmers markets.  "Instead of telling people to eat healthier and be fit, we tried to make it easier by expanding the choices around them," said Tom Bias of West Virginia University's Health Research Center.  Savanna Lyons, WVFFC Program Director, presented on a panel to connect healthy living to locally grown food.  The Charleston Gazette reports here.

 

WV Women in Agriculture honored 

At a State Fair luncheon, the West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) recognized 10 women for their contributions to the establishment, development, advancement or improvement of West Virginia agriculture, forestry or specialty crops in the Mountain State.  Commissioner of Agriculture Gus R. Douglass said, "with this program, we are drawing attention to women who have dedicated their lives to this critical occupation."  The Journal-News reports here.    

  

National Food News  

Farm bill news

The September 30 expiration date of the current farm bill will come and go without any action from the House.  House Speaker John A. Boehner says they will deal with the farm bill after the election.  Expiration of a farm bill without even an extension of current law is without precedent.  A lot is at stake with the farm bill, and neither an extension nor a renewal/reform lame duck path will be easy.  The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition reports hereThe New York Times reports here.  The Public News Service reports here.  Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack gives his thoughts here.

Upcoming Events in and near West Virginia
Do you have events that you want included in our newsletter?
 Please contact us
Fall Herb Festival  

September 28-29, 2012

Jackson's Mill, Weston  

 

The West Virginia Herb Association will be holding a Fall Herb Festival September 28 and 29 at Jackson's Mill in Weston.

The festival will feature workshops on growing herbs, cooking with herbs, medicinal herbs, and herbal crafts.  The West Virginia Herb Association is a non-profit, educational organization whose mission is to promote the ethical and environmentally sound propagation, cultivation, harvest and use of herbs in West Virginia since 1992.  Learn more here.  

Webinar: Real Cuts with Real Consequences: An Update on the Farm Bill and Proposed Cuts to SNAP 

October 10, 2012 2-3pm 


The Senate-passed version of this year's Farm Bill cuts about $4.5 billion from SNAP over ten years, while the House Agriculture Committee's version includes a staggering $16 billion in SNAP cuts over ten years.  This webinar, Co-sponsored by Neighborhood Funders Group, Grantmakers Income Security Taskforce, and Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems Funders, explores these issues.  Register here
Tri-State Farm and Food Conference 

October 12-13, 2012

Pullman Plaza Hotel, Huntington, WV  

 
The WV Small Farm Center is hosting its third annual Tri-State Farm & Food Conference, which aims to revolutionize the foodshed, or food system, in the 50 mile radius of Huntington through agricultural education.  This effort reaches an area that encompasses 15 counties located throughout West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky, but the conference also will be productive for those who live beyond the Huntington area.  Anybody who is interested in local food can come and learn about remapping food pathways.  Learn more about the conference here
**Special 50% discount for AmeriCorps volunteers, provided by the WVU Extension Service Small Farm Center.  Contact the Small Farm Center for more details.

NE Sustainable Agriculture Working Group's  

"It takes a Region" Working Conference  

October 28-30, 2012
Saratoga Springs, NY


This conference, held by the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (NESAWG), brings people working to change their food systems together to share ideas and practices and to work together across the region. It's a great opportunity to share how your local efforts are having a regional impact and to bring home new ideas and connections. See the conference website for details.

WVFFC has partnered with NESAWG organizers and the Appalachian Foodshed Project (AFP) to offer a small number of scholarships for West Virginians to attend the conference. The $225 AFP-funded scholarship will cover the registration fee (reduced to $90 by NESAWG for scholarship recipients!) and the remainder can be used towards other lodging/travel expenses. AFP is also offering a free shared transportation option for recipients.  Learn more about this scholarship opportunity here

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. 

 The North Face Explore Fund 

Deadline: October 8, 2012 

 

The Explore Fund will support organizations that encourage youth outdoor participation, focusing primarily on creating more connections of children to nature, increasing access to both front & backcountry recreation, as well as providing education for both personal & environmental health. Grants will be given up to $2,500. Learn more here

2012 Subaru Healthy Sprouts Award 

Deadline: October 31, 2012  


For the past 3 years, the Subaru Healthy Sprouts Award has recognized and supported youth gardening programs focused on teaching about our environment, nutrition and hunger issues in the United States.  The selection of winners is based on the demonstrated relationship between the garden program and education related to environmental, nutrition and hunger issues in the United States.  Learn more here.

EPA Environmental Education Regional Grant Program  

Deadline: November 21, 2012  


The Environmental Education (EE) Regional Grant Program aims to increase public awareness and knowledge about environmental issues and provide the skills that participants in its funded projects need to make informed environmental decisions and take responsible actions toward the environment.  EPA's educational priorities include Community Projects, Human Health and the Environment, and Career Development.  Learn more here.

 NE SARE Farmer Grants  

Deadline: November 27, 2012

 

The NE Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education's (SARE) Farmer Grants are for commercial producers who have an innovative idea they want to test using a field trial, on-farm demonstration, marketing initiative, or other technique.  A technical advisor--often an extension agent, crop consultant, or other service professional--must also be involved.  Projects should seek results other farmers can use, and all projects must have the potential to add to our knowledge about effective sustainable practices.   The NE SARE region includes WV.  Learn more here.

 Farm Service Agency Farm Loans  

 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency (FSA) makes and guarantees loans to family farmers and ranchers to promote, build and sustain family farms in support of a thriving agricultural economy.  Types of loans include: farm ownership loans, farm operating loans, downpayment program, rural youth loans, emergency loans, loan servicing and supervised credit.  Read the FSA Farm Loan Fact Sheet here.
Job Opportunities 

Farm to School AmeriCorps Position in Pocahontas County 

  

High Rocks Educational Corporation is currently taking applications for an AmeriCorps position serving farmers and educating students about local foods in beautiful Pocahontas County, West Virginia.  Placed with the County Nutrition Director, this volunteer will help implement Farm to School programs, coordinate relationships between farmers and schools, encourage schools to buy local produce and develop composting systems for cafeteria scraps.  The volunteer 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

Opportunities with Appalachian Sustainable Development 

  

Appalachian Sustainable Development (ASD) in Abington, VA is a nonprofit based in Abingdon, VA.  Their mission is to create, promote and expand economically viable, environmentally sound and socially responsible opportunities to help improve the lives and the health of our local communities and ecosystems.  ASD is looking for an Agriculture Program Manager to maintain personal contact with all local participants in sustainable agriculture activities and organize and distribute educational activities and materials designed to improve the knowledge base and production capabilities of local producers.  ASD also announced a Fellowship Position, which provides opportunities to gain hands-on experience, develop professional networks, and learn firsthand what it takes to practice economic development.  Deadline for Fellowship is October 12, 2012.  

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

Marketing 101 Manual 

  

The development of an effective marketing plan is a challenging but necessary component of running a successful farm business.  This guide is based on Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture's (CISA) Marketing Workshops, and is geared towards helping farmers develop and implement a marketing plan that will work for them, for their farm, and for their products.  This manual will teach how to create a brand for your business, identify your target audience, and choose the marketing strategies that match your farm, products, and resources.  Read the manual here, which can be helpful to any food and farm related project. 

Report: Household Food Security in the United States in 2011   

   

The USDA Economic Research Service put out this food security report this month.  They found that an estimated 85.1 percent of American households were food secure throughout the entire year in 2011, while the remaining households (14.9 percent) were food insecure at least some time during the year, including 5.7 percent with very low food security.  Find the full report, summary, and graphs here

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