Newsletter header
In This Issue
Support WV Food & Farm Coalition
May 29 Webinar: HACCP Basics
May 30 Tug Valley Block Party
June 4 Made In Rural America Regional Forum
June 4 Webinar: Agritourism In New England
June 6 Food For Profit Workshop
June 6-7 Try This Conference
June 10 SE Ohio Farm To School Conference
June 11 Real Food Real Local Conference
June 16-17, SE WV Farm Gathering, Fairlea WV
June 16 Young & Beginning Farmer Mixer, The Spring, Lewisburg
July 31 Webinar: Food Hubs
Sept 11-12 WV Brownfields Conference
Aug 3-4 Sustainable Agriculture Education Association Conference, Raleigh NC
Oct 20-22 Farmland Trust National Conference
WVFFC Seeks Local Partner For Food Expo
FIRSTHAND Coffee CSA in Morgantown
USDA Business & Cooperative Loans
Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Program
Farmers Market Promotion Program Grants
Local Food Promotion Program
Small Socially Disadvantaged Producer Grant Program
Rural Energy Assistance Program Grants
June 13 / Sept 19 RGK Foundation Grant
June 15 Aquaponics Micro Grant
West Virginia Farmers Markets Listing
What's Killing The Bees?

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.  


WVFFC Staff & Board 
Elizabeth SpellmanExecutive Director
Rebekah EplingProgram Coordinator
Stephanie TyreeDirector of Community Engagement & Policy
Brandon HolmesPolicy Analyst
Kelly CraneOutreach Coordinator
Garnet BruellAmeriCorps OSM/VISTA
Cheryl BrownPresident
Mike KwasniewskiVice President
Rob HintonTreasurer
Kent SpellmanSecretary
Brooke Nissam-Sabat
Susan Jones
Marlo Long
Hannah Vargason
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 proud to provide support for food and agriculture efforts around West Virginia by convening Food and Farm Working Groups, creating resources, growing the local foods network, organizing trainings and events, offering mini-grants, and providing strategic policy support to stakeholders. Our budget relies on raising funds in order to keep our work accessible to all. Will you support us today? 


WVFFC holds Policy Training & Proposal Workshop 
On May 15th, WVFFC held a Policy Training & Proposal Workshop in Summersville, which gave Working Group members the opportunity to develop and get feedback on possible policy proposals for the 2015 legislative Session. The training included a breakdown of strategies to move legislation forward by Stephen Smith, Executive Director of the WV Healthy Kids & Families Coalition, as well as an afternoon panel that included West Virginia State Senators William Laird and Ron Miller, legislative attorney Noelle Starek, and other advocates from across the state.

West Virginia Food News 
Wild Ramp Moves To A Larger Location
The Wild Ramp, which has injected over $350,000 worth of sales into West Virginia's local food system since 2012, has moved locations to accommodate its increasing growth. The new location at 555 14th Street West in Huntington is in the heart of the Old Central City commercial district will also house a coffee shop. Read the whole story here.
Interview: James McCormick, WV Veterans & Warriors to Agriculture Project
This interview of James McCormick, director of the WV Veterans & Warriors to Agriculture Program, details the events that led to the start of the program, which aims to offer agricultural education and resources to West Virginia Veterans. Read the whole story here.
George Washington Elementary School Garden Education Project
This article details the efforts not just to teach children to grow food, but to use the school garden at George Washington Elementary as a tangible extension of classroom lessons in math and science. Read the whole story here.
Home Gardens On The Rise
Many West Virginia home gardens are well underway now in late May. Levels of home gardening hit a low in 2000, but have increased since then. Read the whole story here.
West Virginia Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics Meeting Highlights Local Food
Supporting the local food system was one of the highlights of the annual WVAND meeting at Pierpont Community & Technical College. See more here
Mount Hope Community Garden Bringing People Together
This article features the Mount Hope Community Garden, operated by the DuBois On Main Museum. The Garden recently had a kickoff event, but is still looking for donations of a tool shed, rain barrels, and garden tools. Read the whole story here.
Tug Valley Greenhouse Kicks Off
Tug Valley High School in Naugatuck had a ribbon cutting ceremony at their new greenhouse in May. In addition to producing food that can be sold at the Williamson Farmers Market, the greenhouse will serve as an educational environment and an extension of the classroom. See photos and read the whole story here.
Upcoming Events in and near West Virginia
Do you have events that you want included in our newsletter?
 Please contact us ! 

Webinar: HACCP in an Hour
1pm, May 29, Free

On this webinar, you'll learn the ABCs of HACCP - vocabulary and basic concepts - from an experienced HACCP instructor. If you're a farmer or rancher who brings animals to an inspected processor, if you're thinking you might want to get into the processing business, or if you just want to know what HACCP actually is, this webinar is for you. Register for the webinar here

Tug Valley Block Party
May 30th, Williamson, Free, 6pm

This free event is being put on by the Mingo County Diabetes Coalition, The Williamson Farmers Market, and the Williamson Health & Wellness Center. There will be free music, free zumba and free food! Activities include Gardening workshops, crafts, a rock climbing wall, foursquare, and health & first-aid education. The Williamson Farmers Market is located on 2nd avenue.

Made In Rural America Regional Forum
June 4, Canonsburg, PA, 8:30am-3:00pm

This event by the White House Rural Council will focus on organizations operating successfully in rural America, with special attention paid to those that are exporting products. Agenda here, registration here.

Webinar: Agritourism in New England
June 4, 12pm-1pm, Online

Results from a survey of farms in the New England region will be presented with a focus on agritourism and direct sales. Comparisons across states will look at producer characteristics, operation categories, financial situations, and entrepreneurial assessments. More information and the link to the webinar can be found here.

Food For Profit Workshop
9am-4pm, June 6, Belington, WV, $30

Do you make a specialty food item that friends and family often request? Have additional produce from your garden that could be made into a value-added food product? Envision marketing your family recipes? Desire to generate more household income? Dream of owning a food business? The Food For Profit Workshop can help you put all the pieces together. Flyer and registration information here (postmark by May 30), and agenda is here.

Try This Conference
June 6-7, WV Wesleyan, Buckhannon WV

Enjoy two idea-packed, inspiring days with like-minded people. Meet people from all over the state who are doing great things to help their communities. Trade ideas! Join forces! Get inspired, learn, plan your next steps. Help build a statewide movement! For more information and registration, click here. Scholarships, lodging, and meals available. 

SE Ohio Farm to School Conference
June 10, Nelsonville, OH, 8:30am-3pm, $25

Sessions include: Farm to School Partnerships, Farmer and School Perspectives, Food Safety Panel Discussion, Students Grow Hands-On Education, and more! Regstration here, which includes lunch.

Real Food Real Local Conference
June 11-13, The Plains, OH

This yearly event brings together a diversity of people from across the country, providing an opportunity for people and organizations re-inventing local food systems in their communities to learn, share and network. Both Wednesday and Thursday feature workshops, panel discussions, speakers, and delicious locally sourced food. Lunches are included in your registration fee. Want to see what's happening in SE Ohio's food system? Take one or more of our tours offered Thursday afternoon and Friday. We will also host Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evening receptions at Uptown Athens bars and eateries. A limited number of scholarships are available for West Virginia residents - please contact Click here for registration.

Southeast WV Farm Gathering
June 16-17, Fairlea, WV

Registration is now open! You can register and find more information here. This event is hosted by the WV Farmers Market Association and Change the Future WV with support from the WVDE's Farm-to-School program. Workshops available will include: 
  • Season Extension with Lewis Jett
  • Farm Technology
  • What Direct Marketing Model Makes Sense for YOUR farm business?
  • Permaculture on the Edge
  • Business Planning 101 with Dee Singh-Knights
  • Meat Production
  • Production Planning and Cooperative Development
Please register now, as there are limited number of spaces.

Young & Beginning Farmer Mixer
June 16, 7:30-9:30, The Spring, Lewisburg WV

Please join us Monday June 16th from 7:30-9:30 PM for the Young & Beginning Farmer Mixer at The Spring in Lewisburg (204 N Jefferson St.)
This event is a great opportunity to meet other young or  beginning farmers from across the Greater Greenbrier Valley to mix and mingle, chat, share stories, give advice, brainstorm shared needs,  plan future events, and have fun! Local snacks, beer, & wine will be provided.  Enjoy live music featuring Tyler Childers and bring your instrument for the Open Mic. There will be a Canned Goods and Produce Swap, so bring non-immediately perishable local food products from your farm, garden, or a local producer to share/swap!

Webinar: Food Hubs
July 31st, 12-1pm, Free

Food Hubs by Tom Snyder, manager of OSU South Center's Ohio Cooperative Development Center. The webinar will be available to view here.

West Virginia Brownfields Conference
Sept 11-12, Big Sandy Arena, Huntington WV

Who should attend? Anyone involved in redevelopment: Economic development professionals, real estate developers, lawyers, state and local officials, environmental professionals, entrepreneurs, planners, realtors, bankers, investors, and community redevelopment professionals.  This year's event will include sessions covering all aspects of brownfields redevelopment, interactive workshops on project funding, specialty training on remediation, a project showcase banquet, and much more! More information and registration 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. 

WVFFC Seeks Local Partner For Food Expo

Following the successes of our Local Food Expo & Buyer Grower Mixers in Huntington and Beckley, The West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition is seeking a partner organization to help with planning, outreach, and coordination of a similar event to be held in late Summer/early Fall. Is your organization and area ripe for a Local Food Expo? Please contact us at You can find more information about our previous events here and here.


FIRSTHAND Coffee is a buying cooperative that allows consumers in the Morgantown area to purchase fair-trade in a way that directly benefits those coffee producers, and pick that coffee up at a predetermined location. Click here for more information or to register for the CSA. 

USDA Business & Cooperative Loans

The purpose of the B&I Guaranteed Loan Program is to improve, develop, or finance business, industry, and employment and improve the economic and environmental climate in rural communities. This purpose is achieved by bolstering the existing private credit structure through the guarantee of quality loans which will provide lasting community benefits. It is not intended that the guarantee authority will be used for marginal or substandard loans or for relief of lenders having such loans. More information here.

Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Program
Deadline: June 12, 2014

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

Farmers Market Promotion Program Grants
Deadline: June 20, 2014

The goals of FMPP grants are to increase domestic consumption of, and access to, locally and regionally produced agricultural products, and to develop new market opportunities for farm and ranch operations serving local markets by developing, improving, expanding, and providing outreach, training, and technical assistance to, or assisting in the development, improvement, and expansion of, domestic farmers markets, roadside stands, community-supported agriculture programs, agritourism activities, and other direct producer-to-consumer market opportunities. The maximum amount awarded for any one proposal cannot exceed $100,000; the minimum award is $15,000. Read more here.

Local Food Promotion Program
Deadline: June 20, 2014

LFPP offers grant funds with a 25% match to support the development and expansion of local and regional food business enterprises to increase domestic consumption of, and access to, locally and regionally produced agricultural products, and to develop new market opportunities for farm and ranch operations serving local markets. Read more here.

Small Socially-Disadvantaged Producer Grant Program
Deadline: June 30, 2014

The primary objective of the SSDPG program is to provide technical assistance to small, socially-disadvantaged agricultural producers through eligible cooperatives and cooperative development centers. Grants are awarded on a competitive basis. Each fiscal year, applications for the SSDPG program are solicited through a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) published in the Federal Register. Information here.

Rural Energy Assistance Program Grants 
Deadline: Multiple

Rural Energy Assistance Grants (REAP) funding can be used to make energy efficiency improvements or to install renewable energy systems. USDA is accepting applications for:
  • Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement loan guarantee and grant combinations;
  • Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement loan guarantees; and
  • Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement grants.
More information here.

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. 

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.   

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

West Virginia Farmers Markets

Now is the time to eat local food, and the best place to get it is often your local farmers market! Not sure where your nearest market is? The West Virginia Farmers Market Association maintains a list of partner markets, which is available here.

What's Killing The Bees? 

It's an unfortunate fact: honeybee populations around the world are declining at a frightening pace. Bees are responsible for pollinating dozens of food sources for humans. Here are just a few of the plants that rely on them:  
A recent study, published in the Bulletin of Insectology strengthens previous connections between the use of neonicotinoid insecticides and colony collapse disorder, having a particularly deadly effect as colonies of bees hibernate during colder winters.
Here's an excellent list of things that you can do on an individual level to keep your area friendly from bees, including reducing pesticide use, planting native flowers, supporting organic agriculture, figuring out which weeds can be helpful, and even providing water for bees. 
This is YOUR space, YOUR newsletter and YOUR Coalition. If you have suggestions, announcements or resources you would like to share please contact us.
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