Newsletter header
In This Issue
Webinar: New Farms, New Markets, Dec 11
Webinar: Beyond Emergency Food, Dec 11
Webinar: Food Banks as Partners, Dec 12
Webinar: CSA Legal Issues, Dec 17
Webinar: Financing Healthy Food Retail
Northeast Beginning Farmers Online Courses
NFU Women's Conference, Jan 11-14
Farming for Profit and Stewardship, Jan 17-18, 2014
Virginia Biological Farming Conference, Jan 31-Feb 1
Food Hub Collaboration Conference, March 26-28 2014
JOB: Director of Communication Strategies, WVHUB, Fairmont WV
Fairmont Community Garden Opens Doors For Kids
National Gardening Association Grants, Deadline: Dec 6
AFRI NIFA Fellowship Grant Program Deadline: Dec 12
AAUW: Community Action Grants, Deadline: Jan 14 2013
IdeaCafe Small Business Grant: Deadline, Jan 15, 2014
Sodexo Foundation Youth Grants: Deadline Jan 31 2014
Captain Planet Foundation Grants: Deadline Jan 31 2014
American Honda Foundation, Feb 1st, 2014
USDA Value Added Producer Grants: Deadline Feb 24 2014
National Restaurant Association: Locally Grown Produce is #1 Trend
 

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.  

 

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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

 

Call For Pictures

We are looking for pictures of the West Virginia food system! If you have photographs that you are willing to share of farms, livestock, production facilities, locally grown meals, school gardens or farmers markets, please send or link them to foodandfarm@wvhub.org with the heading "WV Food Picture." We would like to use these pictures to showcase all the exciting work being done in the state. 

 

Take the WVMA Farmers Market Regulatory Policy Survey 

The West Virginia Farmers Market Association, with assistance from The West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition, is conducting a survey of West Virginia Farmers Market Vendors, Managers, Board Members, and service providers such as extension agents.


WVMA and WVFFC are working with state agencies and legislators to try to (1) reduce permitting costs for farmers market vendors and (2) to clear up the confusion about permit requirements. We need your help -- to tell us what you think!

This survey contains real proposed solutions that policy-makers are currently considering, so please let know which ones would best serve your farm business or your farmers market. Thank you for taking 5 minutes to fill out the survey here.

 

West Virginia Food News 

 

WVU student elected Eastern Region Vice president for National Future Farmers of America(FFA)

WVU student Wesley Davis has been elected Eastern Region Vice President for the National Future Farmers of America organization. Davis, of Point Pleasant, WV, is pursuing a dual major in agribusiness management and rural development and agricultural and extension education in the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design. National officers commit to a year of service to the National FFA Organization to interact with business and industry leaders, thousands of FFA members and teachers, corporate sponsors, government and education officials, state FFA leaders, the general public and more. The team will lead personal growth and leadership training seminars for FFA members throughout the country and help set policies that will guide the future of FFA and promote agricultural literacy. Read more here.

Cabell County high school students provide their school with over $13,000 in farm-to-school purchases

"Out of the $36,719.48 spent by Cabell County on the program, $13,900.59 has been earned by two individual Cabell County Schools students, Orin Jackson and Zachary Call.  At $9,711.17, Jackson is the top-earning student farmer in the state, providing the food service program with red, yellow and green bell peppers; tomatoes; butternut squash and cucumbers.  At, $4189.42, Call is the second-highest earning student farmer in the state, providing fresh eggs; romaine lettuce; cherry tomatoes; slicing tomatoes; cucumbers; butternut squash and potatoes. Rhonda McCoy, Director of Food Services for Cabell County Schools says 'The students received start-up funds for their businesses with a grant from the West Virginia Department of Education's Office of Child Nutrition. Now that they are up and running, they are becoming some of our most important local suppliers.'" Read more here

Medical students learn practical cooking skills

"For the second class in a series, medical students at the Eastern Division of West Virginia University School of Medicine learned how to cook healthy dishes with fall vegetables. The class also taught students different cooking techniques, such as blanching and braising, that they would be able to pass on to patients. 'We wanted to do a class based around training pre-med students in nutrition. Typically when you go to a doctor and ask them about nutrition, they refer to someone else. It's not that they don't have a clue, it's just that they don't have that skill set,' said Steve Weiss, program coordinator for the Hospitality and Culinary Arts Program."Read more here

Marshall University recognized for efforts to reduce food waste

As a participant in the EPA's Food Recovery Challenge, Marshall will try to donate and divert as much of their excess food as possible. Organizations that join EPA's challenge find that they not only save money, but they also feed the needy and help protect the environment at the same time. Read more here

 

National Food News 

What's next for FSMA? 

The comment period on the draft version of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) closed November 22nd. The West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition made a comment, which you can view here. What happens next with FSMA? The FDA is required by law to take every comment into consideration, and also has the option of issuing new draft rules for an additional comment period. Keep watching this space to see how food safety regulations will be changing in the future. 

Farm Bill News: Deadline for passing bill is Jan 1

Members of both houses of congress will meet this week to continue to try to come to an agreement on 2013 Farm Bill. In the event that a bill is not passed, it is unknown whether the previous Farm Bill would be extended as it has been in the previous two years. Read more here
Upcoming Events in and near West Virginia
Do you have events that you want included in our newsletter?
 Please contact us ! 

 Webinar: Connecting beginning Virginia farmers to new markets: Start-up advice & resources for gaining access to farmers markets

 Dec 11, 3:00pm, FREE

Learn about farmers markets in Virginia, unique marketing opportunities and resources available to assist in marketing and promotion through the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS). Next, learn a few "best practices" for applying and participating in a local market.  There are many variations in farmers markets. How do you find the best fit for your business? How do you apply? Third, learn the ins and outs of accepting SNAP benefits (food stamps) at the farmers market or by applying for your own machine as a new vendor, discussed by our Virginia Cooperative Extension, Family Nutrition Program. Read more and register here:

 Webinar: Beyond Emergency Food

 Dec 11, 12:00pm, FREE

Hear Jessica Powers from WhyHunger on the work they do to support emergency food providers to go beyond charitable food access programs and create initiatives that foster a more inclusive and sustainable food system. Appropriate for people across the emergency food system, the webinar will cover key principles underlying this work, drivers for transforming organizations, redefining relationships with funders, inspiring examples of change, useful resources and more. Read more and register here.

 Webinar: National Good Food Network: Food Banks as regional "Good Food" partners

 Dec 12, 3:30-4:45pm, FREE

Food banks have tremendous infrastructure, and a commitment to feeding people nutritious food. Several food banks across the country are leveraging their resources to support local/regional food systems in innovative ways. Join us for some holiday-time inspiration. Presentations from FoodLinkNY and the Sacramento Food Bank. Register here:

 Webinar: Farm Commons:CSA Legal Issues

 Dec 17, 4-6pm, FREE

CSA farms are developing a truly innovative business model that promises to change the way consumers think about food. But, this innovation comes with some interesting legal issues. We will discuss the unique employment law, insurance, zoning, and volunteer worker legal issues encountered through CSA. Farmers will learn how address these concerns. Register and participate here:

 Webinar: Financing healthy food retail: Tools and resources for effective program implementation.

 Dec 17, 2-3pm, FREE

Across the country healthy food financing initiatives and programs are helping to increase access to nutritious foods for millions of Americans. Terms such as "food desert" and "underserved" have become commonplace, yet clear definitions can be elusive and vary by state and program. Other challenges include building a robust pipeline of applicants and marketing the program effectively, as well as attracting additional investment to support projects. This webinar will discuss how these initiatives are being administered by community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and food access organizations on the local and state level. For more information and registration, click here.

 Registration open for Northeast Beginning Farmers online courses

Classes begin January 2014 

For aspiring, new, and experienced farmers. 6-week courses connect you to the information and people you need to start a successful farm business or diversify your farm. January classes include: Marketing and Profits, Financial Records, Veggie Farming, Effective Marketing for the Busy Farmer, and Holistic Financial Planning. To learn more and to see which class is right for you, click here

 National Farmers Union: Women's Conference

 Jan 11-14th, Holiday Inn Conference Center, Clearwater FL., $175

A variety of trained instructors will teach family farm finances, budgeting and cash flow, cooperatives, marketing, farm transfer and estate planning, business planning, leadership assessment and skills, generational issues, and action planning. Attendees will learn skills for women leading in agriculture and have peer-to-peer networking opportunities. For more information and registration, click here.

 15th Annual Farming for Profit and Stewardship Conference

 Jan 17-18th, University of Maryland University College Marriott Inn & Conference Center, College Park, MD. $155-$212

Future Harvest presents its 15th annual conference, with session tracks for beginning farmers, scaling up, grass-based systems, local food communities, fruit and vegetable production, and the business of farming. Early-bird rates and scholarships available. For more information and registration, click here.

Virginia Biological Farming Conference 

Jan 31 - Feb 1, 2014

Richmond-Midlothian, VA

Doubletree by Hilton Hotel 

 

Join the Virginia Association for Biological Farming for a conference featuring keynote speakers Gunther Hauk, world-renowned biodynamic beekeeper and Ray Archuleta, conservation agronomist. Sessions will include Profitable Vegetable Farming on 1.5 Acres: BioIntesive Market Garden, Profitable Management of an Organic Vegetable and Flower Farm, The Small-Scale Poultry Flock: An All-Natural Approach to Raising Chickens and Other Fowl for Home and Markets Growers, Greenhouse Herb and Transplant Production for Profit, and $43,560 Project: Learn how to gross $1/sq foot, with 43,560 square feet per acre. For more information and registration, click here.

National Good Food Network: Food Hub Collaboration, Spring 2014 Conference

March 26-28, Raleigh, NC.  

 

This conference will feature multiple tracks for food hub managers and staff, networking and learning for support organizations, consultants and agencies, food hub and food business tours, opportunities to learn from your peers, network, and feel a part of an incredibly energetic community, and excellent local food from Eastern Carolina Organics, Firsthand Foods, and other local suppliers. For more information or to submit proposals for workshops and intensive trainings, click here.

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

JOB: Director of Communication Strategies, West Virginia Community Development Hub

Fairmont, WV

 

The WV Community Development Hub is accepting applications for the position of Director of Community Strategies. This person must be entrepreneurial, highly self-motivated, able to work with only limited supervision, experienced at strategic thinking and creative problem solving, and dedicated to helping West Virginia's communities improve. He or she would work out of the Hub's Fairmont office, but must be willing to travel extensively and make occasional overnight trips. Experience in project management, public speaking, database management, event organizing and communications is desired. A job description may be accessed by clicking here.

 

Resumes, accompanied by a cover letter explaining why you are interested in the position and why you believe it is a good fit, may be sent to info@wvhub.org.  The application deadline is Friday, December 13, 2013. For more information, contact Kent Spellman, Executive Director, at 681-404-6053 or k.spellman@wvhub.org.

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. 

Fairmont Community Garden

Plans Kids-Only Garden; Offers Space to Schools 

 

A portion of the Fairmont Community Garden will be designated to the younger generation in the Fairmont community. Teaching children to grow healthy food, in a fun environment and a creative way, will promote a future of nutritious food choices as well as cast a positive light on community involvement and volunteerism. Curriculum will include the Junior Master Gardener program and feature a "Pizza Garden" and all things kid approved! The community garden will also provide workshops in areas such as organic garden techniques, cooking, preserving, floral arranging, landscape gardening, composting, and/or any other of a myriad of connected interests.
 
For partnerships, find Fairmont Community Garden on Facebook or contact Christa at FairmontCommGarden@yahoo.com, or by phone at 304-816-1379

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. 

AFRI NIFA Fellowship Grant Program
Deadline: Dec 12
 

The FY 2014 AFRI NIFA Fellowship RFA focuses on developing the next generation of research, education, and extension professionals in the food and agricultural sciences who will lead agriculture into the future by solving current and future challenges facing our society. The AFRI NIFA Fellowships Grant Program targets talented, highly-motivated doctoral candidates and post-doctoral trainees that demonstrate remarkable promise and the potential to become gifted education, extension, and research professionals in the United States. The NIFA Fellows are individuals who have the potential for remarkable accomplishments in agricultural science. The Program seeks to develop the technical and academic competence of doctoral candidates and the research independence and teaching competencies of postdoctoral students in the food, forestry and agricultural sciences, which are within NIFA's AFRI Challenge Areas, through well-developed and highly interactive mentoring and training activities. Project types supported by AFRI within this RFA include single-function Research, Education, and Extension Projects and multi-function Integrated Research, Education, and/or Extension Projects.

Letter of intent due by December 12. Learn more here.

 

American Association of University Women: Community Action Grants
Deadline: Jan 14, 2014
 

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) works to advance educational and professional opportunities for women in the United States. The AAUW Community Action Grants program provides funds to individuals, AAUW organizations, and local community-based nonprofit organizations throughout the country for innovative programs or non-degree research projects that promote education and equity for women and girls. Special consideration is given to projects focused on K-12 and community college girls' and women's achievements in science, technology, engineering, or math. One-year grants of $2,000 to $7,000 provide funds for community-based projects that include a clearly defined activity that promotes education and equality for women and girls. Two-year grants of $5,000 to $10,000 provide start-up funds for new projects that address the particular needs of the community and develop girls' sense of efficacy through leadership or advocacy opportunities. Learn more here

IdeaCafe Small Business Grant
Deadline: Jan 15, 2014
 

The 15th Small Business Grant will award $1,000 in cash to the small business with the most inspirational owner, willing to take their business to the next level, a total of $1,500 in advertising credits and tons of free publicity. Demonstrate your innovative genius with your new business idea or give a persuasive picture of your current business, fire up your supporters via social networks, and step into the limelight for a chance to win big! Apply as easily as making a 2 minute long video. Details here.

Sodexo Foundation Youth Grants
Deadline: Jan 31, 2014
 

Sodexo Foundation Youth Grants will provide $500 for youth-led service projects that bring together young people, families, Sodexo employees, and other community members to address childhood hunger. Young people between the ages of 5 and 25 in the United States are eligible to apply. Projects will take place on or around Global Youth Service Day, April 11 to 13, 2014. See full RFP here.

Captain Planet Foundation Grants
Deadline: Jan 31, 2014
 

Captain Planet Foundation Grants are intended to serve as a means of bringing environment-based education to schools, and to inspire youth and communities to participate in community service through environmental stewardship activities . The foundation will fund projects that do not precisely match the grant guidelines but otherwise promote the foundation's mission of hands-on environmental activities. 
The foundation makes grants to schools and nonprofit environmental and educational organizations in the United States with annual operating budgets of less than $3 million. 
Preference will be given to requests seeking seed funding of $500 or less and to applicants who have secured at least 50 percent matching or in-kind funding for their projects. (Projects with matching funds or in-kind support are given priority because external funding is a good indicator of the potential for long-term sustainability of the activities.) The foundation will on occasion consider grants of up to $2,500. Learn more 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

USDA Value Added Producer Grant Business and Cooperative Programs
Deadline: Feb. 24, 2014
 

The primary objective of the VAPG program is to help agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and/or marketing of bio-based value-added products. Generating new products, creating and expanding marketing opportunities, and increasing producer income are the end goals of this program. You may receive priority if you are a beginning farmer or rancher, a socially-disadvantaged farmer or rancher, a small or medium-sized farm or ranch structured as a family farm, a farmer or rancher cooperative, or are proposing a mid-tier value chain, as defined in the Program Regulation. Grants are awarded on a competitive basis.
NOTE: The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition provides a free Farmers' Guide to Value-Added Producer Grant Funding. Learn more about the VAPG grant here. 
Food for Thought
(fruitful reading, research & case studies)

National Restaurant Association: Locally Grown Produce #1 Produce Trend 

"Today's consumers are more interested than ever in what they eat and where their food comes from, and that is reflected in our menu trends research. True trends - as opposed to temporary fads - show the evolution of the wider shifts of our modern society over time, and focus on the provenance of various food and beverage items, unique aspects of how they are prepared and presented, as well as the dietary profiles of those meals." You may view the report here
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