Newsletter header
In This Issue
2014 WV Annie's Project
Feb 21 WVSU GHP/GAP Training
Feb 24 Webinar: Starting a Farm
Feb 25 Webinar: Soil Quality
Feb 26-March 1, Small Farm Conference
Feb 27-28, Red Meat Track, Small Farm Conference
March 1 TEDxManhattan: Changing The Way We Eat
March 3-7: Free Online Growing Summit
March 6-7 CSA Expert Exchange
March 26-28 Food Hub Collaboration
April 12-26 Permaculture Design Course
April 14-16 Urban Agriculture Summit
JOB OPENING: VC2 Business Coordinator
USDA Value Added Producer Grants: Deadline Feb 24 2014
2014 Mantis Tiller Award
Ben & Jerry's Foundation Social Change Grant
General Mills Champions for Healthy Kids
Dorothea Haus Ross Foundation anti-hunger grants
Revitalizing The American Chestnut

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!

Like us on Facebook

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 welcomes Rebekah Epling as our new Program Coordinator! 

Rebekah Epling hails from Ripley, WV and joined the Coalition in February 2014. After graduating with a degree in Sociology/Anthropology from Earlham College, Rebekah served as an AmeriCorps VISTA in Pocahontas and Fayette Counties from 2008-2010, working with organizations focusing on environmental stewardship and sustainable community development. Epling participated in the Augusta Heritage Center of David and Elkins College WV Folk Life Apprenticeship Program by studying Appalachian foodways and homesteading practices under the tutelage of a Jackson County family steeped in traditional methods. Epling is a candidate for a Master's degree in Appalachian Studies at Appalachian State University where she focused on community development and food studies. Her academic research and fieldwork experiences include post-industrial community development in the Welsh coalfields, communities in transition, folklife and landscape, and the history, culture, and evolution of food in Appalachia.  Rebekah is enthusiastic about cooking with local, seasonal ingredients and is always eagerly awaiting ramp season.


WVFFC Publishes Roadmap for the Food Economy: 2014 Progress Update
The 2014 Progress Report seeks to celebrate progress, highlight stories "from the field," measure changes in the food economy, and indicate where the biggest opportunities lie. It also includes an updated "Food Economy Scorecard" that measures collective progress toward the four big-picture goals. To find out more and to download the report, click here.


West Virginia Food News 

Robert C. Byrd Institute receives grant to increase West Virginia's local food capacity
The grant will further the collaboration of two West Virginia's Rural Accelerator Grant funded projects, including The Value Chain Cluster Initiative. Read more here
Williamson's continued efforts in health and local food. 

The Washington Post has written an excellent write-up on a variety of the initiatives happening in Mingo County, including the Sustainable Williamson and the Diabetes Coalition. Read more here


National Food News 

2014 Farm Bill passed. National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition provides write-up. 

The 2014 Farm Bill was signed into law February 7th. The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition has provided an informative series of blogs to dive into the details of the bill. Read about them here: 
Upcoming Events in and near West Virginia
Do you have events that you want included in our newsletter?
 Please contact us ! 

West Virginia Annie's Project Dates for 2014
Jan-June, 2014

Annie's Project provides training, resources and networking opportunities to help West Virginia women build viable, efficient and sustainable farm businesses. The first courses cover everything from business planning, finances and marketing to food safety and insurance. The second level teaches business, estate, retirement and succession planning. Both groups can expect meaningful networking opportunities that extend well beyond the course. You can learn more about Annie's Project and about financial aid for attending at, or by contacting at 304-293-7606.


8am-5pm, Feb 21, 2014

Erickson Alumni Center, Institute, WV


WVSU is offering a "Good Handling Practices/Good Agricultural Practices" (GHP/GAP) training Friday, Feb. 21, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in WVSU's Erickson Alumni Center in Institute. The GHP/GAP training for any West Virginia produce growers marketing food directly to the public or those seeking to become a Farm to School supplier. Increasingly stringent federal food safety standards could make GHP/GAP certification very valuable in the near future.

The $25 registration includes course materials as well as snacks and beverages. An independent lunch break is scheduled, during which participants may bring a packed lunch or choose from the dining options available on campus. 


To register, contact Brad Cochran at (304) 541-3301 or 

Webinar: Starting a Farm

Feb 24, 2014



A beginning farmer has to find financing, lease or buy land, coordinate equipment, establish a website, and so much more, all while growing crops or raising livestock. The legal issues abound, but this webinar will help beginning farmers understand the fundamental issues that should demand attention while the farm gets started. Register here.

Webinar: Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Soil Quality in Long-term Integrated and Transitional Reduced Tillage Organic Systems

Feb 25, 27 2014


Join eOrganic for a 2-part webinar series about a current USDA-NIFA funded research project: Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Soil Quality in Long-term Integrated and Transitional Reduced Tillage Organic Systems. The first webinar will take place on February 25, and the second will take place on February 27. Both presentations will be at 2PM. More information and registration here

West Virginia Small Farm Conference

Feb 26-March 1

Morgantown WV


In its tenth year, the WV Small Farm Conference has grown to include three pre-conference workshops on Wednesday, Feb. 26, and officially begins on Feb 27 with both short-form and in-depth workshops. Thursday evening features the Winter Blues Farmer's Market and Local Food Dine-Around. 

Friday and Saturday schedules feature almost one hundred 50-minute workshops on a wide variety of topics that are designed to address the nearly endless opportunities and their associated challenges that farmers face. Registration costs are variable depending on the days of attendance. Find more and register here

West Virginia Small Farm Conference: Red Meat Track

Feb 27-Feb 28

Morgantown WV, Small Farm Conference


The two-day Red Meat Track, sponsored by The Value Chain Cluster Initiative, will feature two experts: Kari Underly, a James Beard nominated author of "The Art of Beef Cutting" as well as Master Butcher Adam Tiberio. These day long workshops will focus 
on strategies to increase profitability in the hog & beef business, understand different breed types, and learn the answer to this question: If You Had 10 Hogs, What Could You Do? More information is available here

TEDxManhattan: Changing The Way We Eat

March 1st, 2014



TEDxManhattan 2014 is the fourth annual series of talks on changing the food system. The event may be streamed live or watched at a public viewing area. For information on speakers and viewing parties, click here

Online Conference: Food Growing Summit

March 3-7



Targeted at consumers who would like to learn more about growing more of their food at home, this 4-day series of online conferences features farmers and growers from around The United States. More information and free registration here

CSA Expert Exchange

March 6-7, 2014



The CSA Expert Exchange is an online conference that will focus on issues relevant to beginning farmers and those just getting started in the world of CSA's as well as topics such as marketing and social media, legal issues surrounding CSA's, crop planning and CSA coalitions. The cost is $25 for day one, $55 for day 2, and $70 for both days. Read more and register 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.

Ashevillage Permaculture Design Course

 April 12-26, Acheville NC


This two-week long Permaculture Design Course offers a comprehensive smorgasbord of lectures, slideshows, group design projects, field trips, live-stream presentations, and hands-on activities. Participants will gain tools, skills and experience with integrated design systems; time-tested, earth-based traditions; common-sense approaches that address real-world challenges; and the collaborative development of an integrated design plan for a real community project. More information and registration here.

Urban Agriculture Summit

April 14-16, Lynchburg VA  


The Virginia Food System Council, Lynchburg Grows, VCE VDACS and The Virginia Farm Bureau Federation are hosting a two day conference addressing multiple aspects of agricultural and health issues in urban settings.  This is slated to be an annual event bringing together 150-200 participants in Virginia's community. Find more information and register here 

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

Job Opening: Business Coordinator, Value Chain Cluster Initiative

Mid-Ohio Cluster
and Doddridge, Tyler, Ritchie, Gilmer Counties


The VC2 Business Coach (20 hours per week)

will directly assist business owners by linking them to business development resources that improve their access to markets. The Business Coach will directly work with local food business owners to grow their operations by linking them to (or in some cases providing) one-on-one technical assistance, group trainings, entrepreneurial networking opportunities, and legal assistance. The Businesses Coaches will also track program results through surveys and other instruments. The Business Coach should have some understanding and experience of what it takes to run and grow a successful agriculture-related enterprise as well as an understanding of the statewide resources available to them. For a full description and application, click 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. 

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. 

2014 Mantis Tiller Award
Deadline: March 7 2014

NGA will select 25 outstanding applicants to receive Mantis tillers/cultivators. Any non-profit garden program may apply. 25 programs will each receive a Mantis Tiller/Cultivator with border/edger and kickstand, and their choice of gas-powered 2-cycle engine or electric motor. Total value: $349.00. Application information here

Ben & Jerry's Foundation Grassroots Organizing for Social Change Grant
Deadline: March 21 2014

The foundation will award one-year grants of up to $20,000 to nonprofit, grassroots community-organizing groups in the United States to further social and environmental justice and support sustainable and just-food systems. Grants can be used to support either programming or operations costs.

The foundation will only consider proposals from grassroots, constituent-led organizations that have annual budgets under $500,000 and are using direct action, grassroots, and community-organizing strategies to accomplish their goals. Read more here

General Mills Champions for Healthy Kids
Deadline: March 21 2014

The General Mills Foundation has distributing more than $5 million in grants to nonprofit organizations. Through the Champions for Healthy Kids program, the General Mills Foundation will award 50 grants of $20,000 each to nonprofit organizations working to improve nutrition and physical fitness behaviors for youth. More information and application here 

Dorothea Haus Ross Foundation Grants
Application consideration ongoing

Foundation awards are 1 time grants between $1,000 and $15,000 to organizations that serve vulnerable children. Funding priorities include the ill, the physically disabled, the injured, the disfigured, the mentally disabled, the emotionally disabled, the under-educated, the learning-disabled, the orphaned, the poor-disadvantaged, the neglected, and the malnourished. For more information click here

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

Revitalizing The American Chestnut

American chestnut trees once dominated the Appalachian landscape, but during the early 1900s a fungus struck the trees causing them nearly to vanish. The American Chestnut Blight, an Asian fungus, first struck in 1904 in New York City and quickly spread, leaving in its wake a trail of dead and dying stems.  By the 1950s, the keystone species of some nine million acres of forests had disappeared.
Through a Conservation Innovation Grant from USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Cope family is working with the American Chestnut Foundation to plant the trees and study how to reforest them successfully. Read the complete article 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.
If you received this email from someone else, and would like to subscribe to the West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition Newsletter, please visit this link to sign up.