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In This Issue
Agroforestry Webinar June 26
Post-Harvest Handling of Fruits and Vegetables Training June 27
Food Access and Economic Impacts Webinar June 27
Risk Management Training for Beginning Farmers July 12-14
Good Agricultural Practices Webinar Series July 1, 8, 15, and 22
I Love My Farmers Market Celebration May 28-September 9
USDA Rural Business Opportunity Grant Program Deadline June 28
Healthy Food Financing Initiative Projects Deadline July 2
Refugee Agriculture Partnership Program Deadline July 2
USDA Small Socially-Disadvantages Producer Grant Deadline July 15
USDA Small Socially-Disadvantages Producer Grant Deadline July 15
Syngenta's Grow More Vegetables Seed Grant Program Deadline September 15
Seasonal Cooking Information and Veggie IDs
Map the Meal Gap: Food Insecurity in Your County
Apps for Farmers Markets Info
 

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.

 

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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.

 

WVFFC News

Search continues for future WVFFC Executive Director 

The hiring search continues for the WV Food & Farm Coalition's future Executive Director.  We look forward to finding the right person to work closely with our current Director, Savanna Lyons, until she leaves in December.  Do you know someone who is willing to work hard, think outside the box, be an advocate for farmers and consumers, and build partnerships outside of traditional "silos" in order to promote West Virginia food and agriculture?  Send them our

 

West Virginia Food News

Jefferson County food pantry builds community garden

Jefferson County Community Ministries started a community garden in order to find a way to incorporate healthier options into the lives of their clients.  Community partnerships have made possible the building of the garden as well as classes on cooking on a low-income budget.  The Marietta Daily Journal reports here.

 

WV man on a "Walking Out Hunger" tour

Tom Knopp, director of the Good Samaritan Center in Kenova, is on a walking tour through every WV county to raise money and awareness about hunger.  Knopp covers about 25 miles a day and aims to raise about $10,000 from each county for local food pantries and the two statewide food banks.  The Charleston Gazette reports here.

 

WV local food economy featured on the USDA blog

This is another article about the Appalachian Regional Commission's tour of the Appalachian local food economy.  This article highlights the Value Chain Cluster Initiative, which provides business plan support, marketing help, facility design, food safety planning and funding for regional food businesses in 17 West Virginia counties.  It also highlights Annie's Project, an educational program dedicated to strengthening women's roles in farming.  USDA reports here

 

National Food News

Farm Bill News

During consideration by the full Senate of the Committee-passed farm bill, over 200 amendments were filed to the bill.  Senate leaders failed to come to an agreement on a list of amendments to consider, so the Senate voted on June 6 to limit debate on its version of the farm bill.  On June 10, the Senate passed its version of the farm bill by a vote of 66-27, with strong bipartisan support.  This Senate-passed bill mostly reflects the bill passed by the full Senate last year.  This week, the House floor is taking action on the version of the farm bill approved by the House Agriculture Committee.  Learn about key issues and how you can contact your representatives here.  Find up-to-date information about the farm bill on the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition's blog.

 

USDA reports more women are farming

A recent USDA analysis reports that more women are getting into farming.  The number of U.S. farms operated by women has nearly tripled over the past three decades, from 5 percent in 1978 to 14 percent by 2007.  NPR reports here.

 

USDA and EPA launches U.S. Food Waste Challenge

On June 4, the USDA and EPA launched the U.S. Food Waste Challenge, calling on others across the food chain, including producer groups, processors, manufacturers, retailers, communities, and other government agencies, to join the effort to reduce, recover, and recycle food waste.  Learn more and explore new resources here.

Upcoming Events in and near West Virginia
Do you have events that you want included in our newsletter?
 Please contact us ! 
Agroforestry Webinar

June 26, 2013 3-4pm

Online

 

Agroforestry is a land-management system that combines trees and crops and/or livestock.  Agroforestry systems improve yields by optimizing tree and crop interactions.  In this webinar, the principles and practices of agroforestry will be discussed, with specific attention paid to opportunities for silvopasture, forest farming, and multifunctional riparian buffers.  This webinar presentation serves as a practical overview of agroforestry concepts and practices for beginning farmers.  Presented by Dr. John Fike and Dr. John Munsell of Virginia Tech.  To participate, click here.

Post-Harvest Handling of Fruits and Vegetables Training

Thursday, June 27, 2013 6:30pm 

Heritage Park Community Building, Spencer, WV

 

Dr. Lewis Jett will discuss appropriate production practices, careful harvesting, and proper packaging, storage, and transport that all contribute to good produce quality.  This course covers post-harvest practices suitable for small-scale operations, and points out the importance of production and harvesting techniques for improving quality and storability.  Various methods for cooling fresh produce are discussed, and resources are provided for further information, equipment, and supplies.

To pre-register for the training, please call the WVU-Roane County Extension Office at 304-927-0975 or email jepling@mail.wvu.edu

Webinar:  Food Access and Economic Impacts: Trends and New Research

Thursday, June 27, 2013 2-3pm

Online

 

Studies have shown that healthy food retail improves the economic health and well-being of communities.  Healthy food retail can also increase or stabilize home values in nearby neighborhoods, generate local tax revenues, and promote additional spending in the local economy.  This webinar, presented by the Healthy Food Access Portal, will provide the latest research on the economic impact of healthy food retail.  Join to explore how new healthy food retail provides jobs and other positive economic impacts to surrounding communities.  Learn more here

Risk Management Training for Beginning Farmers

 July 12-14, 2013

Mt. Vernon, KY

 

The National Center for Appropriate Technology is hosting this 2.5 day workshop focused on business planning, identifying markets, and specialty crop production.  Activities will include classroom instruction, a farm tour, and hands-on high tunnel construction experience.  Learn more here.

Good Agricultural Practices Webinar Series

 July 1, 8, 15, and 22, 2013

Online

 

The webinar series from University of Illinois Extension is designed to provide information to growers on how to keep produce safe from production to the market.  Several topics are included: What is GAP's; Water quality and testing; Soil management; Record keeping; Traceback, etc.  Each registered participant will be sent webinar instructions, handouts, and a GAPs manual prior to the first webinar.  Learn more 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. 

American Farmland Trust's "I Love My Farmers Market Celebration" 
May 28-September 9, 2013

   

"I Love My Farmers Market Celebration" works to raise the national awareness about farmers markets.  Farmers markets provide the vital link between eaters and where our food comes from and as such highlight the importance of protecting farmland.  Participants pledge dollars they intend to spend at their farmers markets.  The Top 100 most celebrated markets will receive a special logo honoring their achievement, "No Farms, No Food" gear, and recognition on the Celebration's website.  Learn more here

USDA Rural Business Opportunity Grant Program
Deadline:  June 28, 2013
 

USDA announces the availability of grants through the Rural Business Opportunity Grant Program (RBOG) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013.  The primary objective of the RBOG program is to promote sustainable economic development in rural communities with exceptional needs.  Grants are awarded on a competitive basis.  Public bodies, nonprofit corporations, institutions of higher education, Indian tribes on Federal or State reservations and other Federally Recognized Native American Tribes or tribal groups, and rural cooperatives may apply.  Approximately $2.6 million is available.  Applications are limited to $100,000.  Learn more here

Community Economic Development Healthy Food Financing Initiative Projects
Deadline:  July 2, 2013
 

Through the Community Economic Development program and within the framework of the Healthy Food Financing Initiative, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of Community Services seeks to fund projects that will implement innovative strategies for eliminating food deserts while achieving sustainable employment and business opportunities for  recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and other low-income individuals.  Applicants must be qualified Community Development Corporations (CDC).  Learn more here

Refugee Agriculture Partnership Program
Deadline:  July 2, 2013
 

The Office of Refugee Resettlement within the Administration for Children and Families of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services invites entities to submit competitive grant applications for projects under the Refugee Agricultural Partnership Program (RAPP).  Grant applications should propose strategies that incorporate agriculture and food systems to improve the lives of refugee families.  These strategies should result in sustainable and/or supplemental income, improved access to healthy foods and better nutrition, and enhanced integration into communities by refugee families.  Total program funding is $1 million, with estimated grant awards of up to $85,000.  Learn more here

USDA Small Socially-Disadvantaged Producer Grant
Deadline:  July 15, 2013
(July 10 deadline for online submissions)
 

The USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service has announced the availability of $2,855,222 in competitive grant funds for the FY 2013 Small Socially-Disadvantaged Producer Grants program.  USDA is requesting proposals from applicants that will provide technical assistance to small, socially-disadvantaged agricultural producers in rural areas.  Eligible applicants include Cooperatives, Groups of Cooperatives, and Cooperative Development Centers.  The maximum award per grant is $200,000.  Learn more here

Risk Management Education Funding
Deadline:  July 22, 2013
 

The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, operating through the Risk Management Agency, has announced available funds totaling approximately $3 million for the Risk Management Education Partnerships Program.  This program is a competitive cooperative partnership agreement program that provides crop insurance education and risk management training.  It aims to help agricultural producers identify and manage production, marketing, legal, financial, and human risk.  Learn more here.

Syngenta's Grow More Vegetables Seed Grant Program
Deadline:  September 15, 2013
 

Syngenta has established a new Grow More Vegetables Seed Grant Program, providing assistance to schools and community organizations establishing or enhancing their garden programs that create opportunities to educate local communities on the benefits of fresh produce.  Three recipients (one in each category of elementary/middle school, high school and FFA programs, and community groups and organizations) will be awarded a garden package that includes seeds, supplies and a monetary stipend.  Learn more here.  

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

Seasonal Cooking Information and Veggie IDS

   

Secrets of a Seasonal Cook is a new series of 26 vegetable profiles and over 30 recipes - available free to media outlets, bloggers, farmers' markets, and farmers.  Each article includes mouthwatering photos, recipes, nutritional information, and cooking tips, and may be republished freely on your blog, newsletter, or print publication.  Learn more here

Map the Meal Gap: Food Insecurity in Your County

   

In order to address the problem of hunger, we must first understand it.  Feeding America undertook the Map the Meal Gap project to learn more about the face of hunger at the local community level.  By understanding the population in need, communities can better identify strategies for reaching the people who most need food assistance.  Explore the map here

Apps for Farmers Market Info

   

The USDA recently release the new Farmers Market Directory API (Application Programming Interface) which will let app developers design apps that will give consumers more up-to-date information about farmers markets and other local food initiatives.  Learn more here.

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