Newsletter header
In This Issue
Webinar: Tools for Small-Scale Crop Production October 25
Create West Virginia Conference October 26-27
Mid-Ohio Valley Farm to School Info Meeting October 30
Mushroom Growing Workshop November 8
Appalachian Heritage Seed Festival December 2
NRCS Ranking Period Deadlines for EQIP October 19 and January 18
WV Flex-E Grants Postmark Deadline October 26
CHS Foundation Grants
Whole Kids Foundation Garden Grants Deadline November 15
Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program Deadline November 28
Local Procurement with Farm to School
Va Beginning Farmer & Rancher Coalition Launches New YouTube Channel

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 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

New West Virginia Study Reveals Opportunities for Processing and Distributing Local Food
A new report, "West Virginia Food System: Opportunities and Constraints in Local Food Supply Chains" looks at the links in the supply chain through which food typically travels to the consumer-from washing and processing to packing and distribution-and investigates whether these links are available to farmers throughout the state.  It highlights new sales opportunities, barriers that keep farmers from using these opportunities (such as regulatory issues and insufficient quantity), and how these are being overcome.  The report was completed by Downstream Strategies, LLC and commissioned by the West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition, with funding from blue moon fund and the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.  Learn more here.   


Now Available:  Directory of WV Processors, Aggregators, Distributors

This new directory, released by the West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition and Downstream Strategies LLC as part of the report above, is a resource for farmers and other people working to build local food supply chains. lists aggregators, community kitchens, co-packers, slaughterhouses, meat processors, as well as distribution companies interested in local food.  Take a look here, and contact us to order printed copies.


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.


New WV Agriculture Commissioner to be elected this year 

On November 6, West Virginians will vote for a new Agriculture Commissioner.  The Democratic candidate is Walt Helmick, a resident of Marlinton, state senator from Pocahontas County, and owner of a small water company.  The Republican candidate is Kent Leonhardt, a Fairview resident, retired USMC Officer, and farmer.  The candidates met with the Daily Mail's editorial board on October 8.  The Daily Mail reports here, along with video.  The Herald-Dispatch is hosting a series of columns written by candidates in contested races in the November 6 general election.  Read  the columns by Helmick and Leonhardt.   


New Sustainable Urban Agriculture Initiative in Charleston

The new Sustainable Urban Agriculture Initiative (SUAI) will increase access to local food, create jobs, and help meet the demand of Charleston restaurants. SUAI will grow agri-preneurs by providing a yearlong training program to teach farming and business skills. SUAI is a component of the Charleston Area Alliance's Vision 2030 and a project of the Campus-Community LINK. Campus-Community LINK, a statewide service-learning initiative that connects communities with higher educational resources, is designed by WV Campus Compact, funded by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation and coordinated in partnership with the West Virginia Community Development Hub. The Daily Mail reports here.


National Food News  

Farm bill news

The farm bill expired at midnight on Sunday, September 30th, with no workable replacement.  Until further action is taken after the election, programs that address rural and urban job creation, natural resource conservation, and improved production and access to healthy food are put on hold.  After the election, the House could quickly get the bill onto the House floor with plenty of time for discussion, leaving the House and Senate time to work out the great differences in the bills.  If this does not happen, an extension of a few months or a year needs to be enacted before the end of the session.  This could extend all farm programs or cut 2013 funding for smaller, important programs. 

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) explores life without a farm bill here and addresses frequently asked questions about the expiration here.  NSAC is writing a 10-week blog series which features both program facts and stories from the field of those farmers and communities which are impacted by expired farm bill programs. 

Upcoming Events in and near West Virginia
Do you have events that you want included in our newsletter?
 Please contact us
Webinar: Tools for Small-Scale Crop Production  

Thursday, October 25, 2012  

This webinar will focus on tools and techniques for small-scale crop production.  National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) Agriculture Specialist Andy Pressman will discuss the importance of investing in quality and well-designed tools and their use for properly planting and maintaining crops.  Learn about tools for direct seeding as well as how working correctly with tools can increase efficiency when hoeing the long row.  Andy will also provide information on maintaining tools and resources for tools for small-scale agriculture.  Register here
Create West Virginia Conference   
October 26-27, 2012
Charleston, WV

The Create WV Conference is a statewide training conference and celebration of creative communities that develop new economy opportunities for all West Virginia citizens.  Attend the conference to get inspired to pursue your own ideas for a business, non-profit, community or school, develop your ideas with the help of mentors and training, and find resources to help turn your ideas into reality.  Learn more here. 
Farm to School Info Meeting for Mid-Ohio Valley Region  

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Heritage Park Community Building, Spencer, WV  

The purpose of this meeting to discuss the specific requirements for Farm to School Program for growers in the Mid-Ohio Valley region.  For more information about this meeting, please contact Brandy Brabham at the WVU-Roane County  Extension Office at 304-927-0975.  Learn more here.  
Mushroom Growing Workshop  

November 8, 2012 10am-12pm 

Cedar Lakes Conference Center, Ripley, WV 

The workshop, hosted by West Virginia State University Extension Service, is designed to attract those looking to grow mushrooms at home or in forestland.  Growing methods using coffee grounds and logs will be demonstrated.  The workshop costs $10. Optional growing kits for oyster mushrooms will be available for an additional $30.  Registration is required by contacting the WVSU Extension Service offices at 304-541-3301 or bcochran2@wvstateu.eduThe Daily Mail reports here


Nourishing a Hungry Nation on a Budget  

November 13, 2012 1-2pm 

This webinar will explore the tension that exists between obtaining sufficient calories for basic nutrition verses providing healthy sources of nutritious foods.  Experts in research and on the ground will discuss the trend in current consumption patterns and the plausibility for success of new resources available to the nation's food insecure. Hosted by the Hunger and Environmental Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  Learn more here.  Register here.  
4th Annual Appalachian Heritage Seed Festival 
Sunday, December 2, 2012 2-5pm
Bristol, TN

If you are a saver of seed, if you enjoy planting new vegetable and flower varieties, or if you would like to grow or save seed from locally adapted varieties, this event is for you.  Hosted by the Appalachian Farmers Market Association, this event is free and open to the public; you do not need to bring seeds in order to attend this event.  Learn more here.
(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. 

 NRCS Ranking Period for EQIP 

Deadlines: October 19, 2012 

                  January 18, 2012


Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) offers voluntary conservation program opportunities through the Farm Bill.  Applications for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Chesapeake Bay Watershed Initiative (CBWI), Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP), and Agriculture Management Assistance Program (AMA) are accepted at any time.  The next ranking cut-off is October 19, 2012, when all applications that have been received will be ranked against each other.   Applications turned in after October 19 will be evaluated and ranked on January 18, based on funding.  These are the only two dates for this funding year.  Learn more about the October date here and EQIP here.  

 WV Development Office Flex-E Grant 

 Postmarked by: October 26


A Flex-E-Grant is a small grant, up to $10,000 total project cost, that may be used to support local leadership, civic engagement and capacity building.  These grants have been used to fund food and farm projects, see an example here.  Flex-E-Grant is a joint effort of the West Virginia Development Office, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and the Claude W. Benedum Foundation.  All WV counties are eligible this year except for Putnam and Jefferson, with a preference for ARC-designated distressed counties and certified West Virginia Blueprint Communities.  Learn more here.  Find the application here and instructions here

 CHS Foundation Grants 


CHS Foundation is committed to supporting education and leadership programs that invest in the future of agriculture, cooperative business and rural America.  Their five program areas include University Partnerships, Rural Youth Leadership Development, Cooperative Education, Returning Value to Rural Communities, and Farm & Agriculture Safety.  Applications accepted on an ongoing basis except for the Cooperative Education Grants, which must be submitted by November 1.  Learn more here.

 Whole Kids Foundation Garden Grant  

Deadline November 15, 2012


The School Garden Grant Program is a collaboration between Whole Kids Foundation and FoodCorps.  To be eligible for the $2,000 (US$) School Garden Grant, an applicant must be a nonprofit K-12 school and/or a 501(c)(3) organization that is developing or currently maintaining a garden project on school grounds that will engage children with fresh fruits and vegetables.  Garden projects may be at any stage of development (planning, construction or operation).  Find out more here

 Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program 

Deadline November 28, 2012


Community Food Projects should be designed to (1): (A) meet the food needs of low-income people; (B) increase the self-reliance of communities in providing for their own food needs; and (C) promote comprehensive responses to local food, farm, and nutrition issues; and/or (2) meet specific state, local, or neighborhood food and agriculture needs for (A) infrastructure improvement and development; (B) planning for long-term solutions; or (C) the creation of innovative marketing activities that mutually benefit agricultural producers and low-income consumers.  Learn more here

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

Local Procurement with Farm to School    


Farm to school is building in West Virginia!  For those who are interested but haven't started yet, the USDA answers many frequently asked questions about local procurement here.   

Virginia Beginning Farmer & Rancher Coalition Launches New YouTube Channel   


Visit the YouTube channel for case studies and short videos of real farmers sharing their experiences in agriculture.  Examples of video themes include agriculture philosophy, sustainable agriculture practices, and advice for beginning farmers, plus a wide range of other interesting agricultural topics that effect beginning and transitioning farmers.  Visit the YouTube channel here.  Read about the coalition and the thoughts behind the channel 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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