In This Issue
Working Group Highlight: Meat Working Group
Funding Campaign: Mountain People's Food Co-Op
Farmers Market Vendor Survey
April 7 Ag Innovation Forum, Hinton
April 8 Webinar: Conservation Planning
April 9 Farm to Fork Photo Workshop, Tug Valley High School
April 12-18 WV Physical Activity Network Launch
April 14 Webinar: Soil Biology, Fertility, Soil Health
April 16 Webinar: Rethinking Alt & Emergency Food Networks in WV
April 29 Webinar: Manure Management in Nutrient Management Planning
April 30 WVHUB Annual Meeting
April 30 WVU Extension Agritourism Survey
May 14 Small Business Innovation Research Road Tour, Fairmont
June 4-6 Try This Conference
For sale: Jeff's Breads, Renick
Deadline: April 30: Jean Ambrose Award
WVFMA Small Farm Conference Materials
Deadline April 30: Patagonia Environmental Grants
Deadline April 30: WVFMA Summer Food Service Gleaning Initiative
Deadline May 15: USDA Local Food Promotion Program Grants
Deadline June 4: Climate Challenge
Deadline June 4: Food Security Grants
Deadline June 15: Try This Mini-Grants
Deadline October 1: WVFMA & AHA Fresh Recipe Challenge
WV FSA Loans
Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvement Loans & Grants
Farmer's Guide to Working Land Trusts
Webinar Recording: Break-even and viability points for Food Hubs
Infographic: Health Care Food Purchasing Power

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
Megan SmithProgram Coordinator
Garnet BruellAmeriCorps OSMRE/VISTA
Cheryl BrownPresident
Mike KwasniewskiVice President
Rob HintonTreasurer
Kent SpellmanSecretary
Brooke Nissim-Sabat 
Mike Costello 
Marlo Long
Hannah Vargason
Joey Aloi

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 launches and new email twitter account @wvfood is open to the public! The website is designed with sharing resources and telling West Virginia's local food story in mind. And while you're at it, come follow us on twitter @wvfood
Report: Food Hub Track at Small Farm Conference
At the 2015 Small Farm Conference in Charleston, we partnered with numerous organizations to develop and present a Food Hub Track that highlighted the great potential for growth in this sector. Click here to find materials, summaries, and questions from the workshop. 
Funding Available: Up to $3500 for local food aggregation projects in West Virginia
Hot on the tail of the Food Hub Track, we are offering mini-grants of up to $3500 to support aggregation projects across the state. Grantees can use funding for a variety of projects, but funding must enhance the efforts and sustainability of aggregating local food. Specifically, funding can be used for startup aggregation/food hub projects or existing aggregators/food hubs for business coaching, addition of staff, equipment, marketing, or other tactics to become more sustainable and implement business and/or logistics plans. For the whole RFP, click here.
Success! Both Local Food bills being advocated for by WVFFC have become law

The West Virginia Community Development Hub has published an article telling the stories of the 2015 passage of SB304, which creates a simple and affordable state-wide health permit for farmers market vendors, and SB352, which expands the producer cooperative section to include all businesses that relate to foods and beverages, arts and crafts, woodworking and recycling, composting and repurposing of materials. Both of these bills were spearheaded by us here at the West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition, with policy support from the Hub. Keep an eye out for more media coverage as we do breakdowns of these bills over the next few weeks. Read the article here.


West Virginia Food News

Alderson Food Hub Successful in Crowdfunding Campaign - Green Grocer Opening on April 24
After raising over $30,000 through 6 week indiegogo campaign, the Alderson Green Grocer is a go! The group held a board meeting last week, if you missed the meeting and want to volunteer for a task force, call 304-445-7893, or email And mark your calendars - April 24th is the grand opening of the Green Grocer! Keep up with efforts via their Facebook page.
SAGE Constructs High Tunnel Project in Charleston's West Side
The Sustainable Agriculture Entrepreneurs Group (SAGE) has constructed a high tunnel to be used for season extension in Charleston's West Side. This project is a new addition to the growing tools available for urban agriculture in Charleston, which last year added an orchard. The tunnel will be used to continue SAGE's farmer training program. Read more here.
Appalachian Grazing Conference Meets in Morgantown
With a particular focus toward rotational grazing techniques and global market opportunities, nearly 300 participants gathered in Morgantown for the Appalachian Grazing Conference to become better informed on how to manage grasslands with new techniques and advancements in livestock management. Read more here
American Heart Association To Work On Nutrition & Physical Activity in Kanawha County
The three-year long grant is a partnership between the Center for Disease Control and the American Heart Association, providing an opportunity to do community-level work with great impact. A program coordinator will be hired in April, and will perform outreach to partner with organizations in the area that are geared toward nutrition and exercise promotion, as well as performing a community needs assessment to help identify where its efforts are best put to use. Read more here.
Catholic Charities Launches Free Program To Assist With SNAP Enrollment 
With the goal of expanding efforts to educate West Virginia families about food stamps and providing eligible families with enrollment assistance, this program is funded by an outreach grant from the USDA. Read more here.

Working Group Highlight: Meat Working Group


Jennifer "Tootie" Jones, chair of WVFFC's Meat Working Group, was on hand to view the blue prints of the meat lab in the new Ag Building at WVU during the Appalachian Grazing Conference March 12th.

She has also just been placed honorarium with the NE Pasture Consortium after presenting during that same meeting. She says, "I am really touched with having been asked to serve and be a voice for pasture based meat farmers."
Video Highlight: West Virginia Maple Syrup 101

Maple Syrup Making 101

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

Fundraising Campaign: Mountain People's Food Co-Op

Online, Morgantown


Mountain People's Co-Op is running a crowdfunding campaign to raise $35,000! They plan to use these funds to accomplish a move to an improved location, get the new space ready, and market the new location to the community. Here's their proposal for how the money will be spent: 

  • $15,000: Contractor labor (inspections, electricians, telecom, computer services etc.)
  • $12,500: Materials (dry wall, paint, flooring, display and kitchen upgrades)
  • 5,000: Moving costs (physically moving everything from the store to the new location)
  • $2,500: Marketing and outreach  (promo for new location)
Check out and support their campaign here!

Farmers Market Vendor Survey



Are you a farmers market vendor? The University of Arkansas currently has a grant to develop tools to help farmers market vendors deal with issues of food safety. They are requesting  farmers market vendors and managers to fill out an online survey. The survey is expected to take half an hour. Take the survey here.

Regional Agriculture Innovation Forum 

April 7, Hotel McCreery, Hinton, WV, FREE


Presenters will focus on a range of topics such as what technical assistance might be available for local producers, the farm to school initiative in Summers County, and additional resources for existing and prospective business.  Further, there will be a free ranging discussion about the state of the regional food economy.  After presentations, attendees will have the opportunity to connect one on one with local resource providers. Registration is here.

Webinar: Conservation Planning

April 8, 2pm EST, Online, Free


Farmers and ranchers use conservation plans as a basis to manage their natural resources. Conservation Planning continues to be a dynamic process that engages technical knowledge with on-the-land expertise to address resource concerns. Participate to review the steps in conservation planning, gain insight to the Stewardship Plan framework, hear feedback from the Stewardship Plan pilot in Iowa, and review the latest update information in the National Planning Procedures Handbook. View the webinar here.

Mingo Farm to Fork Photo Workshop 

April 9, Tug Valley High School, 1pm, FREE


Join Tug Valley Agriculture Students, UPIKE Students, and farmers from the Williamson Farmers Market for a photography workshop with photographer Roger May, who is noted for his curation of the Looking At Appalachia project.


The workshop will begin at 1pm, and there will be a caravan from the school to take photos at Starr's Honey Farm. Students, parents, and guests are welcome to attend. To register for the event contact Angie Fisher at Tug Valley High School, or Maria Arnot at the Mingo County Diabetes Coalition at 304-235-3400 or

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 

Webinar: The Relevance of Soil Biology in Assessing Fertility and Soil Health

April 14, 2pm EST, Online, Free


Participants will learn how soil biology directly and indirectly influence crop growth and nutrient cycling, along with methods for measuring biological activity in soil and interpreting soil respiration to understand nutrient availability.


Soil health is defined as the continued capacity of soil to function as a vital living ecosystems to sustain plants, animals and humans. Nutrient cycling, a key soil function that is driven by soil microbial activity, is often higher in healthy soils, but is difficult to account for when developing crop nutrient budgets. This webinar will provide information on how soil health can be measured in a lab, along with plant available nutrients and the importance of accounting for both the organic and inorganic forms of N, P, and K. View the webinar here.

Webinar: Rethinking alternative and emergency food networks in West Virginia

April 16, 2015, 12pm, Online, Free


On this webinar, you will learn more about the Community Food Security Assessement (CFSA) efforts in West Virginia and the WV Foodlink tool. Pre-registration is not necessary. To participate, simply go here at the start of the webinar and log-in as a guest. More information here 

Webinar: Manure Management Planning in Nutrient Management Planning 

April 29, 2015, 2pm EST, Online, Free


Participants will learn about the various data entry tabs in the Manure Management Planner and how to develop Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan and Nutrient Management Plan documents.


By participating in this training you will learn about the information that is needed by the Manure Management Planner (MMP) program to develop Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP) and Nutrient Management Plan (NMP) documents. Learn how to access reports to determine field nutrient needs, balances, and status. Learn about other tools that are used to export and import data into the program. View the webinar here.

WV Community Development Hub "Hubapalooza"

April 30, 2015, 10am-3:30pm, Summersville Conference Center


Hubapalooza will feature presentations, discussions and resources focused on:

* Great things happening in other communities across the state

* Sharing lessons learned and creating lasting networks for collaboration

* The role of policy in enhancing our community improvement work

Communications techniques to boost your project or initiative 

* West Virginia's economic, social and human health - what opportunities and threats are on the horizon?

Registration is available here

WVU Extension Agritourism Survey 

April 30, 2015, 10am-3:30pm, Summersville Conference Center


Are you a WV Agritourism operator? Your input is important and greatly appreciated. WVU Extension is trying to better understand what types of enterprises exist, the economic impact to the state, challenges faced, assistance needed and ideas for future programs to better serve the WV Agritourism sector. Survey closes April 30th. Take it here.

Small Business Innovation Research Road Tour

May 14, 2015, I-79 Technology Park, Robert H. Mollohan Research Center, Fairmont, WV, $30


This is part of a national outreach effort to explore technology funding opportunities provided through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.


Federal Program Managers representing the $2.5 billion in early stage funding have been invited to attend a series of events alongside technology entrepreneurs and innovation supporters from across the United States.

Scheduled to Attend:

  • Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • Department of Defense - Missile Defense Agency (MDA)
  • Department of Defense - US Air Force (USAF)
  • Department of Defense - US Navy (USN)
  • Department of Energy (DOE)
  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
  • National Science Foundation (NSF)
  • Small Business Administration (SBA)
Registration available here

Try This! Conference

June 4-6, Buckhannon, WV Wesleyan


A conference for those working for a healthier West Virginia. Forty workshops focusing on a variety of topics including farmers markets, school gardens, bicycling and running programs, school-based health centers and parks. Registration is $100. Late fees apply after April 15th. Register 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. 

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 

Nomination Open: Jean Ambrose Award
Deadline: April 30th, 2015


The Jean Ambrose Champion of Community Development Award recognizes an individual who, through their work, professionally or as a volunteer, has made a significant difference in the well-being of West Virginia's communities and the citizens who live in them.


This award is focused on statewide impact, and will be presented annually to the person who best exemplifies Jean Ambrose's spirit of energy, enthusiasm and commitment to improving the state of West Virginia and its communities.


The Hub is inviting nominations of individuals who may be considered for this award. The Champion of Community Development Award winner will be chosen by a panel consisting of Hub staff and board members, and stakeholders in the Community Development Network. The deadline for nominations is April 15.


The nomination form is available here.

2015 Small Farm Conference Materials from West Virginia Farmers Market Association 


The WVFMA has compiled a page collecting all of their presentation materials from February's Small Farm Conference! Topics include: 

  • Vendor Recruitment & Retention
  • Gleaning
  • Growing Your Network to Get More Done

Find the materials 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. 

West Virginia Farmers Market & Summer Food Service Program Gleaning Initiative
Deadline: April 30th, 2015


The West Virginia Farmers Market Association is trying to bridge the participation gap in the Summer Food Service Program (only 16% of eligible kids participate), by bringing meals to kids where they are, instead of tackling the transportation challenge we have here in West Virginia. If you are interested in feeding kids at your site (farmers market), it a very simple process. First, we will check your location to make sure you are eligible in terms of free/reduced population, census and/or census block grouping data. If you are, the next step is matching you with a sponsor to provide and deliver your meals.


If doesn't matter if your Farmers Market is only open one day per week. Farmers Markets are a great way to feed more kids this summer! Hunger doesn't take a summer vacation. To find out more and to get matched with a sponsor, please call or email Amy Wentz Berner at the Department of Education, Office of Child Nutrition at 304-558 3396 or email 


Read more about this initiative here.

USDA Local Food Promotion Program Grants
Deadline: May 15, 2015


The Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program provides a combined total of $26.6 million divided equally between its two grant programs. The FMPP provides $13.3 million to support projects for direct farmer-to-consumer marketing projects such as farmers markets, community-supported agriculture programs, roadside stands, and agritourism. The LFPP offers $13.3 million in funds for projects that support intermediary supply chain activities for businesses that process, distribute, aggregate, and store locally- or regionally-produced food products. For the complete RFP and eligibility information, click here.

Agriculture and Natural Resources Science for Climate Variability and Change Challenge Area
Deadline: June 4th, 2015


This AFRI Challenge Area focuses on the priority to mitigate and adapt to climate variability and change. It supports activities that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase carbon sequestration in agricultural and forest production systems, and prepare the nation's agriculture and forests to adapt to variable climates. The long-term outcome for this program is to reduce the use of energy, nitrogen fertilizer, and water by ten percent and increase carbon sequestration by fifteen percent through resilient agriculture and forest production systems. In order to achieve this outcome, this program will support multi-function Integrated Research, Education, and/or Extension Projects and Food and Agricultural Science Enhancement (FASE) Grants applications that address one of the Program Area Priorities. Application and information here

Grant Notice: Food Security Challenge Area
Deadline: June 4th, 2015


The goal of the Food Security Challenge Area for FY 2015 is to develop agricultural production research, education, and extension to develop more sustainable, productive, and economically viable plant and animal production systems. This program will also develop regionally adapted crop cultivars and livestock/breeds that contribute to rural economic development and prosperity while enhancing food security. These investments will increase food security by improving agricultural production systems at the regional and national levels and by encouraging diversification of agricultural production. Eligible applicants include:

  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Information on Eligibility" for clarification)
  • Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
  • Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • For profit organizations other than small businesses
  • Small businesses
  • Private institutions of higher education
  • Individuals
Find the full RFP & information here.

Try This Mini-Grant Applications
Deadline: June 15, 2015


Community teams that attend the Try This conference can apply for mini-grants to jump-start a community project. These are collaborative grants. Teams of at least three people who attend the conference can apply. 


An example: If a community decided they wanted a hightunnel greenhouse to feed a food pantry, for instance, community team might include the farmers market, the food pantry, the town government, and a local group that pledged to tend it. A sturdy mid-size greenhouse now costs about $1,000.


Mini-grants range from $500 to $3,000. They are available to community-based teams that attend the Try This conference. At least three members of your team must attend. They must represent three different organizations or institutions. These are competitive grants, with no guarantee of an award.


Click here for the full RFP. 

WVFMA & American Heart Assocation Fresh Recipe Challenge
Deadline: October 1, 2015


The American Heart Association and the West Virginia Farmers Market Association are partnering to put together the WV Farmers Market Fresh Recipe Challenge! We are looking for great recipes, showcasing WV Farmers Market products, to be featured in an upcoming recipe book. This is a great way to show off your skills in the kitchen and your pride in your WV farmers market! We want to change the conversation about what it is like to eat like a West Virginian, while highlighting fresh local products grown by the farmers in your very own West Virginia communities.


More information and the submission form is available 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.

Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvement Loans & Grants 

This program provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase or install renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements. Eligibility: Agricultural producers with at least 50% of gross income coming from agricultural operations, and, small businesses in eligible rural areas

Funds may be used for the purchase, installation and construction of renewable energy systems, such as:

  • Biomass (for example: biodiesel and ethanol, anaerobic digesters, and solid fuels)
  • Geothermal for electric generation or direct use
  • Hydropower below 30 megawatts
  • Hydrogen
  • Small and large wind generation
  • Small and large solar generation
  • Ocean (tidal, current, thermal) generation
Find more information here and contact the West Virginia Rural Development Office for more program specifics. 
Food for Thought
(Research, Publications, interesting articles, etc)

A Farmer's Guide to Working Land Trusts


The Farmer's Guide to Working with Land Trusts is written for farmers, land trust staff, and farmer service providers. The guide gives an introduction to land trusts, explains how these groups can be powerful partners in a farmer's search for affordable farmland, and provides detailed information about the process of working with a land trust.


Find the guide here.

Webinar Recording: What is break-even and viability for different food hub models?


How much volume does it take for a food hub to be a viable business?


Food hub managers, funders, support organizations, economic development commissions, planners, and investors are all asking this same question! 


On one hand, this is an impossible question to answer with a single number since there are diverse food hub models and management structures. And context matters: the region of the country, urban vs. rural, and others.


This webinar gives you the tools to do your own analysis for your particular hub. By peering into the operations and financial books of several illustrative examples of different hub models, we tease apart those "magic numbers" - where each model reaches profitability, and true viability. By using an approach based on hypothetical hubs, we can see how the finances change as we adjust certain parameters. 

The Million Dollar Question- Break even and viability for food hub models - an NGFN webinar
The Million Dollar Question- Break even and viability for food hub models - an NGFN webinar


Find more information and slide download here.

Infographic: Health Care Food Purchasing Power




For more infographics from Kaiser Permanente and Health Care Without Harm, click here.

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