Newsletter header
In This Issue
Webinar: Farm to Preschool Nov. 13
Entrepreneurs' Cafe Clarksburg, Nov. 13
Junior Master Gardener Training Nov. 14
Webinar: Building the Base of your CSA Dec. 10
Wells Fargo Environmental Solutions grant due Dec. 3
General Mills Foundation Champions for Healthy Kids Deadline Dec. 3
2013 Growing Green Award apps due Dec. 7
Annie's Sustainable Ag Scholarships deadline Dec. 15
Celebrate Urban Birds Mini-Grant Deadline December 15
Surdna Foundation Grants
Issue Brief: SNAP benefits and Agriculture
Farmer Recordkeeping Toolkit

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


Sign On the Road Map for the Food Economy!  

We were pleased to release an updated version of West Virginia's Road Map for the Food Economy, a statewide "food charter" designed to help focus, measure and celebrate West Virginia's progress towards stronger local food systems.  Created through a series of public forums, the Road Map provides an action plan for seizing key opportunities in West Virginia's food and farm economy.  Its action items address both policy and practice, and include things that can be done by ordinary individuals and community groups as well as agencies and the state legislature.  Read more here.  Download the Road Map here.    


Organizations, agencies, legislators, businesses and local governments are invited to endorse the Road Map, committing to align their work with its action plan, by signing on here. 


The WVFFC office is moving!

This week we moved from our old office in Beckley to a new office 20 minutes north in Oak Hill.  We are enjoying being in downtown Oak Hill, overlooking the daily ebb and flow of Wendy's drive-through traffic, and being in the lovely LEED-certified Bellann Building, which is coincidentally next to the location of the Thursday farmers market.  Please note our new address: 137 1/2 East Main Street, Oak Hill, WV 25901. 


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.


Walt Helmick Elected as WV Commissioner of Agriculture

On Tuesday voters chose Democrat Walt Helmick, a State Senator and former County Commissioner from Pocahontas County, as West Virginia's new Commissioner of Agriculture.  Mr. Helmick defeated contender Republican Kent Leonhardt of Monongalia County with 52% of the vote.  In his new role, Mr. Helmick will will replace longstanding Commissioner Gus Douglass in overseeing the West Virginia Department of Agriculture.  The Charleston Daily Mail reports.    


New local food initiative starts in Tucker County 

The new Potomac Highlands Food and Farm Initiative (PHFFI) in Tucker County will focus on expanding production and sales of locally produced foods and promoting culinary tourism in West Virginia.  The PHFFI is a collaborative project developed primarily by the Tucker Community Foundation, Tucker County Extension Services, Tucker County Development Authority and the Tucker County Convention Visitors Bureau, with funding from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.  The Inter-Mountain reports here.

Western Greenbrier Middle will serve student-grown herbs 

Western Greenbrier Middle School is spicing up their new, healthier school lunch.  The cooks are adding basil, rosemary, ginger, and cilantro to the veggies and fruit, to jazz up flavor while they decrease fat and salt.  Later this year, students at Western Greenbrier Middle School and Eastern Greenbrier Middle School will be growing these herbs to sell to the cafeteria.  Some of the middle-schoolers report that the meals taste like food from a fancy restaurant, and that the change is good.  WVVA reports here.


Green Wheeling Initiative sets citywide goal of 10% local
In the past year, Green Wheeling Initiative has generated 20 garden projects and nine free educational workshops in Ohio and Marshall counties.  They also have a goal to create a local food model where 10 percent of the food the city consumes is grown locally.
  The Wheeling Intelligencer reports here.


National Food News  

Farm Bill news

Currently, there is no farm bill, no extension, and no guarantee that Congress will work on a bill when they return after the election.  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 some of the smaller, but important, programs.   To keep up to date with what is happening with the farm bill, follow the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition's (NSAC) blog here.  Review our updates in past newsletters here

Upcoming Events in and near West Virginia
Do you have events that you want included in our newsletter?
 Please contact us
Webinar: Farm to Preschool: Resources and success stories for a growing movement    

Tuesday, November 13 12-12:20pm   


Join this webinar to learn about the National Farm to School Network's exciting Farm to Preschool initiative (all early childcare settings included).  Participants will be introduced to the Farm to Preschool movement and resources, find out how to get involved, and get a closer look at some example programs from across the country. Presenters: Emily Jackson, ASAP; Zoe Phillips, UEPI; and Stacey Sobell, Ecotrust.  Learn more here
Entrepreneurs' Cafe Clarksburg    

Tuesday, November 13 5:30pm   


This program aims to provide micro-funding awards to entrepreneurs at the local level.  The program is designed to replicate a successful micro-funding program in Huntington by economic and community development group, Vision SharedDuring the event local entrepreneurs are invited to "pitch" their idea or project for funding.  Attendees pay $15 (cash at the door) for a meal, an opportunity to hear small business development ideas, and the chance  to vote on their favorite project.  The winning entrepreneur receives the proceeds from the purchase of meals.  Learn more here.
Junior Master Gardener Training   

Wednesday, November 14 9am-12pm

The Barnett Center in Huntington  


The Junior Master Gardener program is an international youth gardening program of the University Extension network.  Its mission is to grow good kids by igniting a passion for learning, success and service through a unique gardening education.  The cost of this training is free, but the curriculum that goes along with the program must be purchased.  Learn more here

Webinar: Building the Base of Your CSA: Best Practices, Including Member, Volunteer, and Intern Agreements   

Monday, December 10, 2012 7-8:30pm


Whether a current CSA farmer or planning a new CSA farm business, farmers are invited to attend a webinar to learn about potential legal risks of running a CSA and strategies for crafting a CSA member agreement to improve customer satisfaction and retention.  This webinar will also discuss how to create meaningful volunteer opportunities with worker share or volunteer agreements, while also identifying potential legal risks.  We will discuss setting up a CSA business, hiring interns and apprentices, and overall risk management strategies to build a CSA that can thrive.  CSA farmers, educators, and advocates are invited to attend.  Hosted by Farm Commons in partnership with University of Illinois Extension.  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. 

 Wells Fargo Environmental Solutions for Communities Grant Program

 Deadline: December 3, 2012    


Wells Fargo and the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) are pleased to offer financial assistance to help communities create a more sustainable future through responsible environmental stewardship.  This program will support highly-visible projects that link economic development and community well-being to the stewardship and health of the environment.  Priorities include supporting sustainable agricultural practices and private lands stewardship and encouraging broad-based citizen and targeted youth participation in project implementation.  West Virginia is included in the geographic priorities.  Learn more here.  

 General Mills Foundation Champions for Healthy Kids  

 Deadline: December 3, 2012    


The Champions for Healthy Kids program is a partnership of the General Mills Foundation, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation, and the President's Council on Physical Fitness.  The goal of the program is to encourage U.S. communities to improve the eating and physical activity patterns of young people.  In 2013, the program will award 50 grants of $10,000 each to nonprofit organizations, schools, and government agencies throughout the country that offer innovative programs to help youth adopt a balanced diet and physically active lifestyle.  Learn more here

 2013 Growing Green Awards   

 Deadline: December 7, 2012    


The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) announces its fifth annual Growing Green Awards to recognize individuals who have demonstrated original leadership in the field of sustainable food. Through this national award, NRDC will recognize extraordinary contributions that advance ecologically-integrated farming practices, climate stewardship, water stewardship, farmland preservation, and social responsibility from farm to fork.  Cash prizes of $10,000, $2,500 and $2,500 will be awarded in the Food Producer, Food Justice Leader and Young Food Leader categories, respectively, and all winners will be widely celebrated through outreach to media and NRDC's networks.  Learn more here.  

 Annie's Sustainable Agriculture Scholarship  

 Postmarked by December 15, 2012    


Annie's is supporting the next generation of farmers by offering $100,000 in funds to students studying sustainable agriculture.  The scholarship is open to full time undergraduate and graduate students studying at an accredited 2 or 4 year college or graduate school in the U.S. for the 2013-2014 school year.  Students must be focusing studies on sustainable agriculture.  Learn more here

 Celebrate Urban Birds Mini-Grant 

 Deadline: December 15, 2012    


Celebrate Urban Birds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology invites organizations and educators to apply for mini-grants to help fund neighborhood events in communities everywhere.  Mini-Grant recipients will receive an average of $100-500 to put towards a Celebrate Urban Birds event in 2013.  This event could integrate gardening/habitat creation and getting people outside.  Learn more here

 Surdna Foundation Grants for Strong Local Economies 

Letters of Inquiry accepted on a rolling basis


The Surdna Foundation's Strong Local Economies work helps communities invest in their people and their places, acknowledging both as invaluable assets that are critical to long-term economic prosperity.  Through this category, grants are provided to nonprofit organizations in two key related areas: Connecting People to Opportunities is focused on building communities that connect residents to economic opportunity.  Creating Economic Opportunities is focused on supporting and creating robust economies and good jobs for all residents.  Learn more here.  

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

Issue Brief: SNAP Benefits and Agriculture   


This brief, by the Healthy Farms Healthy People Coalition and Changelab Solutions, provides some basic facts about how SNAP (formerly food stamps) affects agriculture, health, and business. It also highlights some issues at the intersection of these sectors that often emerge for debate when SNAP comes up for reauthorization every five years.  In 2008, farmers received $6 billion in revenue from the $35 billion spent on SNAP benefits.  Every $1 billion of SNAP spending generates thousands of jobs across industries, including an estimated 1,000 new agricultural jobs.  SNAP participants spent $7.5 million in benefits at farmers' markets in 2010, with every dollar going directly to the farmer.  This number is growing.  Read more here

New Toolkit: Recordkeeping Instructions and Templates for Small-Scale Fruit and Vegetable Growers   


Farmers' Legal Action Group (FLAG) is pleased to announce the release of a farmers' recordkeeping toolkit, which contains instructions and recording templates that are intended to be useful to small-scale fruit and vegetable farmers to track their farm activities.  The templates can be used separately based on the farmers' goals or intentions, or together as a comprehensive approach to tracking many stages and aspects of a farm operation. Additionally, the instruction sheets for each template offer practical suggestions farmers can follow for planning and recording their farm activities.  Learn more here

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