Newsletter header
In This Issue
Support WV Food & Farm Coalition
WVFFC News
Aerial Views of WV Farm
WV Beginning Farmer Survey
2014 WV Fairs & Festivals
Sept 11-12 WV Brownfields Conference
Sept 13, Farm Aid 2014
Sept 16, What's Next WV: Wheeling
Sept 18, Webinar: Cultivate Iowa Campaign
Sept 19, Harvest Dinner
Sept 20, Homesteading Dairy Class
Sept 25, Country Of Origin Webinar
Sept 25, Food Security Conference
Sept 23, VT Growers Academy
Oct 7-9, BAD Building Summit
Oct 15, VC2 Electronic Media Tools Training
Oct 18-23, Regenerative Farm Enterprise Planning
Oct 20-22, Farmland Trust National Conference
Nov 11-10, Slow Money National Gathering
Nov 7 & 8, VC2 Wholesale Success Workshop
Nov 17, Webinar: Square Foot Gardening
JOB OPENING: Heart & Hand House
JOB OPENING: WV Farmers Market Association, AmeriCorps VISTA
Sustainable Soil Management Resource
Deadline Sept 12: Renew Conservation Stewardship Program
EPA Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Grant
USDA RFA: Unprocessed Fruit & Vegetable Pilot
Deadline Oct 1: Animal Welfare Grants
Deadline Oct 1: CSX Food Access/Transport Grants
Deadline Oct 15: Lowe's Toolbox For Education Grants
Deadline Oct 31: Plum Creek Foundation Grants
Deadline Nov 4: NESARE Partnership Grants
Deadline Nov 12: USDA Rural Community Development Initiative
Deadline Dec 2: NESARE Farmer Grants
Deadline Jan 9: Kitchen Gardeners International
Growing Business of Cover Crops
Local Food Cost Calculator
Farm To School Evaluation Toolkit
 

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
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

WVFFC To Collaborate With West Virginia Farmers Market Association for Northern Local Food Expo

Get ready! WVFFC is collaborating with the West Virginia Farmers Market Association to hold a joint Local Food Expo & Farm Gathering in October in the northern part of the state. Date and venue TBA, watch this space for more details!

 

WVFFC Presents To WVU Family Nutrition Program Staff

WVFFC staff presented to a room of Family Nutrition Program Nutrition Outreach Instructors and Health Educators on the importance of integrating local food into their programming, and gave examples of regional contacts who could be partners.

  
West Virginia Food News
Wild Ramp & Unlimited Future Receive $50,000 USDA Grant
The funding, which is provided by the USDA and matched by additional funds raised by Unlimited Future, will go toward entrepreneur training for local farmers and the development of a local food system. Several representatives from the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, including commissioner Walt Helmick, were on-site at The Wild Ramp's new location in Huntington to present the award. Read more here

Thousands Attend 36th Annual West Virginia Italian Heritage Festival
Many italian foods were highlighted in Clarksburg during the Italian Heritage Festival. Participants were able to enjoy italian ice & gelato, among other foods. Read more here

Pawpaw Highlighted in Radio Piece
It's late summer - pawpaw season! Find out everything you've wanted to know about this delicious native fruit from this piece on WV Public Radio.

  

National Food News

US Lawmakers Bring Soda Tax To Capitol Hill
With the goal of highlighting the effect that sugar-sweetened beverages have on health, Connecticut Representatitve Rosa DeLaura launched the first national effort in years to tax soda drinks. The bill is not expected to pass, much less come to a vote. Read more here.
 
Regional Highlight: USDA Summer Food Service Program in Eastern Kentucky Farmers Market
The Whitesburg Farmers Market is the first-ever USDA Summer Feeding Site held at a farmers market in Kentucky. The Summer Food Service Program provides free meals to children from low-income households. Over the summer break, many of these kids and teens are in danger of not eating properly or going hungry because they don't have access to school meals. Read the whole store here.
West Virginia Highlight

YouTube Video: Aerial View of Beautiful West Virginia Farm
 
This video comes to us from Bill Rose. Thank you, BIll!
This video comes to us from Bill Rose. Thank you, Bill!

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 
Ongoing
 

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 
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 Helevetia Fair on Sept 13-14, Country Roads Festival at Hawk's Nest State Park on Sept 20, Grape Stomping Wine Festival in Summersville on Sept 20-21, The Preston County Buckwheat Festival in Kingwood on Sept 27, and the Salem Apple Butter Festival in Salem on Oct 2-5. 

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.

Workshop: What's Next, West Virginia? 
Sept 16, Wheeling, 10am-4pm
 

This is the final of five regional meetings across West Virginia. At this meeting you will learn: Skills to help you plan and host What's Next? conversations, how to create and maintain partnerships, effective facilitation skills to help guide conversations, and techniques to move from talk to action. Registration is free and lunch is included. Find registration information 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.

Greenbrier Valley Annual Harvest Dinner
Sept 19, 5:30-7:30, Ag Pavilion at State Fair Grounds
 

This dinner will feature local food served by local farmers, as well as live music and beverages from the newly opened Greenbrier Valley Brewing Company. $20 for an adult meal, $10 for children. RSVP here.

Homesteading Dairy Class
Sept 20, Huntington WV
 

This class will cover making the choice between raising cows or goats, breed overviews, advantages to each, investment, and more! See here for more information or email tinia@lucasfarmwv.com.

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

2014 CLRFS Food Security Conference
Sept 25, 2-3pm, Online
 

The goal of the conference is to concretely position food security as a priority in food system research and practice, and to enhance Extension's capacity to work on food security and food systems. The conference will address critical issues for Extension Educators, University researchers, and community based practitioners in community food systems work, and will explore how these issues influence the application of Extension work to alleviating food insecurity. $145 with more for the Farm Tour and Dinner. Read more and register here.

Virginia Tech Growers Academy
Tuesdays, Sept 23 - Oct 28, Wytheville VA, $225

This series of courses is specifically designed to help new and transitioning agricultural businesses succeed. The learning series is focused on low-input crop production techniques and launching your own agribusiness. Instructors include resource professionals and farm business owners. Topics include: Introduction to Whole Farm Planning, Business and Finance, Soil and Pest Management, Good Agricultural Practices & Food Safety, Marketing, and Crops and Crop Planning. Limited scholarships available. Click here for registration

WV Blighted, Abandoned, Dilapidated (BAD) Building Summit 2014
Oct 7-9, Marshall University Visual Arts Center, Huntington WV

The BAD (Blighted, Abandoned and Dilapidated) Building Summit will be accepting up to 12 community teams, each with up to seven participants, to  participate in this opportunity to:  

  • Learn about tools, resources and strategies to deal with problem properties
  • Find out how your community might create a Land Reuse Agency under the new WV law
  • Develop strategies to implement what you learn, with coaching and assistance from some of the nation's leading authorities on problem properties
Read more and submit your community team here.

VC2 Electronic Media Tools Training
Oct 15, Location TBA


 

This training is for farmers, restaurant owners, aggregator groups, specialty foods producers, and other agriculture-related business owners who want to learn to set up and use a Facebook page or website in order to let consumers know where to find their products. These tools are important in connecting today's customers to the variety of fresh farm products your business has to offer. For more information and to be included in future outreach, contact Liberty Newberry-Fetty at libertynewberry-fetty@vc2.org.

Blue Ridge Permaculture: Regenerative Farm Enterprise Planning 
Oct 18-23, Shannon Farm Community, Afton VA

This 6-day course integrates time-tested farm business planning tools with the holistic landscape planning of permaculture and cutting-edge creative financing strategies. Experienced leaders will guide participants through an intensive planning/design process, from initial visioning, through successional enterprise budgeting, to design of the farm landscape. In this dynamic course, participants will design in teams working on a shared project, with structured time for participants to integrate what they are learning with their own goals and projects. Special sessions will bring in the insight of experienced permaculture farmers. $555. Registration and information 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.

VC2 Wholesale Success Workshop 

Nov 7 Beckley, Nov 8 Tygart Valley, Locations TBA

 

At the request of local organizations, VC2 is excited to host the seasoned trainer and wholesale farmer Atina Diffley from the organization FamilyFarmed.org, an initiative of the USDA. Diffley will present the acclaimed Wholesale Success training on Nov 7 in the Beckley region and on Nov. 8 in the Tygart Valley region. This training will support growers to be successful in wholesale through the following components: maintaining product quality and food safety through cooling, curing, and cleaning produce; packing shed design; grading and packaging; and more! Whether you are already selling to restaurants, schools, hospitals, or other wholesale channels, or just wanting to improve your practices to have better products for the farmers market, this nationally-known training is not one to miss! Exact locations TBA. For more information and to be included in future outreach, contact Mary Oldham at maryoldham@vc2.org.

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.

West Virginia Farmers Market Association AmeriCorps VISTA 

Charleston, WV

 

The West Virginia Farmers Market Association is seeking applicants for a VISTA position at its office in Charleston, WV. Responsibilities include: working with farmers markets and their vendors, collaborating with other food and farm organizations, doing outreach and promotion, organizing fundraising events  and Farm Gatherings, grant writing, developing toolkits and other resources, developing community partnerships, program assessment, collecting information, creating evaluations tools and working closely with the WVFMA Director on a variety of other capacity-building projects.   This is a challenging but dynamic position, where the VISTA will have a lot of responsibility and a great chance to build their skills, experience and resume. Full description and application information 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. 

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.

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

EPA Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Grant
Deadline: September 12, 2014

 

These grants will provide up to $200,000 to conduct research, technical assistance, and/or training activities that will enable the entity to develop an area-wide plan for brownfields assessment, cleanup, and subsequent reuse. Brownfields area-wide planning (BF AWP) grant-funded activities must be directed to one or more brownfield site(s) located in a specific area, such as a neighborhood, a district (e.g., downtown, arts or shopping area), a local commercial corridor, a community waterfront, or a city block. Each project funded under this grant must result in an area-wide plan which includes specific plan implementation strategies for assessing, cleaning up, and reusing the brownfields site(s) as well as related brownfields and project area revitalization strategies. Find the RFP 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.

CSX Conservation Fund Food Access Grants

Deadline: October 1st, 2014

 

This is a small grants program aimed at improving the transportation and distribution of fresh, healthy food to communities in need. It offers grants ranging from $2,500 to $10,000 to local government and nonprofit entities to address gaps in local food distribution by providing funds to enhance delivery capabilities with support for a range of activities related to transportation, such as: acquiring refrigerated vehicles for direct delivery to markets; financing "veggie vans" to bring fresh food to isolated communities; providing better access to food hubs or other sites where produce, dairy, seafood and meats can be stored safely for distribution; or purchasing produce boxes and cold storage bins to keep unsold food fresh for the next day's farmers market or wholesale purchase. To read more and apply, click here.

Lowe's Toolbox For Education Grants
Deadline: October 15th, 2014

 

Between $2000 and $5000 grants are available for funding requests that have a permanent impact such as facility enhancement (both indoor and outdoor) as well as landscaping/clean up type projects. Projects that encourage parent involvement and build stronger community spirit will be favored. Please note the grant money cannot be used to pay for memorials, stipends, salaries, artists in residence, field trips, scholarships, or third party funding. Only 10% of any award granted can be used toward outside resources such as labor, installation, consultation and delivery. See eligibility information and application here.

Plum Creek Foundation Grants
Deadline: October 31st, 2014

 

The mission of the Plum Creek Foundation is to provide charitable contributions to community organizations to support and improve the general welfare and quality of life in the communities where Plum Creek serves. Grant awards of up to $10,000 are available for Human service organizations, educational institutions, youth organizations, hospital and medical programs, cultural organizations, environmental education and conservation programs, and civic service organizations. Read more information and apply 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. 

USDA Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI)

Deadline: Nov 12th, 2014

 

Grants of up to that will be awarded to organizations to provide critical financial and technical assistance to recipients to develop and strengthen their capacity to carry out housing, community facilities and community and economic development projects. Recipients must be non-profit organizations, low-income rural communities, or federally recognized tribes. Intermediary organizations are required to provide matching funds at least equal to the RCDI grant. The grants do not go directly to business recipients but rather through qualified intermediaries. Grants must be between $50,000 and $250,000. For more information click 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. 

WV Farm Service Agency Loans

 

The WV Farm Service Agency (FSA) has received increased funding to assist WV producers in purchasing farms, expanding their operations and making permanent improvements such as construction of farm related buildings. Eligible applicants can borrow up to $300,000; to be Eligible applicants must have participated in the day to day management of a farm for at least 3 years.  The interest rate for a Farm Ownership loans is fixed with terms up to 40 years.  The current interest rate for August is 3.75%.  Lower interest rates are available if financing is combined with a commercial lender.  If interested, please contact your local FSA office for more information.

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

Report: Sustainable Agriculture is a Gold Mine for Rural Entrepreneurs


The Growing Business of Cover Crops highlights the small business opportunities created by the upsurge in the use of cover crops, including crop advisers, seed production and sales, planting and even livestock grazing, with salaries reaching $62,000 per year. Find the report here.

Local Food Cost Calculator


The local food movement has grown steadily in cities and towns around the country as farmers markets, and CSAs take root, and farmers begin selling to restaurants, colleges and other institutions, either directly or through a food hub. While these so-called "farm to table" efforts show great promise, one challenge frequently remains: Price. To help overcome this problem, SCALE undertook a two part effort to first, examine how some food enterprises are making local buying work, and secondly, to develop a tool that more accurately determines the real cost difference when buying local food.

 

The results are now available as Putting Local on the Menu and the Local Food Cost Calculator. There are two versions of the calculator: one designed for restaurants, the other for college and university dining services.

National Farm To School Network: Evaluation for Transformation: A Cross Sectoral Evaluation Framework for Farm to School

 

Evaluation for Transformation defines the outcomes that farm to school has the potential to achieve and it offers common language, guidelines and metrics to understand those outcomes for the first time. The framework is organized around four key sectors: public health, community economic development, education and environmental quality. Beyond the four sectors, the framework is also structured around three levels of action: program, research and policy. Read more here.

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