Value Chain Cluster Initiative supports food business development from field to fork

November 19, 2014   Tags:

Note: This article was originally published May 9, 2013.

A new program called the the Value Chain Cluster Initiative provides hands-on business development and coaching services to strengthen local food and farm businesses in four regions of West Virginia.  If you live in one of 17 eligible counties, and are a new or existing producer, processor, aggregator or distributor of local food, you can apply for:

 Available types of consulting assistance include:

Organizations that serve several businesses, such as co-ops, farmer groups, or farmers markets, can also apply for assistance with projects such as:

• Needs assessments and feasibility studies to expand aggregation or meat processing
• Design for regional local food branding campaigns
• Food safety trainings and other trainings for farmer groups
 Which counties are eligible?

The program serves 17 counties in four regional clusters:

Cluster Name Counties Served Contact People


Doddridge, Tyler, Ritchie, Gilmer

 Business Coach:
Rick Satterfield

Regional Coordinator:
Mary Oldham

 Tygart Valley

Barbour, Preston, Randolph, Tucker, Upshur

Greenbrier Valley

Fayette, Greenbrier, Monroe, Pocahontas

 Business Coach:
Matt Wender

Regional Coordinator:
Anne Stroud

Mid-Ohio Valley

Calhoun, Clay, RoaneWirt

  For general inquiries, or to get started with the program, contact:
Jill Young, statewide VC2 Technical Assistance Coordinator, at: | 304-661-4951

 Eligibility Quiz:

If you  can answer ‘yes’ to the questions below, you may be eligible to receive services from this program.

1. Is your business or organization located in one of the 17 West Virginia counties served by the Value Chain Cluster Initiative?
2. Do you have a business or organization that deals with food or farming?
3. Is your business or organization a legally established entity? If not, do you plan to establish one?
4. If you have an existing business, are you up to date on required state and federal taxes, workers’ compensation obligations, and other applicable legal requirements?
Learn more at

The Value Chain Cluster Initiative is a program of Natural Capital Investment Fund. Funding is made possible by  the USDA, theUS Economic Development Administration, the Appalachian Regional Commission, and the Claude Worthington BenedumFoundation.

For more information visit