Newsletter header
In This Issue
Support WV Food & Farm Coalition
WVFFC News
2014 WV Fairs & Festivals
July 8 Workshop: Fruit Drying
Aug 3-4 Sustainable Agriculture Education Association Conference, Raleigh NC
Aug 10-28 Ashevillage Perennial Ag Immersion
Sept 11-12 WV Brownfields Conference
Oct 20-22 Farmland Trust National Conference
WVFFC Seeks Local Partner For Food Expo
Sustainabilty Journal Organic FarmingcIssue
FIRSTHAND Coffee CSA in Morgantown
USDA Business & Cooperative Loans
Small Socially Disadvantaged Producer Grant Program
Job Opening: Furture Harvest Foodshed Field School
Americorp position: Alderson Food Hub
Crop Insurance Education Grant
Impacting Food Deserts Grant
Rural Energy Assistance Program Grants
Growing Farm Profit Training Course
Natl. Center for Home Food Preservation Resources
US Food System Explained with Maps
 

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 
Staff
Elizabeth SpellmanExecutive Director
Rebekah EplingProgram Coordinator
Stephanie TyreeDirector of Community Engagement & Policy
Brandon HolmesPolicy Analyst
Kelly CraneOutreach Coordinator
Garnet BruellAmeriCorps OSM/VISTA
Board
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 News

  

Young & Beginning Farmer Mixer  

On June 16th, The Spring in Lewisburg hosted the Southeast WV Young & Beginning Farmer Mixer sponsored by WVFFC, VC2, GVLFI, Appalmad, and WVFMA. Many young and beginning farmers from across the Greenbrier Valley joined together to enjoy local food and live music, network with each other, and share advice. If you are interested in hosting a Young & Beginning Farmer Mixer in your area, please contact us.    

 

White House Rural Council Forum on Regional Food Economies

WVFFC was invited to participate in a forum on June 9 that focused on how local food systems are emerging as economic drivers in rural communities and the Federal resources that are available to support this work. WVFFC joined with other local foods initiatives in southern WV and held a viewing party at the Greenbrier Valley Economic Development Corporation office.  Please click here to watch the event which includes a question asked by WVFFC.
 

 

West Virginia Food News

Try This! Conference a Success
The Try This! Conference was held at West Virginia Wesleyan College June 6-7 and gathered hundreds of participants from across the state to focus on ways to build a statewide movement aimed and creating significant, practical change in the health of WV families and communities. WVFFC participated in conference planning and presented in several workshops that connected healthy lifestyles to local foods. Check out the  WV Gazette's coverage of the conference featuring a quote from WVFFC VISTA Garnet Bruell.

Southeast WV Farm Gathering Connects 
Area Farmers
The West Virginia Farmers Market Association and Change the Future hosted the First Annual Southeast WV Farm Gathering June 16-17 at the WV State Fairgrounds in Fairlea. Over 100 farmers, food producers, and service providers participated in this conference that focused on giving farmers the tips and tools they need to operate successful food businesses. Workshop and panel discussions explored topics such as production planning, support for young and beginning farmer, business and marketing best practices, and issues in aggregation. WVFFC assisted in planning the event, led several workshops, and sponsored the Young and Beginning Farmer Mixer at The Spring in Lewisburg

NPR Highlights the Importance of Ramps in Richwood
NPR's Morning Edition recently aired a story about wild ramps in Richwood including issues related sustainability, agritourism, and the impact of the Feast of the Ramson on the town of Richwood. To learn more about the cultural and economic importance of ramps to Nicholas County, listen to the segment here.

Grow Ohio Valley Projects Reclaim Abandoned Spaces
Check out this story from WV Public Radio about the amazing work that the folks at Grow Ohio Valley are doing surrounding reclaiming abandoned areas of Wheeling in order to grow the local food economy. A small group is undertaking several major projects that serve the town through educational and development opportunities. Projects include a mobile market catalyzed by WVFFC's Food Access Working Group, an urban farm and organic training center, community garden micro grants, a four-season garden and greenhouse, a consignment farmers market and health food store, a 5-acre urban apple orchard, and youth summer camps.

Charleston's Corner Kitchen: Frozen Meals for Busy Families

Innovative food and agriculture business models are popping up all over the state. The Corner Kitchen in Charleston is unique in the fact that it sells homemade comfort food that is frozen in different portion sizes and perfect for people on the go. Check out the WV Gazette article about this new business here. 

 

 
National Food News

USDA Farm to School Census Data Released 
Take a look at these revealing infographics that highlight the results of the USDA Farm to School Census including information gathered from more than 1,500 new and updated responses from a total of 9,896 school districts. 

WV Moves Up in 2014 Locavore Index Rankings 
A 2014 locavore index ranks states based off of their commitment to providing local food by measuring the number of farmers markets, CSAs, food hubs, and percentage of schools districts participating in Farm-to-School programs. West Virginia rose from #23 in 2013 to #14 in 2014.

 


Upcoming Events in and near West Virginia
Do you have events that you want included in our newsletter?
 Please contact us ! 

WV Fairs & Festivals 
Ongoing
 

Help boost agritourism in West Virginia by attending an agriculture or food related festival this summer. Check out Goldenseal's Folklife Fairs & Festivals Calendar for a list of all the events that WV has to offer. Upcoming fairs include the 70th Annual WV Poultry Festival in Moorefield July 21-26,  the WV Hot Dog Festival in Huntington July 26, the WV Blackberry Festival in Nutter Fort July 31-August 2, and the State Fair of West Virginia in Fairlea August 8-16.

Fruit Drying Workshop  

July 8, 8:30-3:30, Kearneysville, WV  
 

WVU Jefferson County Extension is hosting a fruit drying workshop that will explore topics including product and process development, ingredients, product safety, and storage and handling. The workshop costs $15.00 and will be held at the Jefferson Co. Public Services Center in Kearneysville from 8:30am- 3:30 pm on Tuesday July 8. For more information or to register by July 3, contact April Blaker by phone at 304-728-7413 ext. 0, or by email at alblaker@mail.wvu.edu

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

Ohio State University is hosting a free webinar titled "Food Hubs" led by Tom Snyder, manager of OSU South Center's Ohio Cooperative Development Center. The webinar will be available to view here.

Sustainable Agriculture Education Association Conference

August 3-4, Raleigh NC

 

The 6th Annual National Sustainable Agriculture Education Association (SAEA) Conference will be held August 3-6  2014 in Raleigh, North Carolina on the campuses of North Carolina State University and Central Carolina Community College. The event focuses on the scholarship of teaching and learning in sustainable agriculture education. Please check out the conference details and register here.  

Ashevillage Institute Perennial Ag Immersion 
August 10-28, Asheville, NC
 

Ashevillage Institute is hosting the Perennial Agriculture Immersion Program in which participants experience a month of community and eco-living at the Ashevillage Sanctuary, participate in their Urban Farm School, learn about perennial agriculture, and gain insight on how to create long-lasting, regenerative food sheds. Click here for details and an a pplication and if you have any questions, contact Stacey Murphy at stacey@ashevillage.org.

 

 

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.

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.  

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. 

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 foodandfarm@wvhub.org. You can find more information about our previous events here and here.

Journal Issue on Organic Farming 
 

The open-access journal Sustainability has published a special issue titled "Organic Farming and a Systems Approach to Sustainable Agroecosystems." This issue is available free online here and includes a paper analyzing pesticide residues found in organic foods. 

FIRSTHAND Coffee CSA
 

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. More information here.

Small Socially-Disadvantaged Producer Grant Program
Deadline: June 30
 

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.

Job Opening: Manager of Future Harvest CASA's Foodshed Field School
Deadline: June 30
 

Future Harvest Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture (FHCASA) seeks a full-time, energetic, self-motivated, highly organized and visionary manager to operate its new Foodshed Field School. FHCASA's headquarters is located in Cockeysville, MD and their mission area covers Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington DC. FHCASA provides education, networking, and advocacy to build a sustainable Chesapeake foodshed from farm and fishery to table. Read the full job description here or contact Dena Leibman at dena@futureharvestcasa.org


AmeriCorps Opening: Alderson Community Food Hub 
 

The Alderson Community Food Hub is a grass-roots organization that strives to connect food producers and consumers in West Virginia's Greenbrier Valley, provide access to nutritious food, and cultivate awareness of sustainable food systems.The AmeriCorps volunteer will serve to build the Food Hub's capacity and to meet the needs of local producers and consumers. For more information or to apply, please send a cover letter and resume to Fritz Boettner at fritzboettner@gmail.com.

Crop Insurance Education in Targeted States 
Deadline: June 30 
 

The USDA Risk Management Education Targeted States program aims to educate agricultural producers in selected states, including West Virginia, about crop-insurance program participation and availability. The program will offer $5 million, with individual awards up to $700,000. Click here for the full RFA.

Grant for Impacting Food Deserts 
Deadline: July 21
 

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Community Services (OCS) will award up to $9.5 million in grants for community-based efforts to improve health and economic well being for people who live in food deserts. Organizations with projects focusing on improving access to and purchase of healthy foods or the creation of employment and food-related business opportunities in low-income communities are encouraged to apply 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.

Growing Farm Profit Free Training Course

Deadline: Ongoing

 

Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group has made its Growing Farm Profits training course and materials available for free online. The course mostly focuses on vegetable production but many of the concepts, topics, and principles discussed will be informative to any kind of producer and includes short video tutorials, profit management tools, recordkeeping spreadsheets, reference documents, and PowerPoint presentations. Sign up for this informative course here.  

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

UGA's National Center for Home Food Preservation Resources

University of Georgia's National Center for Home Food Preservation offers many free resources for beginning and experienced preservers. NCHP offers a free self-study course on preserving food, webinars on the history, science, and current trends in canning, and an extensive searchable database on food processing information and safety issues. Check out these free and informative resources here.  

Exploring the US Food System through Maps

If you are interested in how the American food system has changed over the years and the impact that has had on farmers, economics, and health, check out this collection of 40 maps, charts, and graphs that show where our food comes from and how we eat it. 
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