Supporting a Regional Food System From Field to Fork

Our Value Chain Cluster Initiative (VC2) provides hands-on business development and coaching services to strengthen expanding local food and farm businesses in four regions of West Virginia. We work with businesses in all aspects of the food chain, from field to fork and beyond, to help bolster strong regional food systems.

The core strategy of the program is to build resilient food and farm businesses that create real jobs throughout West Virginia by growing, buying, moving and consuming local foods. VC2 works with groups and regional organizations across 17 counties (about one third of West Virginia). We work with a range of clients, including farmer organizations or groups, food hubs, local food retail stores, economic development authorities, and more.

Since 2012, technical assistance and coaching through the VC2 program in West Virginia has supported over 270 food and farm businesses to scale up and build the local food economy through the creation of over 220 new jobs and investment over $3 million in private funds.

How VC2 Works

By nurturing a strong network of businesses ranging from growing, processesing, serving, agri-tourism and more, we're supporting quality jobs, sustainable agriculture, healthy food options and valuable dollars that circulate locally.

West Virginia is a state with both high economic disparities as well as high potential for growth. The 17 counties that VC2 works in have a high level of activity related to local food development. 
VC2 map
VC2 does not have a pre-defined program of services, but is rather designed to respond to the emergent needs of our clients and partners based on their requests to us. With the support and coaching from our VC2 regional coordinators, organizations and companies submit applications for technical assistance to VC2, outlining the need and nature of the project. If the project is approved, VC2 then provides direct coaching or serves as a matchmaker – seeking out and hiring the best consultant to provide the services the organization or business needs. VC2 remains engaged throughout the project to support its successful implementation. We also coordinate with other organizations to support coordination meetings and training that will strengthen value chains and provide increased opportunity to food and farm businesses.

For more information on VC2, contact:
Mary Oldham, VC2 Project Manager at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | 304-692-1044
Liberty Newberry-Fetty, Regional Coordinator and Coach, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | 304-761-2784
Marti Neustadt, Regional Coordinator and Coach, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | 304-704-1090

The VC2 program is supported by a Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, an ARC POWER Grant (awarded to NCIF and fellow Central Appalachian Network (CAN) members), and a USDA Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP) grant.