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In This Issue
NESARE Needs Assessment Survey
April 11-12 WV Urban Ag Conference, WVSU
April 22 Food Farm and Finance Meeting, Sandstone Visitor Center
April 12-26 Permaculture Design Course
April 14-16 Urban Agriculture Summit
April 17 Webinar: Measuring Food Security
April 24 Webinar: F2S Geographic Preference 1
May 8 Webinar: F2S Geographic Preference 2
May 15 Real Food Real Local Conference The Plains OH
Aug 3-4 Sustainable Agriculture Education Association Conference, Raleigh NC
Oct 20-22 Farmland Trust National Conference
FSA Microloan Program
2014 EQIP High Tunnel Initiative
Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Program
April 7: AFP Enhancement Grant
April 11: World Hunger Leadership Challenge
April 30: Target Foundation Arts, Culture, Design in Schools
May 1 Fund-a-Farmer Grant
Proposals For Rural Communities
May 15 Organic Farming Research Grant
June 13 / Sept 19 RGK Foundation Grant
May 31 Captain Planet Ecotech Grant
June 15 Aquaponics Micro Grant
Whole Foods Market Local Producer Loan Program
West Virginia Farmers Markets Listing
Report: Food Hubs "Solving Local"

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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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 Food Access Working Group Funds Mobile Market Projects in Wheeling & Williamson

After receiving numerous quality applications from across the state, the Food Access Working Group has chosen to fund mobile market initiatives in Wheeling and Williamson. The Wheeling Mobile Market, operated by Grow Ohio Valley, will serve low-income communities and housing developments. The Mingo Mobile Market, operated by The Williamson Farmers Market will serve Matewan, Kermit, and Delbarton. Watch this space for more information as these projects develop.


West Virginia Food News   


West Virginia Urban Agriculture Conference To Be Held in Charleston April 11-12

The WV Urban Agriculture Conference will be held at the WV State University Student Union on April 11 & 12, 2014.  The two-day conference will feature workshops on a wide variety of subjects, including gardening, beekeeping, raising chickens, starting and running farmers markets, starting an agricultural business, sourcing local foods, rainwater harvesting, and more. Click here to register for the conference.

Governor Tomblin Signs Bill Creating Veteran Agriculture Program

The Veterans to Warriors Agriculture Program will create a fund for the Department of Agriculture to assist veterans looking for work in agricultural fields after returning from combat. The program will begin on June 6th. Read more here

USDA Data Shows Increase in Value of WV Agriculture Production of 37% Over 5 Years

While the value of West Virginia's production increased by 37% to $807 million dollars, the number of farms decreased by 9% to ~21,500. Land used as farmland decreased by 2% over the same period. Read more here


National Food News  

2014 Farm Bill Increases Support for Organic Products

The 2014 Farm Bill offers many opportunities for the growth of Organic Farms, including $20 million annually for dedicated organic research, agricultural extension programs and education and $5 million to fund data collection on organic agriculture that will give policymakers, organic farmers and organic businesses data needed to make sound policy, business, growing and marketing decisions. Read more here
Upcoming Events in and near West Virginia
Do you have events that you want included in our newsletter?
 Please contact us ! 

Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education: Needs Assessment
Online Survey 

Please take 30 minutes to complete this Northeast SARE Needs Assessment around sustainable agriculture issues in WV and Western Maryland. Being at the forefront of sustainable agriculture issues in the region, your input is very important and greatly appreciated. Northeast SARE hopes to determine the state of knowledge, ability, interest, and adoption of sustainable agriculture programs and initiatives in the region; and identify existing gaps to design effective educational programs related to sustainable agriculture in the future. Find the survey here.

The WV Urban Ag Conference
April 11-12, WV State University Institute, WV 

The WV Urban AG Conference is a great opportunity for urban homesteaders and gardeners to learn about garden basics, marketing farm products, home preserving, and more in a hands-on workshop format. There will be a local foods dinner on Friday night and a trade show featuring a variety of exhibitors. For more information, contact John Porter at or (304)720-9887 Click here to register.

Food, Farm, and Finance
April 22, 12pm, Sandstone Visitor Center,  

Developing a vibrant and productive Agribusiness Sector is one component of our new economic development model in the New River Gorge region. Come out on April 22 and learn about new markets, innovative ways to expand your production capabilities and most importantly connect to potential lenders. RSVP by April 20 to Stacy Ford, 304-466-7113 or email More information here.

Ashevillage Permaculture Design Course

 April 12-26, Asheville, 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. You can register and find more information 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 

Webinar: Beyond The Sociodemographics: Measuring Community Food Security

 12pm, April 17


Michelle Kaiser, PhD, MSW, MPH will talk about how she approached measuring community food security, and why she sought to move beyond household and individual level sociodemographic information (which are largely unchangeable) in her research. Click here for more information and registration. 

Farm To School Webinar: Introduction To Geographic Preference

 2pm, April 24


USDA offers two free webinars per month to showcase the variety of ways school districts can purchase local foods. Click here to register for one or more of the webinars. Click here for more information and click here to register.

Farm To School Webinar: Using Geographic Preference

 2pm, May 8


USDA offers two free webinars per month to showcase the variety of ways school districts can purchase local foods. Click here to register for one or more of the webinars. Click here for more information and click here to register.

Real Food Real Local Conference

 May 15th, The Plains OH


Are you passionate about local foods? Whether you are a farmer, processor, involved with farmers or retail markets, a food entrepreneur, advocate or consumer, our May conference will whet your appetite with fresh ideas, proven approaches, great connections, and plenty of interaction and fun. See more information and register here.

Sustainable Agriculture Education Association Conference

 August 3-4, 2014, Raleigh NC


Registration begins May 1st for the Sustainable Agriculture Education Association Conference. Registration and more information will be available here.

American Farmland Trust's National Conference  

Oct 20-22, Lexington, KY  


The Farmland, Food and Livable Communities conference focuses on farming, land use, and food policy. If you have an interest in the impact that land use has on food systems, economic development, job creation, and agricultural viability, visit the conference website 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. 

Farm Service Agency Microloan Program

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) developed the Microloan (ML) program to better serve the unique financial operating needs of beginning, niche and the smallest of family farm operations by modifying its Operating Loan (OL) application, eligibility and security requirements. The program will offer more flexible access to credit and will serve as an attractive loan alternative for smaller farming operations like specialty crop producers and operators of community supported agriculture (CSA). Read more here.  

2014 EQIP High Tunnel Initiative

The Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative is a voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers. The goal of the initiative is to assist producers to extend the growing season for high value crops in an environmentally safe manner. Read more here

Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Program
Deadline: Ongoing

The Agriculture Act of 2014 provided an additional $20 million per year for 2014 through 2018. The reasons for the renewed interest in beginning farmer and rancher programs are: the rising average age of U.S. farmers, the 8% projected decrease in the number of farmers and ranchers between 2008 and 2018, and the growing recognition that new programs are needed to address the needs of the next generation of beginning farmers and ranchers. Read more and find an application here

Appalachian Foodshed Project  
Enhancement Grant
Deadline: April 7, 5:00PM 

The Appalachian Foodshed Project seeks to fund projects that improve community food security in manners that meet the needs of vulnerable populations facing food insecurity.  View the request for applications here.

The World Hunger Leadership Challenge
Deadline: April 11  

The World Hunger Leadership Challenge was created by the USA TODAY Charitable Foundation and the Lift a Life Foundation, with assistance from the Yum! Foundation, to encourage middle and high school students to hone leadership skills by completing a service-learning project that solves hunger issues. Watch the video here.

Target Foundation: Arts, Culture & Design in Schools Grant 
Deadline: April 30   

Target funds up to $2000 of in-school arts programs that enhance students' classroom curricula by bringing the arts and cultural experiences to schools, such as in-school performances, artist-in-residency programs and workshops in schools. Programs must take place between September 2014 and August 2015. See more here

Fund-a-Farmer Project Grant
Deadline: May 1   

Food Animal Concerns Trust's Fund-a-Farmer Project awards grants for projects that help family farmers transition to pasture-based systems, improve the marketing of their humane products, or enrich the conditions in which the farm animals are raised. They aim for a American food system that is both financially and ecologically sustainable.  Check out the proposal request here.  

Citizens' Institute on Rural Design Invites Proposals for Rural Communities Facing Design Challenges
Deadline: May 6

The Citizens' Institute on Rural Design works with rural communities  of 50,000 or less to enhance their quality of life and economic vitality through facilitated design workshops. If your community could benefit from a grant program that helps them leverage cultural assets and work with local leaders and professionals to creatively address inefficient design and infrastructure, read here for more information.  

Organic Farming Research Foundation Grant
Deadline: May 15

The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) encourages farmers, ranchers, researchers, and Extension personnel to  applying for funding to work with a professional researcher in order to design and carry out a research project. Read here for more information. 

RGK Foundation Grants

Deadline: June 13 & Sept 19, rolling

The RGK Foundation invites grant proposals in the areas of education, community, and health & medicine. Their primary interests include programs that focus on formal K-12 education (particularly math, science, and reading), teacher development, literacy, and higher education.  Click here for the full RFP. 

Captain Planet Foundation Ecotech Grant
Deadline: Rolling through May 31, 2014 

The Captain Planet Foundation is accepting proposals for grants to be awarded to schools or non-profits organizations focusing on engaging children in inquiry-based projects in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) that use innovation, biomimicry / nature-based design, or new uses for technology to address environmental problems in their communities - Learn more here.

Aquaponics Association Micro Grant
Deadline: June, 15 2014   


The goal of this program is to increase public awareness, understanding, and knowledge of aquaponics as an educational tool, a hobby, or a business in providing a source of fresh, local, healthy food. Preference is given to educational/outreach based activities that focus on developing aquaponics systems or a plan to move existing growing systems toward aquaponics.  View the application here.   

Whole Foods Market Local Producer Loan Program
Deadline: Rolling

Whole Foods Market is providing up to $25 million in low-interest loans to independent local farmers and food artisans. Read about program details here.   
Food for Thought
(fruitful reading, research & case studies)

West Virginia Farmers Markets

Warm weather seems to be upon us, and with that, Farmers Markets will soon begin again! Not sure where your nearest market is? The West Virginia Farmers Market Association maintains a list of partner markets, which is available here.

Wallace Center Report on Food Hubs: "Solving Local" 

The report presents five case studies that show how small-farm aggregators and food retailers and distributors are teaming up to bring local food into larger-scale wholesale channels. Known as regional food hubs, the small-farm aggregators are helping industry partners meet growing consumer demand for food that comes with local economic, environmental, and social benefits.
The report encourages retailers and food service companies to get acquainted with hubs in their territories as a first step to developing local food sourcing programs."Food hubs are proving to be a needed intermediary in the supply chain," Wallace Center executive director John Fisk says.  "Hubs are the scaling up strategy for local food."
Download the report here.
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