Spencer’s roots in agriculture run deep and family happenstance has committed her to supporting those who want to feed their communities and enjoy farming as a livelihood find the resources to do so. She began working for the West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition in 2015 after spending two years developing food security projects in central and southern Appalachia. With a background in media and communications, she’s worked with nonprofits, extension service, universities, and political candidates to visually tell stories of community, trust, and change.
Spencer holds a BS in Communications from Missouri Western State University and a Masters in Public Administration with an emphasis in Local Governance and Community Development from West Virginia University.
Community Placemaking & Land Access Coordinator
Matthew is a St. Albans native who enjoys outdoor adventure, live music, and spending time with his friends and family. He formally served as Statewide Director of WV Lemonade Day, Assistant Director of Try This WV, and Nutrition Outreach Instructor with WVU Extension - Family Nutrition Program.
Matthew received a BA in Marketing from Glenville State College, where he also earned minors in art and nonprofit leadership & management.
He resides on the Coal River in St. Albans with his fiancée Matt McMillion and their cat, Winnie and dog, Max.
Fiscal & Administrative Coordinator
Bethany is a native West Virginian who enjoys exploring new places, taking hikes with her dog and watching new movies/shows with friends and family. She formally served as Assistant Director of Refresh Appalachia a social enterprise of Coalfield Development Corporation, Family & Social Services Coordinator of a state Community Action Agency and is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer after completing her service in Mali, West Africa.
Bethany received a MA in Applied Community Change with a concentration in conservation from Future Generations University.
She currently lives on the Elk River in Charleston with her faithful companion, André the Giant.
Born and raised in wonderful West Virginia, Caitlyn joins the West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition as a relative newcomer to the nonprofit sector. Most recently Caitlyn has been in retail management while working as a creative freelancer producing digital media for clients such as The Charleston Ballet in Charleston, WV. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography/Digital Imagery from Shepherd University. Caitlyn loves to explore, collect, and advocate.
Foodshed Coordinator: Mercer, McDowell, Mingo, Wyoming
James Russell, the Ole Grumpy Farmer, has lived on a farm nearly all his life. Growing up in Eastern Kentucky, James has been a farmer for 46 years, not only focusing on traditional farming his grandmother taught him through childhood, but also new age farming of today as well. Over the last few years, James has worked with nonprofits, including a 300-acre farm who focused on not only farming but agriculture as a means to stimulate the economy and uplift communities. Currently, James collaborates with agricultural professionals across ten different states and 4 different countries.
James has a strong belief in faith, family, and farming, and enjoys working on the farm and teaching his children and grandchildren how to grow their own beliefs in their faith, family and farming
Foodshed Coordinator: Roane, Calhoun, Ritchie
Sierra traded in her uniform for overalls when she separated from the U.S. Navy and created Wonder Valley Farm. Having little experience in the agricultural world, she attended every conference, workshop, and presentation she could; and made some amazing partnerships and contacts along the way. She loves working with other farmers, and sharing ideas and resources. Sierra lives in Gandeeville, WV with her human family, John and Izabella, and menagerie of critters.
Foodshed Coordinator: Lewis, Doddridge, Harrison
Audra is a WV native. After she graduated from WVU with a Bachelor of Arts in sculpture she moved to the Pacific Northwest for 14 years. While she was in the PNW she got further education in Permaculture and Holistic Landscape Design at Bastyr University. She is passionate about sustainable living, systems integration, community and local economic growth, and land stewardship.
She never lost her hillbilly roots and since she has found her way back to her hometown hills she has enjoyed rediscovering her roots and exploring all the growth that has transpired since she left.
Foodshed Coordinator: Clay, Gilmer, Braxton, Webster
Joe is originally from Clay County where he enjoys hiking, paddling and fly fishing the Elk River. He is passionate about West Virginia and her people. Nothing brings him more pleasure than teaching his granddaughters about their home. Joe started his career as a commercial fisherman and worked in aquaculture before becoming a business representative, union organizer, building and trades President and carpenter before his retirement.
Foodshed Coordinator: Pocahontas, Pendleton, Randolph
Eryn is from Ohio but has planted her roots in Snowshoe, WV for the past three years where she is a certified Ski and Mountain Bike Instructor. She enjoys spending her time in the outdoors going on hikes, mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding, scuba diving, and backpacking. Eryn and her husband, Joe, set off into the mountains in 16’ and hiked the entire Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. Now they live off the beaten path in WV with their two dogs Spruce and Diesel.
Eryn is new to the agriculture world but is very passionate about sustainability, edible & medicinal plants, dendrology, and connecting with people.
She received a degree in Ecotourism and Adventure Travel and a Business Management degree.