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In This Issue
Farm Business Planning Workshop May 14
Mushroom Production Workshops May 15, 29, and June 12
Eastern KY Food Systems Collaborative Gathering May 16
Place-Based Branding for Food Systems Webinar May 23
Food Business Workshops May 28, 29
Resorces to Create or Expand Healthy Food Retail Webinar May 30
Nominations for Appalachian Local Food Guide Due May 15
Roadmaps to Health Prize Deadline May 23
Annie's Grants for School Gardens Deadline May 31
Rural Energy For America Program NEW Deadline for Grants May 31
Deadline to Respond to Census of Agriculture May 31
Farm Aid for Family Farm Agriculture Deadline June 1
WV Women in Agriculture Nomination Deadline June 1
EPA's Brownfield's and Urban Agriculture Guidelines
New Report on Farmers Markets and Low-Income Communities
Produce Donation Stations at Athens, OH Farmers Market

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.





WVFFC is Hiring a Summer Policy Research Fellow

For the summer of 2013, the WV Food & Farm Coalition is seeking a full-time, Summer Policy Research Fellow to coordinate and advance the emerging work of the Coalition's internal working groups relating to policy development and advocacy.  

The Summer Policy Research Fellow will conduct detailed research on a number of policy issues affecting the local food economy and will produce a multi-state comparison guide of agricultural policies issues. The Summer Policy Research Fellow will also develop materials, participate in meetings with policymakers, review state and federal regulations and laws, and assist in the continued development of a robust and supportive policy system for the local food economy.  

Position open until filled. Please send a cover letter and resume to by May 30th.

Learn more here.


West Virginia Food News

Urban Farm Bill Discussed at Charleston City Council

On May 6, an urban farm bill went to Charleson's City Council.  In effect, the bill adds language to the city's zoning code to cover things people are doing-- building backyard or rooftop chicken coops, digging community gardens and putting up beehives."  The Charleston Gazette reports here.


State Fair of WV Announces 2013 Youth Leadership Council

Six youth leaders from throughout West Virginia have been selected to serve on the 2013 State Fair of West Virginia Youth Council.  Council members are expected to complete a minimum number of volunteer hours that tie into the preparation and execution of the annual fair, develop programs and events that promote the State Fair Endowment as well as to challenge their leadership and organizational skills. Read Media reports here.


National Food News

USDA Expands Support for Farmers Markets to Accept SNAP Benefits

Last year, the USDA designated $4 million in funding to expand the availability of wireless point-of-sale equipment in farmers markets not currently accepting SNAP benefits (formerly food stamps).  On April 29, 2013, the USDA announced that eligibility will be expanded to include direct marketing farmers, as well as farmers markets.  Funds may be used to purchase or lease equipment or pay for wireless access.  Funds will be available through Sept. 30, 2013.  USDA reports here, Farm Futures reports here.

--- To find out about West Virginia funds, contact Pamela A. Santone, Director, EBT/Facilities System Administration, WV DHHR EBT Project Office: (304) 558-0055,


Beginning Farmer Bill Introduced in U.S. House and Senate

On April 26, Senator Tom Harkin and 9 of his colleagues introduced the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act of 2013.  The bill was originally introduced in 2011 as something to go with the 2012 Farm Bill, but not all of the bill's provisions were included in either or both of the Senate- or House-passed bills last year.  When the farm bill did not happen, this bill was modified and has now been re-introduced.  The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition reports here.


We invite you to keep up-to-date on national farm news by reading the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition's blog.  They update this blog frequently with all of the latest national news related to food and farm issues.

Upcoming Events in and near West Virginia
Do you have events that you want included in our newsletter?
 Please contact us
WVU Extension Farm Business Planning Workshop 

 Tuesday, May 14, 2013 6-8pm

Morgan County Board of Education, Berkeley Springs, WV


This workshop is for those interested in farm operations or small businesses.  Dr. Dee Singh-Knights will be leading the workshop and will teach you how to make your business more profitable.  Learn more here.

WVSU Extension Mushroom Production Workshops

School of Harmony, Beaver, WV

May 15: Shitake Mushroom Production

May 29: Chicken of the Woods Mushroom Production

June 12: Oyster Mushroom Production


The classes will all take place from 10am to noon.  The oyster mushroom class costs $30; the others cost $20 each.  Fees include all materials needed to produce mushrooms at home.  Participants can pre-register for all three workshops for a total cost of $60.  Find out more here.

Eastern Kentucky Food Systems Collaborative Gathering
Thursday, May 16, 2013



The Eastern Kentucky Food Systems Collaborative is a network of farmers, gardeners, producers, consumers, health professionals, educators, extension agents and more who are dedicated to building, strengthening and connecting the Eastern Kentucky food system.  This gathering will feature an educational and participatory afternoon workshop on the basics of a buy local campaign in local communities and the region.  Learn more here and register for the lunch here

Webinar: Place-Based Branding for Food Systems 

Thursday, May 23, 2013, 1-2pm



During this webinar, members of the Central Appalachian Network will report on a study of place-based branding applied to food systems and other sectors.  Register here.

WVU Extension Regional Food Business Workshops

May 28, 2013: Berkeley Springs, WV

May 29, 2013: Kearneysville, WV


This free one-day workshop is for those who want to start and/or successfully operate a food business in West Virginia.  It offers classes by business and food safety experts throughout the state.  Topics include: product and process approval, needed certificates, inspections of food businesses, and more.  Pre-registration is required.  Learn more here.  See the agenda here.  

Webinar:  Resources to Create or Expand Healthy Food Retail: Public and Private Grant and Loan Programs 

Thursday, May 30, 2013 2-3pm



This webinar will provide an overview of the "Find Money" section of the Healthy Food Retail Portal and provide examples of specific federal, state and local resources that can be tapped to create or expand healthy food retail opportunities in underserved communities.  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. 

Nominations Sought for Appalachian Local Food Guide
Nomination Deadline:  May 15, 2013  

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and American Heritage Publishing are partnering on the production of a tourist-oriented "mapguide" designed to boost tourism and stimulate economic development in Appalachia by showcasing its food-heritage and agritourism attractions.  Sites to be featured include local farms, farmers markets, farm-to-table restaurants, and other distinctive food-related destinations.  Watch the promotional video here, and learn more here.  Let's be sure West Virginia local food projects are well represented! 

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Roadmaps to Health Prize
Deadline:  May 23, 2013

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Roadmaps to Health Prize is awarded annually to honor outstanding community efforts and partnerships that are helping people live healthier lives.  Winning communities will each receive a $25,000 cash prize and have their success stories celebrated and shared broadly with the goal of raising awareness and inspiring locally-driven change across the country.  Up to six RWJF Roadmaps to Health Prize winning communities will be honored in 2014 and each will receive a no-strings-attached $25,000 cash prize.  Learn more here

Annie's Grants for School Gardens
Deadline:  May 31, 2013

Annie's offers grants to school gardens that connect children directly to real food. These funds can be used to buy gardening tools, seeds or other needed supplies.  They donate only to K-12 school gardens that focus on connecting kids to real food.  Learn more here

USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Grants and Loans
NEW Deadline for grants and combination grants and loans:
May 31, 2013
NEW Deadline for renewable energy feasibility studies: 
May 31, 2013
Deadline for loans:  July 15, 2013  

REAP, authorized by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, (Farm Bill) is designed to help agriculture producers and rural small businesses reduce energy costs and consumption and help meet the national critical energy needs.  The program offers grants, loans, and grant-and-loan combinations for renewable energy systems and energy-efficiency improvements, and grants for renewable energy system feasibility studies.  Find out more here.

Deadline to Respond to 2012 Census of Agriculture
Deadline:  May 31, 2013  

The USDA Census of Agriculture, conducted only once every five years, is the only source of consistent and comprehensive agricultural data for every state and county in the nation.  It looks at farms, value of land, market value of agricultural production, farm practices, expenditures, and other factors that affect the way farmers and ranchers do business.  The information is used by agribusinesses, town planners, local governments, and policy makers, as well as farmers, ranchers, growers and others to shape farm programs, boost rural services and grow the future of farming.  Learn more here

Farm Aid Grants for Family Farm Agriculture
Deadline:  June 1, 2013  

In 2012, Farm Aid granted $527,800 to 66 family farm organizations in 38 states and the District of Columbia; grants ranged from $3,000 to $20,000.   Farm Aid provides grants to nonprofit (family farm and rural service) organizations that fulfill the goals of three different programs: Helping Farmers Thrive, Taking Action to Change the System, and Growing the Good Food Movement.  Learn more here

WV Dept. of Agriculture Seeks Nominations for WV Women in Agriculture
Deadline:  June 1, 2013  

The West Virginia Department of Agriculture is seeking nominations for the 2013 West Virginia Women in Agriculture program.  Induction is granted to those women who have made significant contributions to the establishment, development, advancement or improvement of West Virginia agriculture, forestry or specialty crops in the state.  Learn more here

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

EPA's "Brownfields and Urban Agriculture: Interim Guidelines for Safe Gardening Practices"


This document outlines the range of issues which need to be addressed in order to safely grow food on former brownfield sites.  It shares a list of ideas and a process for addressing each of these risks so that growers can be aware they have selected a brownfield and brownfields can be redeveloped safely and efficiently into agriculture projects.  Read the document here.

New Report on Farmers Markets and Low-Income Communities


This study from the Project for Public Spaces and Columbia University found that the principle barriers to farmers market access for low-income communities was not price, as is often suggested, but rather location and information.  The authors go on to make recommendations for how farmers markets that wish to target low-income communities can be more successful in creating much-needed access to healthy foods.  Learn more here

Produce Donation Stations at Athens, OH Farmers Market


The Community Food Initiative's Donation Station addresses Athens County's most immediate food security issue: access to healthy foods for all.  The Donation Station receives both food and monetary donations each week from market customers, vendors and local community gardens. The monetary donations are used to purchase food from a produce auction.  All of the food is distributed weekly to local food pantries and social service agencies.  Learn more here.

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