In This Issue
Foodshed Survey
Funding Campaign: Mountain People's Food Co-Op
April 12-18 WV Physical Activity Network Launch
April 29 Webinar: Manure Management in Nutrient Management Planning
April 30 WVHUB Annual Meeting
April 30 WVU Extension Agritourism Survey
May 5 Grant Writing Workshop
May 14 Small Business Innovation Research Road Tour, Fairmont
May 19 Women in Agriculture Celebration
June 4-6 Try This Conference
Job Opening: Heart & Hand Aggregation Manager
Job Opening: Alderson Local Food Access Facilitator
Deadline: April 30: Jean Ambrose Award
Free SNAP/EBT Machines for Farmers Markets
Deadline April 30: Patagonia Environmental Grants
Deadline April 30: WVFMA Summer Food Service Gleaning Initiative
Deadline May 8: WV Food Hub Mini Grants
Deadline May 15: USDA Local Food Promotion Program Grants
Deadline May 15: Agricultural Conservation Easement Program
Deadline May 15: Local Food Social Science Study
Deadline May 15:Food Co-Op Seed Grant
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
Thesis: Resistance Through Food in South American & Appalachian Women
Growing, Harvesting, & Preserving African & Asian Crops in The Northeast

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
Brooke Nissim-Sabat Secretary
Joey Aloi
Mike Costello 
Marlo Long
Hannah Vargason

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.





Report: Mobile Markets Provide Local Food Access & Economic Opportunity in West Virginia

If you wanted to buy fresh local food, where would you go? In many communities in West Virginia, the answer is farmers markets - but there is growing potential for a new 'mobile' market model that can sell local food to consumers in low-access West Virginia communities. Read the report from the 2015 Small Farm Conference .

Clarification For On-Farm Poultry Exemption Rule
The Meat Working Group has received an official clarification from Dr Robert Pitts, DVM at the Department of Agriculture. Read the clarifications here. It answers questions such as where the birds can be slaughtered, when birds must be sold by, sales restrictions, what birds must be labeled with, and more. 
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.

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


West Virginia Food News

CSA ("Community Supported Agriculture") Models Emerging in West Virginia

WVFFC Director Elizabeth Spellman is quoted in this article that details the growth of several CSA models in West Virginia: "The farmers get to sell directly to the consumers and establish a connection with the people that are purchasing their product," explained Spellman, "while allowing consumers to feel supportive of local business." Read the whole article here

Farmer Spreads Cultivation of Ramps to the Wild 
This story about Glen Facemire of Ramp Farm Specialties, which cultivates wild ramps on a farm near Richwood. The article details some of the complexities of the crop. Read the story here
Green Grocer Fills A Need In Alderson
The Alderson Green Grocer is open following its successful crowd funding campaign. They offer both local produce and conventional food from larger supplier. The community is already seeing the Green Grocer as a place to gather. Read the story here

Take The WVFFC Foodshed Survey!


As regional foodsheds take hold across the state, we believe these pre-existing centers of relationships and resource-sharing can act as anchors for advancing more robust local food systems.

A foodshed includes the area where food in produced, where it is transported, where it is sold, and where it is consumed. It includes the land it grows on, the routes it travels, the markets it goes through, and the tables it ends up gracing. A foodshed also includes the people that make the food system in the area functional. Foodsheds are not closed systems, but rather they overlap and influence each other.

Video Highlight: Organic and No-Till Techniques on Virginia Farm
Organic and No-Till at Laughing Water Farm
Organic and No-Till at Laughing Water Farm

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!

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: 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.

Monroe County Grant Writing Workshop 

May 5, Union Senior Center, Union WV, FREE


This class will include instruction in how to develop successful grant applications and where to seek funds for projects. 

While the class is free, participants are encouraged to sign up in advance by emailing The Union Senior Center is located at 104 Health Center Drive in Union, WV. For more information, go 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

WV Women in Agriculture Celebration

May 19, Moundsville Center, $5



Participants will learn about Raised Bed Gardening, Risk Management, AgrAbility, Rain Barrels, and much more.

There will be a $5.00 registration fee to help cover lunch and additional program costs.  Vendors will be set up to promote their products that are grown or created in WV. Door prizes will be awarded throughout the day and each attendee will receive a free gift to take home.


Registration will begin at 8:30 am, and the program will be held from 9:00 am until 3:30 pm, with ample time for breaks to visit the vendors at the event.  Space is limited and registration is required, call early!  To request a registration form, call Joy Riggle at 304-242-0576 x 122. Read the event announcement 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

2015 BALLE Conference

June 10-12, Phoenix, AZ


While this is a long way away, it is cutting edge and might spark something for someone! This conference is the national forum for visionary local economy connectors who are making a difference in their communities. And, after more than a decade of doing this work, it's clearer than ever that Localist leaders' efforts solving economic, social, and environmental challenges are paving a path to real prosperity for all people. Which makes Whats Working Locally the perfect theme for this year's conference.

The conference's eight conversation tracks follow the eight solution areas that together pave a path to prosperity, covering working models that increase economic inclusion, build community wealth, change what ownership looks like, and more. These are the most cutting edge, innovative, and important conversations happening in Localism right now - led by the brightest lights in the movement and their respective fields. Find more information here

Job Opportunities

Heart & Hand Aggregation Manager

Philippi, West Virginia


Heart and Hand seeks an experienced, hands-on, creative and determined individual to serve as an Aggregation Center Manager to lead and grow a proposed aggregation center in conjunction with the Barbour County Community Garden Market.  This part-time position (20 hours per week) would begin immediately and reports directly to Heart and Hand's Executive Director. Job description and application here

Alderson Green Grocer Local Food Access Facilitator

Alderson, West Virginia


The Alderson Green Grocer seeks applications for a local food access facilitator position. Project activities will include coordinating market outreach and SNAP sales at weekly market, conducting outreach at monthly food pantry, help link community orchard, grow appalachia, and grower's club participants to market, coordinate monthly mini-markets at senior centers, and develop relevant market publicity. For the full application and instructions, click 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. 

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.

Free For Farmers Markets: SNAP/EBT  


The Farmers Market Coalition has partnered with the USDA Food and Nutrition Service to provide eligible farmers markets and direct marketing farmers with free electronic benefit transfer (EBT) equipment necessary to process Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. 


FMC will cover the costs of purchasing or renting SNAP EBT equipment and services (set-up costs, monthly service fees, and wireless fees) for up to three years. After their application has been approved, eligible farmers and farmers markets will choose their own SNAP EBT service provider from a list of participating companies. Transaction fees (for SNAP EBT, credit, and debit payments) will not be covered.


To read more and find an application, click 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.

WV Food & Farm Coalition Food Hub Mini-Grants
Deadline: May 8th, 2015


The West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition is offering three mini-grants of $3,000-$3500 each 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. By the end of the grant period, grantees will receive business and production planning and will have authored a business plan.


Grant funds will be distributed by May 2015 and the grant period will run until December 31, 2015. Find the RFP 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.

Agricultural Conservation Easement Program
Deadline: May 15, 2015 

The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) provides financial and technical assistance to help conserve agricultural lands and wetlands and their related benefits. Under the Agricultural Land Easements component, NRCS helps Indian tribes, state and local governments and non-governmental organizations protect working agricultural lands and limit non-agricultural uses of the land.  Under the Wetlands Reserve Easements component, NRCS helps to restore, protect and enhance enrolled wetlands.


Landowners and entities interested in using conservation easements to address natural resource concerns can submit applications at any time to a USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service office. Applications must be submitted by May 15, 2015 to be considered for fiscal year 2015 ACEP funding. Though signup is continuous, funding selections are made at specific times during the fiscal year. Find more information here.

The RIDGE Center for Targeted Studies Grant Program Advancing Social Sciences-Based Research on Food Assistance and Nutrition Challenges in Rural America
Deadline: May 15, 2015 

The purpose of the RIDGE (Research Innovation and Development Grants in Economics) Center for Targeted Studies is to invest in innovative social sciences-based research that explores the food and nutrition assistance challenges of rural people and places. The program is interested in a wide array of topics and issues. Proposals that focus on Native Americans, Hispanics, African Americans, and other racial/ethnic populations, as well as children and low-wealth individuals/households, are strongly encouraged. Click here to read the entire RFP. 

Food Co-Op Initiative Seed Grant Program
Deadline: May 15, 2015 

Food Coop Initiative's Seed Grant program is designed to provide financial support during a new food co-op's early development, backed by the advice and guidance of our development specialists. We want to help co-ops move through the startup process effectively and efficiently. Our grant program provides proven resources to help you achieve success. These grants are made possible by the USDA Rural Cooperative Development Program, the Blooming Prairie Foundation, and donations from food co-ops across the U.S. Find the RFP 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)

Thesis: Eating In Opposition: Strategies Of Resistance Through Food In The Lives Of Rural Andean And Appalachian Mountain Women


This thesis examines ways in which rural mountain women of Andean Peru and southern Appalachia use their lived histories and food knowledge in ways that counter Cartesian epistemologies regarding national and international food systems. Using women's fiction and cookbooks, this thesis examines how voice and narrative reclaim women's spaces within food landscapes. Further, this thesis examines women's non-profits and grassroots organizations to illustrate the ways in which rural mountain women expand upon their lived histories in ways that contribute to tangible solutions to poverty and hunger in rural mountainous communities. The primary objective of this thesis is to recover rural mountain women's voices in relation to food culture and examine how their food knowledge contributes to improving local food policy and reducing hunger in frontline communities.  


Find the thesis here.

Global Food, Local Food: Guide to Growing, Harvesting & Preserving African & Asian Crops in the Northeast


The purpose of this guide is to help Northeast farmers and gardeners adapt important crops of world cultures into the local food system to be grown successfully for market, food and/or medicine.


Eight important African and Asian crops with significant potential for being integrated into the food system of the Northeastern U.S are covered in this guide. Find the guide available online for free here

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