Newsletter header
In This Issue
Support WV Food & Farm Coalition
North Central Farm Gathering
Grow Ohio Valley
WV Beginning Farmer Survey
2014 WV Fairs & Festivals
Oct 2 Webinar: FNS Coffee Chat
Oct 5, Salt Works Open House
Oct 6, Webinar: Greenfaith Certification Introduction
Oct 7-9, BAD Building Summit
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
Sustainable Soil Management Resource
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 Oct 31: Whole Kids School Gardens Grants
Deadline Nov 4: NESARE Partnership Grants
Deadline Nov 12: USDA Rural Community Development Initiative
Deadline Nov 13: RWJF Health Policy Fellows
Deadline Dec 2: NESARE Farmer Grants
Deadline Jan 9: Kitchen Gardeners International
Deadline Jan 31: Aetna Student Health Award
WV FSA Loans
Local Food Cost Calculator
5 Year Report: Double Up Food Bucks

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!

Like us on Facebook

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? 

North Central Farm Gathering & Local Food Expo
October 29, I-79 Technology Park, Fairmont, WV


New WVFFC Website

Get ready to change your bookmarks! Our newly designed website will be going live at by the end of September. Note: the previous website can still be found at


WVFFC welcomes Megan Smith as our new Program Coordinator! 

Megan is originally from Fort Smith, Arkansas and is a graduate of Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas. She has lived, studied, and worked in West Virginia for nearly eight years. She came to call West Virginia home after serving two years as an AmeriCorps VISTA in Wyoming County. During these two years,  she found her passion for working with communities and organizing around important issues affecting them. She obtained a Masters Degree in Social Work with an emphasis in Community Organizing and Social Administration from West Virginia University in 2010. She honed her community development skills through her work as a Community Planner/Grant Writer for Raleigh County Community Action Association and the Executive Director of Groundwork Wyoming County. Megan can be reached at


West Virginia Food News
Fairmont Community Garden Prepares for Colder Temperatures
Home and community gardens around the state are planting autumn crops and readying themselves for colder weather. The Fairmont Community Garden is demonstrating how to extend their growing season with cold frames and row covers. Read more here.

Monroe Farm Market Highlighted
With 30+ producers, and an effective online CSA model, the Monroe Farm Market is showing how producers can cooperate and combine resources together to become more economically successful. The Register Herald tells the story here.

Urban Orchard Planted in Charleston 
Growers and volunteers of the Sustainable Agriculture Entrepreneur (SAGE) program planted a variety of fruit trees on Charleston's West Side with the assistance of arborist Rico Montenegro of the California-based Fruit Tree Planting Foundation. The Urban Orchard is located next to the SAGE microfarm at the corner of Rebecca st and Kemp ave. Read more here.

National Food News

FDA issues revised Food Safety Modernization Act regulations; invites new comments
FDA's original proposed regulations, issued in 2013, included several highly problematic requirements that would have put many sustainable and organic farmers out of business, dampened the growth of local food systems and innovative supply chains, and undermined efforts to conserve critical natural resources. WVFFC participated in an extensive public outreach and education campaign on the proposed rules, culminating in thousands of comments to FDA from concerned farmers, food entrepreneurs, and consumers. Read more here.
One in Seven Americans Struggle With Hunger  
Since 1995, the United States Department of Agriculture, using data from surveys conducted annually by the Census Bureau, has released estimates of the number of people in households that are food insecure. Food insecure households are those that are not able to afford an adequate diet at all times in the past 12 months. The newest report, published on September 3rd, shows that more than 14.3% of households struggled against hunger in 2013. These are unchanged from the 2012 rate, although still far above the 11.1% rate in 2007. Read more here.
West Virginia Highlight

YouTube Video: Grow Ohio Valley, Wheeling WV
Grow Ohio Valley
Great projects going on in the Northern Panhandle!

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 Preston County Buckwheat Festival in Kingwood on Sept 27, the Salem Apple Butter Festival in Salem on Oct 2-5, Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival Oct 16-19 in Martinsburg and Bridge Day on Oct 16-19 in Martinsburg on Oct 18 in Fayetteville. 

Webinar: FNS and FRAC Coffee Chat Series
Oct 2, 3pm, Online

Every month this webinar will explore a topic related to food and nutrition, giving an opportunity to learn more about the FNS and FRAC programs and to ask questions about how to make them work in your community. 

This month we will explore FNS's nutrition programs and give an up close and personal view of meals for kids from the perspective of our invited speaker, Tanna Nicely, a principal at South Knoxville Elementary School. Registration is free and available here.

JQ Dickinson Salt Works Open House
Oct 5, 12:30-4:30, Malden WV

JQ Dickinson Salt Works, in Malden, is opening its doors for an open house on October 5th for tastings and tours. Find them at 4797 Midland Drive in the Terrasoils Garden Center. More information here

Webinar: Greenfaith Sustainability Certification Introduction
Oct 6, Online

On this webinar you will learn more about the GreenFaith Certification Program. This is a sustainability certification that encompasses both food sourcing and energy use, designed for faith-based organizations such as churches and food pantries. Registration is free and available here

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, Fayette Institue of Technology
Oct 16, Spencer Library
Oct 22, Doddridge County Ext Office
Oct 23, Barbour County Ext Office

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

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, 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

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.

(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.

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.

Whole Kids Foundation School Gardens Grants
Deadline: October 31st, 2014


The School Garden Grant program provides a $2,000 monetary grant to a K-12 school, or a non-profit working in partnership with a K-12 school, to support a new or existing edible garden on school grounds. See 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.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellows

Deadline: Nov 13th, 2014


This fellowship is an opportunity for midcareer health professionals and behavioral and social scientists with an interest in health and health care policy promoting the health of the nation. Fellows participate in the policy process at the federal level and use that leadership experience to improve health, health care and health policy. Read more 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. 

Aetna Student Health Award

Deadline: January 31st, 2015


Through the  program, one or more grants of $5,000 will be awarded to support the creation of novel wellness solutions and programs that address issues specifically related to the retention and overall well-being of college students. Using dimensions of wellness, the project must demonstrate a creative evidence-based approach to facilitate student retention and well-being. The project should be creative in its scope, formulated on the basis of published research, measurable in its effects, and applicable to the health enhancement of college students who participate in it. Read more 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)

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.

5 Year Report: Michigan's Double Up Food Bucks Program 

This report shares how Double Up Food Bucks -- a SNAP match program for farmers markets, grew from a small pilot in Detroit to a statewide success story that supported more than 200,000 low-income families and more than 1,000 farmers in 2013 alone, and has had a greater than $5 million effect on Michigan's economy.


This report also compiles evaluation work, breaks down what makes the Double Up model unique, and highlights innovations from the grocery to mobile pilots-and acknowledges the diverse partners and funders that have made it all possible. Find the report here.

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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