Newsletter header
In This Issue
Food for Profit Workshop, November 4th
Sustainable Agriculture Conference, November 15-17
Farm Leasing Workshops, Abingdon VA
North Carolina Community Gardeners Gathering, Durham, NC
Appalachian Regional Commission Economic Keynote
Organic Growers School Conference Encores
2013 Virginia Farm-To-Table Conference
Spring 2014 Internship with ASAP
Scholarships Available for Entrepreneurship Education Forum
Technical Assistance Grants, November 8th
Subaru Healthy Sprouts Award, November 15th
National Gardening Association Grants, December 6th
Captain Planet Foundation, Jan 31st 2014
American Honda Foundation, Feb 1st, 2014

The West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition is a statewide network of people involved in building West Virginia's food and farm sectors. Our interconnected goals are to improve access to healthy, locally-produced food for all West Virginians while helping viable food and farm businesses to grow.   The Coalition was launched in 2010 by the West Virginia Community Development Hub, but is on its way to becoming an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to food and agriculture issues. 


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.


Read more on our website.  


Join WVFFC's Mailing List!

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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 program coordinator! 

The West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition seeks a dynamic and committed individual to help build and support West Virginia's rapidly growing local food system.  Since 2010, has supported a statewide network of West Virginians working to grow food and farm businesses while improving access to healthy local food.  The position of Program Coordinator requires a special individual 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 continue the Coalition's success in promoting food and agriculture as a critical part of West Virginia's economy and well-being.  The West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition is currently located in Fayette County, WV, in the heart of Appalachia and site of the New River Gorge.


The full job description, including this announcement, can be downloaded here.


WVFFC holds School Gardening Symposium in Charleston and launches ! 

On Saturday, October 26th, about 60 teachers, administrators, AmeriCorps volunteers, dietetic interns,  and gardeners participated in a day long symposium organized by members of WVU Extension, KEYS 4 HealthyKids, and the WVFFC School Garden Working Group. Participants attended sessions highlighting Morgantown's North Elementary Panther Pride Garden, common garden pests and how to treat them, using school gardens for problem-based learning, creating and landscaping natural learning environments, George Washington Elementary School's High Tunnel Project, and gardening with a light box. At the end of the day, in a collaboration with the WVU Extension Service, we launched The website is a collection of resources to encourage, connect, and strengthen West Virginia school garden projects. To add your school's own lesson plans, articles, or other teaching resource, please email them to  Read more about the event here.

Local Food Expo Gets "Thumbs Up;" Huntington Buyer-Grower Directory Released 

Designed to help food buyers and local food producers do business together, The Huntington Local Food Expo was just one of a series of regional Expos to be hosted throughout the state by the WV Food & Farm Coalition and local partners, with support provided by the West Virginia Department of Agriculture via a USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant and Cabell County Farm Bureau.  Restaurants, institutional food buyers, distributors, farmers, and food business owners joined a group "speed dating" event to help them make sales connections.  The event also featured a sampling showcase of prepared local produce, and a buyer-grower panel discussion about making bulk local food sales relationships work.  


A Huntington region Buyer Grower Directory was created to accompany the Huntington Local Food Expo.  Directory information from this event will be combined into a single statewide buyer-grower directory after the next two Expos.  Click here for more information and a list of our partners.


West Virginia Food News 


North Elementary School fifth graders will travel to Washington D.C. for a nutritious meal with first lady Michelle Obama. 

North Elementary School's history of school gardening, incorporation of garden produce into school meals and partnership with the Morgantown Farmers Market have put it on the map! Earlier in October, the school received an invitation from the White House to join students from Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, to celebrate an announcement from Michelle Obama about marketing healthier foods to America's children. Read more here


WVSU grants aim to boost West Virginia beer, mushroom production.

Research is progressing on two potential crops for West Virginians: hops and mushrooms. A $23,000 grant focuses on locally grown and organically produced hops, while a $13,000 grant will set up demonstration sites studying the production of mushrooms in both urban and rural settings. These grants are in line with Agriculture Commissioner Walt Helmick's recent comments about West Virginia's potential for a strong agricultural economy: "I am pushing agriculture. It is a significant opportunity. In West Virginia, we consume $7 billion worth of food a year. But we grow less than $1 billion. That leaves a $6 billion economic opportunity." Read more here


Agriculture Comissioner Walt Helmick names Eric Ewing as new director of agriculture protection.

Agriculture Commissioner Walt Helmick said Eric Ewing will become plant industries director on November 1st.  He currently serves as assistant director. Ewing is a resident of Pax, Fayette County, and started with the department in 1995. He will replace the retiring Sherri Hutchinson. Read more here


30 of West Virginia's 55 counties have begun purchasing local food for breakfast and lunch programs. 

As part of the national Farm to School program, schools all around West Virginia are exploring the options of locally grown food. Foods can be anything from lettuce and corn for salads, to hamburger buns made with wheat grown in Preston County and baked in Brunetti's Italian Bakery in Kenova. Read more here


National Food News 


Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) proposed regulations now available for review - WVFFC launches webpage to help you understand how FSMA might affect you. 

FSMA is the first major update of federal food safety legislation since 1938--authorizing new regulations at the farm level for producers and certain facilities.  Specifically, it mandates establishing standards for produce production and food safety measures for food processors. To learn more about the rules, find links to analysis on the impact FSMA will have on farms and food businesses, and sound off to the FDA about how the law will affect food and farming, visit our new FSMA page here


Farm Bill News:

2013 Farm Bill Conference holds first public meeting.

On October 30th, 2013, members of both the House of Representatives and the Senate met to consider the 2013 Farm Bill. The House and the Senate have passed separate farm bills that would eliminate direct subsidy payments to farmers, make changes to crop insurance and other commodity programs, provide disaster assistance to farmers, and write new rules on food labeling. But the two chambers differ sharply on how much money the federal government should spend on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps. Read more here

Upcoming Events in and near West Virginia
Do you have events that you want included in our newsletter?
 Please contact us ! 
Food for Profit Workshop
Nov. 4th, 9:00-4:00
WVU Extension Service, Kanawha County Office, 4700 MacCorkle Ave SE Suite 101, Charleston, WV. 

Food for Profit is a very practical session for food entrepreneurs, providing information to ensure that your business starts out and grows in a way that matches your vision and goals. Learn about getting started, business legalities, developing a business plan, niche marketing, safe food handling, product packaging, and finance. Registration is $30.00, payable at the time of registration by personal check. See more information here.

28th Annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference
Nov. 15-17, Durham, NC

Sustainable farm tours, hands-on workshops in organic farming, permaculture, urban homesteading, food forests, food policy, fermentation, and more! Meet the network of people changing the food system of Appalachia. To register and learn more click here.

Farm Leasing Workshops

Nov. 12, Abingdon VA, Nov 13, Dayton VA 

Abingdon: Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center

6-8:30 PM

Fee: $10 to cover boxed dinner

Contact: Washington County Extension Office (276-676-6309)


Dayton: The Montezuma Hall 

4-8:30 PM

Pre-register by Friday, November 8 

Contact: Tom Stanley at or call Rockbridge Extension Office (540-463-4734)

The leasing workshops will address economic and legal issues in leasing. Topics include the benefits of long-term leases for the landlord and the tenant, termination of leases, enforcement of lease provisions and how to set a rent that is fair for all parties. The use of leases in farm transition and estate planning will also be discussed. Also, the difference between a good tenant and a tenant that promises the highest rent will be addressed. Lease issues on the agenda include new and beginning farmers, as well as conservation practices.  

North Carolina Community Gardeners Gathering

 Nov. 9, Durham, NC

Phail Wynn Jr. Student Service Center

Durham Technical Community College 


Program highlights include presentations on such perennial community garden challenges as finding funding and resources, composting, and successful garden organizing. Dr. Lucy Bradley of NCSU will share a big picture overview of community gardening throughout North Carolina. A guided tour of Durham's beautiful Briggs Avenue Community Garden will cap the day's activities.Registration includes lunch, and is $15 for NCCGP members, $20 for non-members. For information and registration, visit the NCCGP website, or contact

 Appalachian Regional Commission presents Toward Prosperity: Entrepreneurship, Transforming Appalachia's Economy. 

 Nov. 6-7, Charleston, W.Va


How can Appalachian communities create an entrepreneurial ecosystem that helps local businesses grow and succeed? Investor and entrepreneur David Wilhelm will provide a keynote address on this critical topic. Read more and register here.

Organic Growers School Conference Encores 

Nov. 2, UNC Asheville 

Room 125, Rhodes/Robinson

Nov. 9, UNC Asheville

Room 014, Zeis, at UNCA

Registration here


Organic Growers School is revisiting some of their favorite gardening and homesteading classes from their annual spring conference! Topics include Backyard Micro-farming, soil nutrient management, planning for you first vegetable garden, and homesteading 101. Read more here.

2013 Virginia Farm-to-Table Conference: "Healthy Food and Vibrant Farms for the Common Wealth and Common Good" 

Dec. 4-5, Weyers Cave, VA. 

Blue Ridge Community College Plecker Workforce Center


This conference fosters collaboration, conservation and community in strengthening community, local and regional food systems. Producers, buyers, school and university officials, community and agricultural development officers, legislators, administrators, and other key food system stakeholders should plan to attend. Read more and register here

Job Opportunities in and near West Virginia
Do you have jobs that you want included in our newsletter?
 Please contact us ! 

Spring 2014 Internship with Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project

Asheville, NC


ASAP (Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project) in Asheville, NC is currently accepting applications for spring 2014 interns!  Internship topics include:  Local Food Campaign, Growing Minds (Farm to School), Research, Communications, Graphic Design & Production, and Operations/Administration. The internship term is early January through May. These are unpaid internships.

Information available here.


Deadline for applying is Monday, November 18, 2013. Applications are to be sent to

W.Va. Scholarships Available for The 31st Annual Entrepreneurship Education Forum  
Nov. 15-18, Cleveland, Ohio  
This conference is put on by the Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education, and special scholarships available to West Virginia residents through the Appalachian Regional Commission! you can register and find scholarship information 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. 

Technical Assistance Grants from WV Broadband Mapping Program
Deadline: Nov. 8, 2013


The intent of the Technical Assistance Grant Program is to fund broadband-related train-the-trainer programs, education, and online application development. Any public, private, non-profit or volunteer entity is eligible to submit proposals to create or improve the usage of broadband internet through education, train-the-trainer programs, or online applications. Click here for more information. 

Subaru Healthy Sprouts Award
Deadline: Nov. 15, 2013

Subaru offers this award to eligible schools for youth gardening programs focused on teaching about the environment, nutrition, and hunger issues. 47 schools will receive award packages and funding valued over $500, and three will receive grand prizes valued at $1,500. Click here to learn more about these award.

National Gardening Association Grants
Deadline: Dec. 6, 2013

The National Gardening Association is offering grants to schools and community organizations with child-centered garden programs. Click here to learn more about this program. 

Captain Planet Foundation Grants
Deadline: Jan. 31, 2014

The mission of the Captain Planet Foundation is to promote and support high-quality educational programs that enable children and youth to understand and appreciate our world through hands-on learning experiences that engage them in efforts to improve the environment in their schools and communities. For application information, look here.

American Honda Foundation Grants
Deadline: Feb. 1, 2014

The American Honda Foundation engages in grant making that reflects the basic tenets, beliefs and philosophies of Honda companies, which are characterized by the following qualities: imaginative, creative, youthful, forward-thinking, scientific, humanistic and innovative. We support youth education with a specific focus on the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects in addition to the environment.

Funding Priorities: Youth education, specifically in the areas of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, the environment, job training and literacy. Learn more here
Food for Thought
(fruitful reading, research & case studies)

Local Food Calculator


Have you ever wondered how dollars spent locally are affecting the economy? Plug some of your own data into this handy calculator to get a feel for how your money makes a positive impact in your community! 

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