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In This Issue
Workshop: Getting Started in Farming, and Developing a Farm Business Plan December 11 & 13
Farm Transition and Liability Workshop December 15
CSA Legal Issues Webinar December 18
The People's Garden Webinar Series
Local Procurement Webinar December 13
WV Business Volunteer Council Matching Mini-Grant Deadline December 15
CAN's Small Grants Program Deadline December 21
The Big Help Grant Program Deadline December 31
Allegheny Mountain School 2013 Fellowship Program Deadline February 15
Greenhorn Radio
"Good Laws, Good Food: Putting State Food Policy to Work for Our Communities"
"Collaborative Marketing for Small Farms: Selling and Working Together for Profitability"

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

West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition seeks Program Coordinator

The West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition is seeking a Program Coordinator to help develop, organize and sustain the rapidly expanding work of the Coalition.  This position, though currently part-time, is designed to enable the right person to grow into a long-term core staff role in the Coalition.  The Program Coordinator's main responsibilities will be to support the Coalition's Food and Farm Working Groups, facilitate its transition into a 501c3 nonprofit corporation, and support other ongoing activities such as partnership development, communications, event organizing, and policy work. Click here for details.


Five other food and farm related jobs open  

Natural Capital Investment Fund is accepting candidates for five contracted positions with its Value Chain Cluster Initiative: Two part time Regional Coordinators, two part time Business Coaches, and one full time Technical Assistance Coordinator.  Interested individuals with experience in food production, processing, aggregation, distribution, purchasing,  marketing, business, or program management are encouraged to view the individual job announcements to determine which position suits their skills and availability.  Learn more about these positions here.

Roadmap for the Food Economy in the news

West Virginia Morning interviewed Program Director Savanna Lyons for a great 6-minute story on the Road Map for the Food Economy!  The Beckley Register-Herald, Parkersburg News and Sentinel, and The National ATTRA program also covered the story.

Launching Fresh Ideas in Action #8: Green Wheeling Initiative

Watch our new Fresh Ideas in Action YouTube piece here to learn about how Green Wheeling Initiative is transforming Wheeling with community gardens and pursuing a 10% shift towards local food.  Launched by the West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition in January 2012, the "Fresh Ideas In Action" YouTube Series highlights important issues, successful projects and inspiring entrepreneurs within West Virginia's local food system.   


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.


Cabell County hosts farm to school training
Last month, Cabell County hosted a Farm to School AmeriCorps training in Cabell County, which included a tour of the school gardens, a from scratch cooking demo by school cooks, and a locally sourced lunch at Delegate Carol Miller's buffalo farm.  The training also included presentations by FFA members, Ag Ed teachers, an extension agent and representatives from the Board of Education and the Health Department.  Six counties including Cabell participate in the "Farm2School" AmeriCorps team hosted by High Rocks, whose monthly rotating site visits enable AmeriCorps members and food service directors to see each other's projects.  Farm to school is all about many people working together, and we definitely saw that in Cabell County.  The Herald-Dispatch reports here.

Garden classroom built on Charleston's West Side
On November 10, the Sustainable Agriculture Entrepreneur Initiative (SAGE) built a garden classroom on Charleston's West Side, with the help of students from Davis & Elkins College.  The SAGE Initiative will include 12 agriculture classes in urban micro-farming and 6 courses in entrepreneurship.  In January, the garden classroom will be where participants in the SAGE initiative plant and grow their produce, which they will then sell to local food suppliers.  The Charleston Gazette reports here.

National Food News  

Farm Bill news

Leaders of the Senate and House Agriculture Committees have been meeting this week and some news reports (for example, here) say progress is being made towards a compromise between the Senate-passed and House Committee-passed versions.  Meanwhile, the House Speaker or Majority Leader strongly hint that an extension of the old farm bill is the more likely path forward.  A dozen legislative days remain, and it is unclear what will happen.  As time runs out, it is important that action continues on both of these paths.  To learn more about what these different paths might mean, and why this is all important, please visit the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition's blog.  
Upcoming Events in and near West Virginia
Do you have events that you want included in our newsletter?
 Please contact us
Workshop: Getting Started in Farming, and Developing a Farm Business Plan 
December 11 in Big Stone Gap, VA
December 13 in Abington, VA


The workshop, offered twice in two different locations, is based on the Virginia Tech Beginning Farmer and Rancher Program's Whole Farm Planning Curriculum.  Hosted by Appalachian Sustainable Development and Virginia Cooperative Extension, the workshops are free and open to the public.  Learn more here
Farm Transition and Liability Workshop    

December 15, registration at 9:30am 

Virginia Higher Education Center, Abington, VA 


This workshop is designed to help farm owners begin or refine their process of making the legal decisions to protect their farm, land and resources.  The workshop is free and open to the public, with lunch provided.  Hosted by Virginia Cooperative Extension, Appalachian Sustainable Development, and Farm Credit of the Virginias, the registration deadline is December 10.  Learn more here
CSA Legal Issues Webinar    

December 18, 7-8:30pm     

Whether they are current CSA farmers or planning a new CSA farm business, farmers are invited to attend this webinar, presented by Farm Commons, to learn about potential legal risks of running a CSA, as well as strategies for crafting a CSA member agreement to improve customer satisfaction and retention.  Learn more here
The People's Garden Webinar Series   
Going Native: December 6 

Composting and Compost Use: December 12

Starting and Sustaining a School Garden: December 13


The USDA's People's Garden Initiative promotes growing healthy food, people and communities.  The Fall Webinar Series will provide practical gardening advice on such topics as seed saving, gardening with native plants, composting, volunteers, and school gardens.  See the schedule here, and recorded webinars here.  

Local Procurement Webinar 

Thursday, December 13, 2012 1-2pm


Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) is hosting a webinar called "Next Generation Local Purchasing: Jumpstarting Local Procurement by Anchor Institutions."  This webinar will feature The Cleveland Foundation and their role in revising procurement policies for local anchor institutions.  Clearly it is not feasible for these organizations to source everything locally, but the question is: How big of a percentage can flow back to the community? How would neighborhoods and neighbors benefit?  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. 

 WV Business Volunteer Council Matching Mini-Grant 

 Deadline: December 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.  Think about projects involving local food, school gardens, or food access.  Learn more here

 CAN's Small Grants Program

 Deadline: December 21, 2012 


CAN's small grants program is designed to increase the capacity of our organizations and entrepreneurs across Central Appalachia to strengthen and connect food-based value chains in their sub-regions, as well as to connect these partners across the region for mutual learning and support.  Due to the generous support of the One Foundation, West Virginia applicants may request up to $20,000 each.  Groups don't have to be affiliated with CAN to apply, but should tie their projects into regional or statewide food systems efforts.  Past grants have funded the purchase of processing, aggregation, and distribution equipment for meat, grain, and produce value chains and have supported trainings and workshops for vegetable producers.  Learn more here

 The Big Help Grant Program 

 Deadline: December 31, 2012 


Throughout 2012, Nickelodeon will award grants to schools and community organizations enabling kids around the country.  The Big Help Grant Program will support projects that inspire kids to (1) take care of the environment; (2) lead active, healthy lives; (3) engage in community service; or (4) improve their educational experience.  Through 2012, eligible schools and community-based organizations can apply for either a $2,500 grant or a $5,000 matching grant.  Learn more here

Fellowship Opportunity 

 Allegheny Mountain School 2013 Fellowship Program 

 Deadline: February 15, 2013       


The Allegheny Mountain School (AMS) is taking applications for their 2013 fellowship program in Monterey, VA.  AMS Fellows are trained in a variety of farm skills, from organic gardening to permaculture design, preserving food, carpentry skills and small animal husbandry.   AMS Fellows learn to become community builders and leaders as they work on local food projects in the surrounding community to strengthen connections to our local food system.  The fellowship involves two phases: phase one is from April 28 - November 1, 2013 and phase two is from January 1st through December 31st, 2014.  Learn more here

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

Greenhorn Radio     


Greenhorn Radio is radio for young farmers, by young farmers. Helmed by acclaimed activist, farmer, and documentarian Severine Fleming, Greenhorn Radio is a weekly phone interview session, surveying America's cutting edge, under-forty farmers.  Heritage Radio Network offers The Greenhorns' weekly radio show and its archives - good free listening anytime with streaming audio.  Listen here.  

Good Laws, Good Food: Putting State Food Policy to Work for Our Communities     


This toolkit, written by the Harvard Law School Food and Law Policy Clinic, will be helpful to a wide range of individuals and groups - extending from non-profits to state agencies to policy coalitions - interested in enacting change in their state food systems.  This toolkit is composed of nine sections that cover a range of potential topics that a state food policy council may wish to explore, including farm to institution, food system infrastructure, food assistance programs, food safety and processing, and school food and education.  Read it here.  

Collaborative Marketing for Small Farms 


Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ontario County has produced a new bulletin, Collaborative Marketing for Small Farms, that provides guidelines for farm owners who are looking to work jointly with other farms to access new markets of restaurants, institutions, and schools. This 12-page bulletin available online in PDF explains the business structure options and success factors of joint ventures, partnerships, and corporations.  Read it 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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