Newsletter header
In This Issue
Support WV Food & Farm Coalition
WV Road Map for the Food Economy Conference Feb 17
Jan 2-3 WV Cattlemen's Annual Convention
Jan 20 - Mar 3 VT Growers Academy
Feb 4-7 PASA Annual Farming For The Future Conference
Feb 14 ASAP Business of Farming Conference
April 12-18 WV Physical Activity Network Launch
April 30 WV Community Development Network Annual Meeting
JOB OPENING: VC2 Business Coach
JOB OPENING: Farm to School AmeriCorps in Kanawha County
JOB OPENING: Local Foods Distribution Coordinator
JOB OPENING: Mason County Nutrition Outreach Instructor
National School Lunch After School Snack Program
For sale: Jeff's Breads, Renick
Social WV
Deadline Jan 7: ASHCA Safety Grants Program
Deadline Jan 9: AFP Enhancement Grant
Deadline Jan 9: Kitchen Gardeners International
Deadline Jan 15: Sodexo Foundation Stop Hunger Grants
Deadline Jan 23: Champions for Healthy Kids Grants
Deadline Jan 31: Aetna Student Health Award
Deadline Feb 2: EPA Environmental Education Grants
Deadline April 30: Patagonia Environmental Grants
WV FSA Loans
Cover Crop Survey Report
Study: The Role of Time in Fast-Food Purchasing Behavior
Report: Funding Opportunities in Local Foods

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.  



West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition greatly appreciates the support of our funders, The Appalachian Regional Commission,The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, BB&T, Central Appalachian Network, Change the Future WV, One Foundation, US Department of Agriculture, US Economic Development Administration, and the WV Department of Agriculture.  This support enables WVFFC to continue to fulfill our mission.

WVFFC Staff & Board 
Elizabeth SpellmanExecutive Director
Stephanie TyreeDirector of Community Engagement & Policy
Brandon HolmesPolicy Analyst
Kelly CraneOutreach Coordinator
Garnet BruellAmeriCorps OSM/VISTA
Megan SmithProgram Coordinator
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 CoalitionIn 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? 


$5000 Available For Mid-Ohio Valley Mobile Market 

WVFFC's Food Access Working Group is pleased to announce a grant opportunity to support the creation or expansion of a mobile market to increase access to healthy, local food for West Virginia residents living in limited access areas in the Mid-Ohio Valley. 

The Working Group is offering $5000 in funds available to support one project that combine innovation, collaboration and education with a mobile market to directly serve limited resource families. Organizations must be located and serve populations in the Mid-Ohio Valley, which includes Calhoun, Jackson, Pleasants, Ritchie, Roane, Tyler, Wirt, and Wood counties.


Proposal Submission and Selection Schedule:
  • Friday, January 9th: Full proposal due
  • Friday, January 16th: Announcement of award
  • Friday, January 30th: Funds released
For complete instructions and proposal details, download the complete RFP here.
Value Chain Cluster Initiative & West Virginia Community Development Hub Launch New Websites
The Value Chain Cluster Initiative, which offers up to $5,000 in technical assistance to Food & Farm Businesses in 17 West Virginia counties, has launched its new website at The WV Community Development Hub has also launched their new website, available at 

West Virginia Food News

Local Foods, Local Places Grants Awarded to Organizations in Wheeling & Williamson 
West Virginia received two out of 26 total Local Foods Local Places Grants. Wheeling will receive technical assistance to develop historic Vineyard Hill into a productive public asset and to transform Wheeling into a regional hub for local food. Williamson will receive technical assistance to establish a Health Innovation Hub that brings local foods to market to improve the health of residents while building a vibrant local economy. Read more here.
West Virginia Department of Education Receives $100,000 for Farm to School Program
Building on the great success of West Virginia's Farm to School Program  so far, this funding will develop hubs for producers to aggregate product and deliver to schools. Read more here
Wheeling Restaurant Focuses on Local Food
WV Public Radio has a story on Chef Matt Welsch of the Vagabond Kitchen, who says he lets his providers dictate his menu with the products they have to sell and that's given him the opportunity to create some great dishes. Listen to the story here.
Author Moves to Huntington, WV, to Write Food Book
Author Jane Black says on her blog post "Why West Virginia," "I am off to write a book about one town's effort to change its food culture and whether the "food revolution" can cross geographic, cultural and class boundaries." -- read the whole blog here

National Food News
USDA Rolls Out Whole-Farm Revenue Protection Insurance Policy

This policy, unlike traditional yield or revenue insurance, is not intended for a single specific crop, but for all the crops and livestock grown or raised on a single farm.  This will especially help diversified sustainable and organic farms that do not have single crop policies or price elections available for one or more of the crops grown. Find a toolkit published by the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition here and the USDA press release here.

Regional Highlight: Kentucky

Small Businesses & Entrepreneurs Can Play A Role in Eastern Kentucky Economy

"Too many kids leave high school and college thinking they have to find jobs rather than create their own," Kentucky Innovation Network's Justin Prater said in the Making Connections Report. "We hope to be able to assist anyone looking to work for themselves or to turn their dream into reality." Read the whole article here.

Report: Strategies for Appalachian Transition

This report was prepared by the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED) in Berea, KY. The report details 5 strategies that can lead to a widescale economic transition: Supporting Entrepreneurs, Energy Efficiency, Local Foods Development, Forestry, and Ensuring Meaningful Investments. Read the fascinating report here

Registration Open for West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition's Road Map for the Food Economy Conference 

February 17, 2015, Charleston WV


JOIN US! West Virginia's 2015 Road Map for the Food Economy Conference will begin with a morning at the state Legislature, an exciting opportunity to formally engage in policy change and to feature the work and projects of each WVFFC Working Group on a state level.


In the afternoon, the conference will be kicked off by Mark Winne, author and food systems expert, with an inspiring keynote address to set the mood for state food policy and project development around WV food system issues in West Virginia.

Farming Highlight
Cover Crops 101 - A Guide to Cover Crop Species
Cover Crops 101 - A Guide to Cover Crop Species
Upcoming Events in and near West Virginia
Do you have events that you want included in our newsletter?
 Please contact us ! 

West Virginia Cattlemen's Association Annual Convention and Beef Cattle Short Course

Jan 2-3, 2015, Ramada Inn, Morgantown, WV

Friday - $50 

Saturday - $30

Registration Dues - $25


Featuring a trade show and presentations on livestock production, strategic supplementation & nutritional management, increasing production efficiency through reproductive management, and increasing financial efficiency. Registration at the door or mailed in. Find information here.

Virginia Tech Catawba Sustainability Center 2015 Growers Academy 

Jan 20 - March 3rd, 2015, Wytheville VA, Farm Credit of the Virginias Business Classroom, $175


Courses are specifically designed to help new and transitioning agricultural businesses succeed. The learning series is focused on low-input crop production techniques and identifying ways to launch your own agribusiness. Instructors represent resource professionals and farm business owners. Find more information and register here.

PASA Annual Farming For The Future Conference

February 4-7, State College PA


Farming for the Future Conference is PASA's signature event and our main vehicle for community building. Widely regarded as the best of its kind in the East, this event brings together an audience of over 2,000 farmers, processors, consumers, students, environmentalists and business and community leaders annually. Registration is available here.

ASAP Business of Farming Conference 

February 14th, University of North Carolina Asheville


ASAP's Business of Farming Conference is a day of learning and networking for those involved in local food and farming. Each year, approximately 250 area farmers, agriculture professionals, and business and marketing specialists attend tailored 90-minute workshops, meet with restaurant and wholesale buyers, exchange resources, and celebrate the start of the season. If you're currently farming or seriously considering farming as a profession, you won't want to miss our 2015 conference! For more information and registration click here. 

WV Physical Activity Network Launch

April 12-18, 2015


A new initiative of the WV Community Development Hub, The WV Physical Activity Network is dedicated to pulling together all of the people and organizations who are already doing healthy activity work. Activities for the launch: 1) Get active. 2) Take a physical activity selfie (or healthy selfie) and 3) Tag it #ActiveWV on a social media site. Stay up to date at 

WV Community Development Network Annual Meeting 

April 30, 2015


By popular demand, the West Virginia Community Development Hub is bringing back this day-long gathering of people, organizations, agencies and businesses who care about West Virginia's communities and are working to improve them. Location and agenda are still to be determined. Stay informed at 
Job Opportunities

VC2 Business Coach


The VC2 Business Coach (20 hours per week) will directly assist business owners by linking them to business development resources that improve their access to markets. The Business Coach will directly work with local food business owners to grow their operations by linking them to (or in some cases
providing) one-on-one technical assistance, group trainings, entrepreneurial networking opportunities, and legal assistance. The Businesses Coaches will also track program results through surveys and other instruments. The Business Coach should have some understanding and experience of what it takes to run and grow a successful agriculture-related enterprise as well as an understanding of the statewide resources available to them. For a complete job description, requirements, and contact information, click here.

Farm to School AmeriCorps: Kanawha County

Charleston, WV


The WV Farm to School initiative is recruiting for an AmeriCorps position to serve in Kanawha county. Members will help their site develop school gardening programs, help teachers utilize garden-based curriculum in their classrooms, connect public schools with local farmers, and help market and publicize Farm to School related achievements. Each site has set slightly different priorities for their members based on individual site's needs. 


For more information, please visit  

Interested candidates should send a cover letter and resume to Emily Landseidel, Coordinator for the WV Office of Child Nutrition's Farm to School AmeriCorps members at 

Local Foods Distribution Coordinator, Unlimited Future, Inc.
Huntington, WV


Unlimited Future, Inc. is creating a new position to expand the capacity of farmers,  local food markets, restaurants and other volume buyers by creating a local food distribution network.

Working under the direction of the Local Food Business Director, the Local Food Distribution Coordinator will be required to perform extensive cold calling to:

  • Develop partnerships with food entrepreneurs
  • Develop relationships with regional buyers
  • Coordinate deliveries and back-hauling opportunities
  • Develop and maintain relationships with partner organizations
  • Promote 30 Mile Meal Huntington as a brand
  • Assist with implementation of an online food ordering system
  • Perform other activities as directed to help grow the local food system in our region
*** This is a 2 year grant funded position***
Find the whole description and application here.

Mason County Nutrition Outreach Instructor
Mason County, WV


Job Description:
Full-time (37.5 hours a week) grant-funded Nutrition Educator for the Family Nutrition Program located in Mason County.
Provides nutrition education in eligible elementary, middle and high schools. Conducts site visits and prepare materials necessary for the execution of the program. Works with the youth of WV and serves as the forefront of stimulating behavior change related to unhealthy eating patterns and inactive lifestyles of today's youths and families.
BS Degree in Dietetics. Ability to speak, read and write English. Ability to organize work productively with indirect supervision in a highly visible public sector environment. Demonstrated ability to initiate, form and effectively maintain working relationships with persons or associations from cultures other than one's own. Ability to teach and communicate ideas effectively verbally, in writing and through educational technology to adults and youth. Strong interpersonal and problem -solving skills in a team setting; ability to effectively manage conflicts. Must provide own transportation to sites served (travel costs will be reimbursed). Must have access to personal cell phone and email access at home.

(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. 

National School Lunch After School Snack Program

Deadline: Ongoing


Funding for schools to provide after school snacks to low-income children who participate in the National School Lunch program.  To learn more click here. 

Business Sale: Jeff's Breads, Renick WV


Interested food-business entrepreneurs have an opportunity to purchase Jeff's Breads, an established 20+ year artisan bakery/food manufacturer. Totally income producing package: Bakery, brand, 2 unit apartment building, equipment, acreage. Located in Renick/Lewisburg area. Contact: AlindaPerrine, Country Road Realty,LLC Elizabeth Wickline, Broker 


Social WV is a Social Media Marketing business that offers affordable services to make a small business more successful. Social WV can provide a unique Social Media Marketing package that fits your business needs. Social WV has worked with several producers at the Bridgeport Farmers Market to improve their social media presence. For more information about Social WV, please contact Deb Workman by phone (304)669-4340, or by email.

ASHCA Safety Grants Program

Deadline: January 7th, 2015


The purpose of the ASHCA Safety Grants Program is to encourage and provide financial support for agricultural safety and health interventions at the local and/or regional level in order to facilitate timely application of evidence-based safety/health strategies to protect agricultural workers. For more information and the full application click here.

AFP Enhancement Grants 
Deadline: January 9th, 2015


The AFP in West Virginia seeks projects that improve community food security by promoting consumption, production or marketing of fresh locally grown foods, especially as meets the needs of low-income or other populations vulnerable to food insecurity. These could be new or innovative projects or new and innovative additions to current projects. These projects should make a clear connection to improving community food security in your community. Find more information and the complete RFP 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. 

Sodexo Foundation Stop Hunger Youth Grants
Deadline: January 15th, 2015


$400 grants are available for youth leaders ages 5-25 across the U.S. to turn their ideas into action and make an impact on the issue of childhood hunger on Global Youth Service Day - April 17-19, 2015 - and beyond. Eligibility and application information is available here 

Champions for Healthy Kids Grants
Deadline: January 23rd, 2015


The goal of the Champions grants program is to encourage communities in the United States to partner with Registered Dietitian Nutritionists to improve the eating and physical activity patterns of youth, ages 2-18. Find eligibility and application information 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.

EPA Environmental Education Grant
Deadline: February 2nd, 2015


Under the Environmental Education Grants Program, EPA seeks grant proposals from eligible applicants to support environmental education projects that promote environmental awareness and stewardship and help provide people with the skills to take responsible actions to protect the environment.  This grant program provides financial support for projects that design, demonstrate, and/or disseminate environmental education practices, methods, or techniques. Find eligibility and application information here.   

Patagonia Environmental Grants
Deadline: April 30th, 2015


Patagonia funds only environmental work. We are most interested in making grants to organizations that identify and work on the root causes of problems and that approach issues with a commitment to long-term change. Because we believe that the most direct path to real change is through building grassroots momentum, our funding focuses on organizations that create a strong base of citizen support. For eligibility and application information click here. 

WV Farm Service Agency Loans



Update, November 24: The FSA borrowing limit for microloans has increased from $35,000 to $50,000. Read more here.  

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
(Research, Publications, interesting articles, etc)

2013-2014 Cover Crop Survey Report

Farmers indicated they are looking for soil benefits from cover crops-particularly increased soil organic matter. Some of these soil improvements seem to be reflected in the yield benefits
cover crops provided for corn and soybean producers in 2013.
The top perceived challenges for cover crops were noted as the time required to plant and manage cover crops, terminating cover crops, and selecting the right cover crop varieties.
Those impediments can be addressed through education. 


The survey also found that farmers not yet using cover crops have a strong perception that cover crop seed is expensive.
Survey respondents felt it was most effective to learn by experimenting on their own farms, but also saw significant value in in-depth educational opportunities such as workshops.


Quite importantly, the new data underscore the importance of good, clear education in helping farmers gain confidence in cover crops, make good choices in seed and management, and
overcome barriers to trying the practice. It is clear that local perspective is important, as is peer-to-peer insight. Read the whole report here

The Role of Time in Fast-Food Purchasing Behavior in the United States

Americans purchase fast food to save time. Those that purchase fast food on a given day spend less time eating and drinking as a primary (main) activity, sleeping, doing housework, and watching television than the average for the total population.


This study is the first to extensively examine the effects of time use behaviors, prices, sociodemographic characteristics, labor force participation, and prices on fast-food purchasing patterns in the United States before and after the Great Recession. Read the entire study here

Funding Opportunities in Local Foods

As local food systems continue to develop, a primary concern for stakeholders is access to capital. The good news is, there are funding options available from both Federal and non-Federal sources - regardless of whether you are a producer, institution, community, or nonprofit. Though not intended to be an exhaustive list, the included resources can help get you started. Read the entire 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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