Newsletter header
In This Issue
Support WV Food & Farm Coalition
Rainbow Farm Web Redesign
WV Beginning Farmer Survey
2014 WV Fairs & Festivals
Aug 14, Food Hub Strategies
Aug 14, Webinar: Livability & Housing
Sept 5-6, Organic Grower School Harvest Conference
Sept 11-12 WV Brownfields Conference
Sept 13, Farm Aid 2014
Sept 18, Webinar: Cultivate Iowa Campaign
Sept 25, Country Of Origin Webinar
Oct 20-22 Farmland Trust National Conference
Nov 11-10, Slow Money National Gathering
Nov 17, Webinar: Square Foot Gardening
JOB OPENING: Heart & Hand House
Agrarian Lawyer Network
Fundraising Opportunity Guide for Food Hubs
USDA Business & Cooperative Loans
Sustainable Soil Management Resource
Rural Energy Assistance Program Grants
Growing Farm Profit Training Course
Deadline Aug 27: Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers
Renew Conservation Stewardship Program
USDA RFA: Unprocessed Fruit & Vegetable Pilot
Deadline Oct 1: Animal Welfare Grants
Deadline Nov 4: NESARE Partnership Grants
Deadline Dec 2: NESARE Farmer Grants
Deadline Jan 9: Kitchen Gardeners International
Farm To Food Bank Strategies
Farm To Childcare Curriculum

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? 


WVFFC Attends Capitol Market for National Farmers Market Week

On August 6th, The West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition met with representatives from USDA Rural Development at the Capitol Market in Charleston to celebrate National Farmers Market Week. Read more about the event here.

West Virginia Food News
'Agritourism' Identified As A Way To Boost Rural Economies
Tourism is one of Agriculture's largest growing sectors, and offers great potential for rural businesses. In 2012, Agritourism generated $1.2 million in West Virginia, up from $970,000 in 2007. Read about several of the Agritourism operations in the state here.

WV Agriculture Commissioner Visits Bridgeport Farmers Market
"Any national event like this just brings more recognition to the importance of local foods in our communities and for our local economies," says Debbie Workman, President of the Bridgeport Farmers Market. Read more here.

WV Producer Survey Focuses on Food Hub Potential
The 15-minute survey can be found here. Food hubs come in a variety of sizes but focus on bringing together regional resources to market local foods. "The absence of regional food hubs is a major barrier to agricultural growth in West Virginia," says Rob Hinton of The New Appalachian Farm & Research Center "Food hubs can address many of the challenges that West Virginia producers face and can provide more sales outlets to new and existing farms." Read the story here.


National Food News

USDA Announces Formation of the Foundation For Food And Agriculture Research
Authorized by Congress as part of the 2014 Farm Bill, the foundation will operate as a non-profit corporation seeking and accepting private donations in order to fund research activities that focus on problems of national and international significance. Congress has provided $200 million for the foundation, which must be matched by non-federal funds as the Foundation identifies and approves projects. Read the press release here.
Are Organic Vegetables More Nutritious?
Research continues to investigate the differences in nutrition-value between conventional and organically produced foods. This story breaks down a new study that shows that while macronutrient (protein, fat, carbohydrate) differences are not significant, organic produce does, on average, contain higher levels of antioxidant compounds. Read the whole story here.
West Virginia Highlight

Rainbow Farm Website, redesigned with funding from the Value Chain Cluster Initiative
Located in Sandstone, WV, Rainbow Farm could be the poster child for contemporary, sustainable farming led by a new generation. Click here to read about the design process for their new website, funded by VC2.

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 Jackson's Mill Jubilee in Weston on Aug 29th, The Italian Heritage Festival in Clarksburg on Aug 30th, Apple Butter Weekend on Aug 30th, and the Hampshire Heritage Fest on Sept 6th.

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.

Webinar: Livability and Housing
August 14, 2pm, Online, 1pm EST

This Webinar will focus on the six livability principles, and how livability connects housing and transportation issues. Additional issues related to livability include land use and economic development, community health, and alternative modes of transportation. Presenter David Kack is the Director for the Small Urban and Rural Livability Center at the Western Transportation Institute - Montana State University, and has 15 years of experience specializing in transportation coordination, management, and planning. This webinar is free. Registration and more information available here

Organic Grower School Harvest Conference
Sept 5-6, Asheville, NC

This is a two-day event geared towards backyard & urban growers as well as homesteaders of all stripes. Featuring workshops on home cooking, fall & winter growing, fermentation, and wild plants. Find information on workshops and registration 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.

Farm Aid 2014
Sept 13th, Raleigh, NC

Each year, Farm Aid board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews headline a Farm Aid concert to bring together a wide variety of musicians, farmers and fans for one mission: keeping family farmers on their land. Farm Aid is the longest running benefit concert series in America, raising more than $45 million to help family farmers thrive all over the country while inspiring millions of people to learn about the Good Food movement. Tickets range from $49-$175. Read more and buy tickets here.

Webinar: Cultivate Iowa Campaign
Sept 18, 12pm, Online

This presentation will provide an overview of the development and implementation of Cultivate Iowa, and how social marketing can be used to enhance health in rural communities. Cultivate Iowa is a social marketing campaign that encourages 1) low-resource Iowans to engage in food gardening, and 2) other gardeners to plant and/or pick extra produce to donate to a food bank or pantry in their community. The campaign launched in spring of 2013, and and implemented state-wide by a network of food system partners. Read more and register 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.  

Slow Money National Gathering  

Nov 11-10, Lexington, KY


Slow Money gatherings are a new venue for field building, investing, and social change. The event features food entrepreneurs who are leading the way rebuilding local food systems, along with many renowned thought leaders in agriculture, investing, and philanthropy. More information and registration here.

Webinar: Square Foot Gardening

Nov 17, 4:00pm, Online  


This webinar will explore ways for you to get the most out of your existing school garden space. Matthew Doris, Food Service Director & Chef, Tuckahoe Common School District in Southampton, NY, will discuss the concept of square-foot gardening and using bigger beds for growing vegetables. It will compare yields with these techniques Vs traditional gardening methods, and learn about the food cost savings of square-foot gardening for your school lunch program. Free. Registration 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. 

Agrarian Lawyer Network

The goal of the Agrarian Lawyer Network is to interpret to the young farmer community the benefits of pro-active communication and formal agreements as well as interpret to the legal community, the needs of farmers.


Lawyers, law students, or retirees interested or trained in Sustainable agriculture or farm and land law are encouraged to find out more and join the e-mail list here to stay abreast of developments and trends in the sector.

New York Senator Gillibrand Publishes Guide To Funding Opportunities for Food Hubs and Food Systems

While written from a New York perspective, this document breaks down many of the different types of federal funding available for Food Hub and Food Systems projects. Read it 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.  

Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers/Ranchers/Veterans

Deadline: August 27


The goal of this program is to assist socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers and ranchers in owning and operating farms and ranches while increasing their participation in agricultural programs and services provided by the USDA. This program will assist eligible community-based organizations, higher education institutions, and tribal entities in providing outreach and technical assistance to socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers and ranchers. Read more and apply 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

Animal Welfare Approved Grants

Deadline: October 1st, 2014


The Animal Welfare Approved program is making available grants to improve animal welfare for Animal Welfare Approved farms, farms that have completed an application to join the program, or slaughter plants that are working with an AWA farm and/or have consented to be reviewed by AWA. 


Funding priorities for this cycle include: improved genetics, increased outdoor access, welfare improvements in the slaughter process and non-lethal predator control. Apply and learn more here.

NESARE: Partnership Grants

Deadline: Nov 4th, 2014


Partnership Grants are reserved for agricultural service providers--extension staff, nonprofits, consultants, state departments of agriculture, and others working in the agricultural community--who want to conduct on-farm demonstrations, research, marketing, and other projects with farmers as active cooperators. See more information and apply here. 

NESARE: Farmer Grant

Deadline: Dec 2nd, 2014


Farmer Grants are for commercial producers who have an innovative idea they want to test using a field trial, on-farm demonstration, marketing initiative, or other technique. A technical advisor--often an extension agent, crop consultant, or other service professional--must also be involved. Projects should seek results other farmers can use, and all projects must have the potential to add to our knowledge about effective sustainable practices. Find more information and apply here.

Kitchen Gardeners International: Grants For Food Gardens

Deadline: January 9th, 2015


The grant is for nonprofit causes or organizations (schools, 501c3s, food banks, community gardens, colleges, libraries, prisons, senior programs, etc.) interested in starting or expanding food garden projects that are of general benefit to their community.  Past grantees include school gardens, community gardens, food bank gardens, library gardens, senior gardens, prison gardens and homeless shelter gardens among others. Read more and apply here. 

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

Northwest Harvest: Farm To Food-Bank Strategies 

This study focuses on tools for connecting and working with
small farms (those with gross annual sales below $250,000) which account for 90% of the the state of Washington's 39,500 farms. While the primary audience is the Washington-state hunger relief network, the findings and resource guides presented here are relevant and useful to the broader national hunger relief network in moving farm-to-food bank efforts forward. Sections include:
  • Building Farmer Relationships
  • Marketing your Farm-to-Family Program
  • Farmers Market/Farm Stand Gleaning
  • Direct Purchasing from Farmers

You can find the study here.

Institute for Agriculture And Trade Policy: Farm To Childcare Curriculum

This newly released Farm to Childcare Package gives childcare providers a roadmap to start their own Farm to Childcare programs in order to connect young children with locally grown, minimally processed foods and the farmers who grow them. The curriculum was developed for preschool-age children by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) in partnership with childcare provider company New Horizon Academy (NHA) with support from the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. 

The curriculum and associated materials include practical, experience-tested strategies to try out new approaches in child care settings including menu innovations, classroom activities and family engagement ideas. Find the package available here.
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