November Updates and Opportunities

Conferences and Events

  • Southeast WV Regional Foodshed Gathering. Fairlea, WV, November 2. At this event, producers and buyers of local food will attend trainings on hands on farm skills, as well as the business of farming. Attendees will meet their peers, learn about service providers and will enjoy locally sourced foods. This foodshed gathering is sure to be a great oppurtunity to newtwork with like minded individuals, and share ideas and opportunities. Click here to learn more and to register.


  • Farm Financials Workshop: Enterprise Analysis. November 5, 5-7 pm, Abingdon, VA. (Free of cost). This workshop will cover the four budgets we can use to plan for a profitable future, and include enterprise, partial, whole farm and cash flow budgets.  This type of budgeting allows farm managers to compare different ventures and assess which option(s) would make the best use of existing financial, production, and human resources based on profitability estimates. With these budgets, you can make informed business decisions. Workshop presented by Appalachian Sustainable Development in partnership with the Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition Program (Virginia Cooperative Extension), First Bank and Trust Company, and Farm Credit. Contact Tamara McNaughton at  (276) 623-1121or for more information and to register.


  • Second Annual Agribusiness All Day Conference. November 6, Martinsburg, WV. Key Note Speaker will be Rod Snyder, President of Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture in Washington, D.C.  The non-profit works for continuous improvement in productivity, environmental quality and human well-being across the agricultural supply chain.  Rod is a native of Jefferson County. Breakout sessions include topics such as heritage hogs, ag financing, agriculture technology, farmers market tips and marketing, food demonstration, and pesticides and water quality. Click here for more information or to sign up.


  • Sustainable Agriculture Conference. November 6-8, Durham, NC. Carolina Farm Stewardship Association’s Sustainable Agriculture Conference offers opportunities to learn from the experts about cutting-edge techniques and innovative programs and to connect with others who are just as passionate about rebuilding a healthy, local foodshed from seed to plate. Join farmers, health advocates, gardeners, homesteaders, agri-preneurs, ag-tivists, and consumers to learn, network, celebrate, and champion local and organic foods and farms. The event offers 66 workshops, five pre-conference bus tours, and 12 intensive sessions, exhibitors, networking, a seed exchange, and more. Click here for details.


  • 4th Tri-State Farm & Food Conference. November 14, Huntington, WV. The conference’s aim is to revolutionize the foodshed, or food system, in the radius of Huntington through agricultural education. This effort reaches an area that encompasses 15 counties located throughout West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky. You can get details and register for the conference by clicking here.


  • The State of Local Food: Meet & Greet, Hosted by West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition. November 19, 5:30-8:30, Morgantown, WV. This casual meet & greet event is free and open to the public. It’s designed to host a variety of participants from the local food economy, consumers, retailers, restaurant owners/managers, and farmers. This event is designed as a venue for the public to offer feedback and support and to share ideas, needs, and wants with the WVFFC. Register Here!


  • Farm Dreams? Explore Your Vision, hosted by the Organic Growers School. November 21, 10-4, Asheville, NC. Are you dreaming of starting your own farm? Farm Dreams? is an entry level, five-hour, exploratory workshop designed to help people who are seeking practical, common sense information on whether sustainable farming is the next step for them, and how to move forward. This is a great workshop to attend if you are in the exploratory stages of getting started farming. Explore the practicalities of your farm dreams. Click here to learn more and to register.


  • West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition’s Local Food Lobby Day, January 26, 2016. Charleston, WV. The West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition will be advocating for three impactful local food policies in 2016: expanding the list of foods that can be sold as cottage foods, a local preference law that allows public institutions such as hospitals, prisons and state agencies to preference locally grown food during their bidding process; and/or that reimburses public institutions up to a certain amount for purchasing locally grown food. a tax incentive for the costs associated with harvesting, storing and transporting food donations. For more information about these upcoming campaigns, please email Elizabeth Spellman at



  • Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network Webinar: Finger Lakes Meat Project. November 18, 1pm Eastern. The Finger Lakes Meat Project is a regional initiative in New York State to grow the freezer trade (sales of meat in bulk quantities such as whole, half and quarter animals) to benefit livestock farmers and consumers. The Project consists of educational efforts, an online directory of farms called The Meat Suite and two community freezers in Central NY called The Meat Locker. Learn more about this project, how it got started and its value to local farms on this free, Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network webinar. Click here for details.


Funding Opportunities 

  • Appalachian Grown™ Cost Share. First-come, first serve. ASAP, through support from the North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, has funds available for Appalachian Grown™ certified farms in North Carolina to be used in the promotion of locally grown food. These funds can be used for design and production of labels, packaging, or promotional materials featuring the Appalachian Grown logo. The promotion must reach the public and support farmers within one or more of the Appalachian Grown counties in North Carolina. The maximum ASAP cost share for each calendar year is $1,500 for an individual farm and $5,000 for a farmer group, dependent upon total number of farms in group. Click here for details.


  • Fund-a-Farmer Grants. Deadline: November 3, 2015. Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT) is now accepting applications from livestock farmers for its Fund-a-Farmer grants. The Fund-a-Farmer Project provides grants to qualifying humane farmers who need assistance in improving the welfare of their farm animals. Grants of up to $2,500 will be awarded for projects that create and/or improve access to pasture-based systems. FACT is interested in funding working, independent family farmers that raise pigs, broiler chickens, laying hens, dairy cows, turkeys, and/or beef cattle. Applications will only be considered from farms already considered highly welfare-oriented as determined by holding or working toward a humane certification for their livestock or poultry. Click here to learn more about this grant.


  • Western North Carolina AgOptions Deadline to apply: November 13, Contact your extension agent for information by October 16. WNC Agricultural Options is now accepting grant applications from farmers diversifying or expanding their businesses. WNC AgOptions offers grants to farmers in the following counties/units: Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Cherokee, Clay, Cleveland, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga and Yancey counties as well as the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. With funding from the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, WNC AgOptions is distributing a total of $178,000 to western North Carolina farmers in 2016. WNC AgOptions helps offset farmers’ risk of trying new ventures with $3,000 and $6,000 grants. Click here to find out more.


  • Southern SARE On-Farm Research Grant Program. Deadline: November 13. Agriculture professionals in Cooperative Extension, Natural Resources Conservation Service, universities, NGOs, and government and non-government organizations who regularly work with farmers/ranchers are invited to apply for a grant that affords them the opportunity to conduct on-farm research in sustainable agriculture. Applicants must work with at least one farmer/rancher on the project to conduct on-farm research in sustainable agriculture. On-Farm Research Grants may be funded up to two years for a project maximum of $15,000. Find out more here.


  • Southern SARE Producer Grant Program. Deadline: November 13. The Southern Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program is accepting applications for the producer grant from farmers/ranchers and farmer/rancher organizations throughout the Southern region. Producer Grants are used to conduct sustainable agriculture research projects that solve agricultural production challenges farmers face and to develop information on what works and what doesn’t so that other farmers and ranchers facing those same challenges can benefit from the results of the funded project. Projects may be funded for up to two years for a project maximum of $10,000 for an individual producer or $15,000 for a producer organization. Click here to learn more.


  • USDA NIFA Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentives (FINI) Grant ProgramDeadline: December 16. This is a competitive grants program to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables among low-income consumers participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by providing incentives at the point of purchase. Improving the affordability and consumption of fruits and vegetables not only helps to improve the health of families, but also expands economic opportunities for farmers. Click here for details.


  • Ben & Jerry’s Foundation Grassroots Organizing for Social Change. Organizing for Social Change Program offers general or project support to non-profit organizations throughout the United States and is BJF’s most competitive grant program. BJF makes one-year grants for up to $20,000, to organizations with budgets under $500,000. Only organizations with 501(c)3 status, or who have a fiscal agent with this status are eligible to apply. Click here for more information.


  • Golden LEAF Foundation Open Grants Program. The Golden LEAF Foundation is committed to using the funds entrusted to it for projects that show the most potential for strengthening North Carolina’s long-term economy, especially in tobacco-dependent, economically distressed, and/or rural communities. In the Open Grants Program, Golden LEAF’s grantmaking is focused in the areas of Agriculture, Job Creation, and Retention and Workforce Preparedness. In agriculture, Golden LEAF sees particular promise in the areas of value-added processing, market expansion, and projects targeting alternative crops, livestock, and aquaculture. Eligible applicants are governmental entities and 501 (c)(3) non-profit organizations. First, applicants complete a letter of inquiry. Applications are reviewed on a bi-monthly basis. Click here for more information.


  • Cedar Tree Foundation. Letters of inquiry are accepted at any time. The Cedar Tree Foundation is a small family fund whose grant making focuses on sustainable agriculture, environmental education, and environmental health. The Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals, but welcomes letters of inquiry for U.S.-based work from non-profit organizations working within its program areas. Click here to learn more.


  • The Harry Chapin Foundation. The Foundation Board meets three times a year on an as-needed basis. The Harry Chapin Foundation funds 501(c)(3) not-for-profit programs that operate in the United States that fall within the areas of Community Education Programs, Arts-In-Education Programs, and Agricultural and Environmental Programs. Grant sizes range from a few hundred dollars to a maximum of $10,000. Find out more about applying here.


Other Opportunities

  • Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives. Deadline: December 18, 2015. In celebration of their 100th anniversary, Farm Credit seeks nominations to identify and honor 100 rural leaders who are changing the future of agriculture and rural communities for the better. Once the panel of experts has evaluated the nominees, the top 100 “Fresh Perspectives” honorees will be announced in March 2016. If you would like to nominate yourself or someone you know for their influential work in rural agriculture, visit the Farm Credit 100 website.