The warmer temperatures, sunny days, and extended hours of daylight are adding a little pep to our everyday motions. The windows in the office are open allowing the sounds of the street and the delightful breeze to enter while we contemplate the food system of West Virginia and the broader Appalachian Region. In the next couple of months, we'll be welcoming the New River Gorge Foodshed AmeriCorps VISTA to our office to continue to contribute to this newfound energy. If you are interested or know of someone qualified for the position, please forward along the job announcement.  

Happy Spring,

West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition
Are you a farmer in West Virginia? Are you selling value-added products with ingredients sourced from local, sustainable producers? Want to list your farm or food business in the Directory? Click the image below. 
If you have any questions or want to learn more about the Directory, contact Evelyn Hartman at OR (304) 877-7920. 
Visit our events calendar:
Mushroom Workshop with Bob Maslowski at The Wild Ramp in Huntington, WV on April 2nd from 10AM to 2PM

Refresh Appalachia and Unlimited Future are partnering to offer a mushroom cultivation training at the Wild Ramp with mushroom farmer, Bob Maslowski. Inoculate a trail log with shiitake plugs to take home and enjoy a mushroom pizza from Wild Ramp's new Farm-to-Table Café. To learn more about the workshop and to register, call (304) 523-7267.

The West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition's Meat Working Group and Value Chain Cluster Initiative (VC2) are partnering for the fourth training of the Niche Meat Processing Training Series on Monday, March 28th from 8:30AM to 4:00PM. View the WV Department of Agriculture's Mobile Processing Unit, learn the details of egg production from Lauren Brenner from Rainbow Farm, and witness an on-farm rabbit and poultry processing demonstration. Click here for more information and to register.
National Good Food Network's 2016 Food Hub Conference in Atlanta on March 30th - April 1st 

In Atlanta, Georgia at National Good Food Network's 2016 Food Hub Conference over 40 workshops will be offered on the issue of food hubs. Learn about the role of food hubs in our food system, business management for food hubs, food hub models, food safety, and hear from food hubs in the Atlanta area. Learn more about the conference and register here.
2016 East Ohio Women in Agriculture Conference on April 1st 

The third annual East Ohio Women in Agriculture Conference will be held at the R. G. Drage Career Technical Center in Massillon on April 1st  from 9AM - 3PM. OSU Extension educators, farmers, and partner agencies will present 16 break-out sessions including: Finance, Livestock, Special Interest, Food & Family, Partner Agencies and one youth session. Register for the conference here.
2016 Mother Earth News Fair: Fun-Filled, Hands-On Sustainable Lifestyle Events in Asheville, NC on April 9th and 10th

Mother Earth News Fair returns to Asheville, North Carolina on April 9th and 10th. With over 150 workshops, inspiring key note speakers, and interesting exhibitors, you won't want to miss it. Click here for more information about the fair and lodging.
VC2 is Hosting "Wholesale Success: Postharvest Handling On-Farm Food Safety" Workshops in April

Value Chain Cluster Initiative (VC2) is traveling to Lewisburg, Philippi, Huntington, and Kingwood to host a "Wholesale Success: Postharvest Handling On-Farm Food Safety" workshop with nationally renowned-trainer, farmer, and author Atina Diffley. For more information and to register, click the link with your respective location: LewisburgHuntingtonPhilippi
, and Kingwood.
Soil Health Workshop with Ray Archuleta in Tiffin, OH on April 9th at 9AM to 3PM

The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association is welcoming the "Soils Guy", Ray Archuleta, and cover crop guru, David Brandt of Brandt Family Farm, for the soil health workshop. Take a tour of the Moyer Brothers Farms' cover crops and a soil pit demonstration for this day-long session. Click here
for more information and to register. 
2016 Food Tank Summit in Washington, DC at American University on April 20th - 21st

The 2nd Annual Food Tank Summit will feature over 70 speakers from the food and agriculture field. Join researchers, farmers, chefs, policy makers, government officials, and students on the issues of improving nutrient density, the future of organic, nourishing the planet, investing in the food movement, legislating change in the food system, and more. Register here.

Deadline: March 31, 2016

Deadline: March 28, 2016

Deadline: May 12, 2016

Deadline: May 12, 2016

Deadline: October 15, 2016

Deadline: May 2, 2016

LOI Deadline: April 28, 2016

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Visit our free library:
Ohio State Small Farm Central collected data on the impact of "FarmFan", a text messaging system used to increase farmers market sales. What did the study reveal? Well, good news for "FarmFan". According to the Small Farm Central's research, "86% said they relied on the messages or they were helpful at least once." The study will be released in late Spring. For now, check out FarmFan.    
The update to the USDA's The Farm to School Census is now available. According to the study, 75% - 100% of West Virginia school districts participate in farm-to-school activities. Check out the study for more information here.
ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture recently released online tutorials on "Managed Grazing" taught by livestock producers from the National Center for Appropriate Technology. Check out the tutorials here.
State and National Policy Page:

Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SSAWG) will be hosting the very first quarterly call for the Policy Collaborative Action Network (PCAN) on April 26, 2016 at 7PM (EST). Policy Collaborative Action Network is intended to assist farmers with "engaging their elected officials in their immediate areas, identify organizations and resources, and strive to create a more cohesive southern voice." Email to join the call.

Bruce A. Babcock, Professor of Economics at Iowa State University publishes, "Crop Insurance: A Lottery That's a Sure Bet", with the Environmental Working Group (EWG) in early February. The report explains our current federal Crop Insurance program and why it needs to be reformed. Read the full report here.

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is requesting information and data about on-farm manure application in response to the new food safety rule governing produce farms. National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) provides us with detailed information about the current rule, what information the FDA needs, why the FDA wants the information, and what happens next. Read more here. The FDA is accepting comments until May 3rd, 2016. 
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