Newsletter header
In This Issue
Support WV Food & Farm Coalition
Dubois On Main Community Garden
WV Beginning Farmer Survey
2014 WV Fairs & Festivals
July 29, WV Policy Workshop
July 30, Gardening Workshop
July 31, Food Hub Webinar
Aug 1-2, PA Organic Farm Fest
Aug 1-3, Permaculture Gathering
Aug 3-4 Sustainable Agriculture Education Association Conference, Raleigh NC
Aug 2-4, Farm To Table Symposium
Aug 14, Food Hub Strategies
Sept 11-12 WV Brownfields Conference
Sept 25, Country Of Origin Webinar
Oct 20-22 Farmland Trust National Conference
JOB OPENING: Heart & Hand House
FIRSTHAND Coffee CSA in Morgantown
USDA Launches Beginning Farming Website
USDA Business & Cooperative Loans
Sustainable Soil Management Resource
Rural Energy Assistance Program Grants
Growing Farm Profit Training Course
Renew Conservation Stewardship Program
USDA RFA: Unprocessed Fruit & Vegetable Pilot
Agroecology Paper

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
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? 



Appalachian Sustainable Development Tour 

On June 30, members of the West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition's Aggregation & Distribution Working Group toured the Duffield, VA, facility of Appalachian Sustainable Development to explore the dynamics of aggregating and distributing locally produced food. This trip inspired state-wide thinking on aggregation and distribution, as well as kick-started data collection at WV's food hubs and local food aggregation sites in order to increase efficiency and profitability.


Appalachian Regional Commission Tour of Greenbrier Valley

In advance of their release of Bon Appetit Appalachia, a food-map guide of the region, The Appalachian Regional Commtission toured the Greenbrier Valley with the assistance of the West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition, The Value Chain Cluster Initiative, and The Greenbrier Valley Economic Development Corporation. Tour sites included Smooth Ambler, Greenbrier Valley Brewing Company, Perk Farm Organic Dairy, and Swift Level Farm, concluding with a cooperatives discussion with Monroe Farm Market at The Spring.
West Virginia Food News

USDA Roundtable Held in Welch
Representatives from the USDA and USDA Rural Development met in Welch on July 2nd to discuss the challenges and opportunity for agribusiness in McDowell County. See more here

Herbalist & Chef Plan Wild Plants Cookbook
Kristen Dorsey, an herbalist based in Martinsburg WV, is collaborating with VA Chef Tina Gross to compile a cookbook that details where to find wild edible plants and how to prepare them. See more here

ARC Releases Food Map Guide of Appalachia
The Appalachian Regional Commission released Bon Appetit Appalachia, which features 283 food-business sites in Appalachia with the goal of driving tourism and encouraging further entrepreneurship. Read more about the guide and the release, held in Charleston WV on July 15, here and here.


National Food News

Food Industry Groups take Vermont to Court over GMO Labeling Law
A Food Industry Group that includes the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Snack Food Association is suing the state of Vermont over its new GMO labeling law, saying that the proscriptions of the law are beyond Vermont's state powers Vermont argues that the law gives consumers more information about the food they choose to put on their table. Read more here.
Illinois Passes Laws To Support Farmers Markets
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation in June with the express purpose of supporting the growth of Farmers Markets in the state. The laws included an order to create Consistent Statewide Farmers Market Rules, a Statewide Sampling Program, Product Origin Labeling, and a Cottage Food Bill. For details, read more here
West Virginia Highlight

Mount Hope Community Garden, catalyzed by Dubois On Main
Dubois on Main Comunity Garden
Watch how the garden grew as a result of community efforts, support, and donations.  Video produced by WVFFC summer intern Spencer Moss.

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

WV Beginning Farmer Survey 

This survey is part of a program by the Greenbrier Valley Local Foods Initiative to gauge the needs of prospective and beginning farmers in the state. If you are a beginning farmer or are interested in pursuing a career in farming in West Virginia, please take the survey here

WV Fairs & Festivals 

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.

West Virginia Policy Workshop  

July 29, 8:30am-3:30pm, Martinsburg WV

This is the final in a series of workshops by the Our Children, Our Future Campaign to build support for policies that positively impact the health of children in the state of West Virginia. For more information and registration, click here.

Midsummer Sustainable Gardening Workshop 

July 30, Catawba, VA 

The Virginia Tech Catawba Sustainability Center presents this workshop. For more information and registration, click here.

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.

Pennsylvania Organic Farm Fest
August 1-2, Grange Fairgrounds, Centre Hall PA

This free event is community driven and fosters the expansion of knowledge about organic agriculture and sustainable living. Will feature an exhibit hall, an organic food court, workshops on women in farming, a pie contest, and music. Read more here.

Southeast Permaculture Gathering
August 1-3, Celo, NC

This annual event will include workshops on gardening, evaluating land for purchase, poultry raising, permaculture, herbology, and mushrooms. Registration and more information 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.  

Farm To Table International Symposium

August 2-4, New Orleans


This event is for chefs, restauranteurs, researchers, policymakers, farmers, grocers, food hubs, and more. Classes include best practices in marketing, production, and sourcing. Register online here

Webinar: Food Hubs as Strategies For Improving Food Access
August 14, 2pm, Online

Food hubs have gained momentum as an innovative retail strategy to expand healthy food access in low income communities by creating direct linkages between food growers and producers to consumers. This webinar will explore the experiences of three organizations involved in the work of creating equitable food hubs in California, North Carolina, and the Delaware Valley region. Speakers will discuss lessons learned, strategies for success, resources, and important considerations for establishing an equitable food hub in your community. Register 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.

Webinar: Country-of-Origin Labeling Basics
Sept 25, 2-3pm, Online

Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) is a labeling law that requires retailers to provide their customers with information about the origin of various food products. This includes fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish, shellfish, beef, veal, pork, lamb, goat, and chicken. Mandatory COOL requirements help consumers make informed decisions about the food they buy. During the webinar, Julie Henderson, Director of AMS' COOL Division, will introduce COOL and discuss their findings from monitoring activities. Her formal presentation will be followed by interactive question and answer session. Register 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.  

Job Opportunities in West Virginia

Heart & Hand House Garden Manager 

Philippi, WV


Heart and Hand House is in search of an energetic individual who is passionate about local foods and committed to the success of local farmers to take on the role of Community Garden Market Manager when current manager, Reg Trefethen, retires in October.  The position description and contact information is 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. 


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 Launches Beginning Farming Website

The USDA has launched a website that collects information useful for beginning farmers, including sections on education & assistance, access to land and capital, risk management, environmental stewardship, and business concepts. See the website here.

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.

Sustainable Soil Management 

This publication covers basic soil properties and management steps toward building and maintaining healthy soils. Part I deals with basic soil principles and provides an understanding of living soils and how they work. In this section you will find answers to why soil organisms and organic matter are important. Part II covers management steps to build soil quality on your farm. The last section looks at farmers who have successfully built up their soil. The publication concludes with a large resource section of other available information. Find it 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.  

Renew Conservation Stewardship Program

Deadline: September 12


This is for farmers and ranchers who enrolled in CSP in 2010. Approximately 20,000 CSP contracts are set to expire this year. The process for renewing is non-competitive and saves more time than having to re-apply through the competitive process at a later day. Find more information here

USDA: RFA for Unprocessed Fruit & Vegetable Pilot

Deadline: September 30, 2014


Under this pilot, up to eight states across five regions will be granted flexibility in using a portion of their USDA Foods entitlement dollars to purchase locally-grown unprocessed fruits and vegetables for the School Lunch Program. See more information here, and RFA here

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

Agroecology: What It Is and What It Has To Offer 

This excellent paper from the International Institute for Environment and Development is an in-depth look at Agroecology, which it defines as a science, a set of practices, as well as a social movement. Agroecology exists as a framework for approaching agriculture with a holistic view and producing resources within the ecological constraints of an environment. You can find the paper here
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