James Cochran: Farmers Market Support Program Managerjames crop

James brings his 8 years of managing farmers markets in Northern California to CFA.  He oversaw a quarter of the markets for Pacific Coast Farmers Market Association, supervising 18 markets in San Francisco and San Mateo County.  He is a graduate of Miami University (OH), where it became abundantly clear how important food and local production of food is to  community health. Since his arrival in Kentucky, he has worked with the Food In Neighborhoods Community Coalition, the Louisville Sustainability Council, and Rainbow Blossom Natural Food Markets.  He loves to cook, camp, ride his bike, pursue his photography, and trying to get his girlfriend to like cilantro. He lives in Louisville with his girlfriend, their dog, a small orchard, and a couple of bee hives. james (at) cfaky.org


Kristen Coomer: Farmers Market Support Program Regional Technical Assistant 

Kristen Coomer lives in Bowling Green, KY and recently graduated from WKU with a degree in Geography and Environmental Studies with a focus on Sustainability.  She discovered Community Farm Alliance through volunteer work with the Community Farmer’s Market, where she discovered a passion for food access, sustainable agricultural practices, and local food systems. Kristen aspires to use her skills to bring more attention to farmer’s markets and local food systems in general, which can benefit the health, economy, and fellowship of any community!  kristen (at) cfaky.org


Sister Kathy Curtis:  EKY Food System Collaborative Coordinator

Sister Kathy Curtis is a member of the Dwelling Place Monastery, an ecumenical women’s monastic community in Martin, Kentucky. She is from the west coast of Florida where her two sons and five grandchildren still live and where she spent thirty years in the distribution sector of the food value chain working in family-owned restaurants. Coming to eastern Kentucky in 2005 for a two-year volunteer opportunity, she fell in love with the region and its people and never  left. She has been a project manager for the Grow Appalachia program at St. Vincent Mission, started the Friends of the Floyd County Farmers’ Market group, and was an incorporating director of Appalachian Roots Inc. Sister Kathy got her start with CFA as one of the original Communication Fellows working on Breaking Beans: The Appalachian Food Story Project. She currently hosts the hour long Breaking Beans Radio Show on WMMT, 88.7 in eastern Kentucky. kathy (at) cfaky.org


Carolyn Davis: Northfork Local Foods Coordinator

Carolyn grew up in Hazard, Kentucky. She was raised in a home where the kitchen served as the neighborhood gathering spot for opinionated food preparation and nourishing political discussion. She has received degrees from both Transylvania University and the University of Kentucky. Previously, Carolyn served as an employment specialist and disability advocate in the federal government.  Currently, she is very excited to be back in Kentucky supporting local food, farmers, and families as the Northfork Local Foods Coordinator.  She resides in Hazard ​with her family and her colorful community. carolynd (at) cfaky.org



Ashton Huxtable: Farm to Table Coordinator, Southeast KY

Hailing from the flatlands of Memphis, TN, Ashton, has always had an undeniable passion for food. She originally was interested in the medical field and headed into a life of nutrition and dietetics, but found herself upon graduation entering a career in agriculture and local foods. Ashton graduated from the University of Tennessee with a B.S. in Nutrition and a minor in Business Administration. She pursued this interest with an internship with ASAP (Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project) Connection’s farm-to-school program in Asheville, NC, followed with a year as Hindman Settlement School’s Grow Appalachia Site Coordinator. Ashton believes in access to healthy, affordable food for everyone and fair prices for the farmer growing it. Currently, she resides in Hindman, KY where she spends her spare time cooking, reading, and hiking. ashton(at)cfaky.org


Martin Richards: Executive Directormartin

A graduate of UK’s College of Architecture, Martin has farmed his family’s land in Woodford County, been a partner in Prajna Design/Construction, and most recently was the economic development organizer for Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, working on energy and sustainability issues. Martin has been an active member of CFA since he joined in 1995, serving as the CFA President in 1998. He was the first CFA Fellow during the passage of HB 611 that created the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund. Martin became the executive director of CFA in November of 2010.  martin (at) cfaky.org


Debi Sexton: Appal-TREE Field Director, Harlan County

Debi grew up in the small eastern Kentucky area of Partridge where her parents were avid gardeners who raised much of the family’s food. It was there that her competitive spirit and love of card games began. Around their dinner table, she learned the importance of not only quality local foods, but of family and education. With that love of teaching and learning, she earned a BS from Alice Lloyd College and a MA and other degrees, all related to education and administration, from Morehead State University. During her last years of teaching middle school, her classroom was a part of the Go H2O UK Research Project, and upon retirement she continues that work as the Appal-TREE Field Director for Harlan County. She lives in Isom with her husband. Together they have one son and
own and operate local businesses and collect classic cars. As a family, they enjoy traveling, lake life, theater, and corn hole while carrying on the traditional meetings at the table for food and games. deborah (at) cfaky.org 


Maggie SmithMaggie Smith: Development & Communications Associate

Maggie, native to Eastern Kentucky comes from a long line of farmers, gardeners, and cooks. They passed down their love for the land, their passion for people, and their way of connecting the two through food to her. Due to the way she was raised, she always knew she have wanted to pursue a career that preserves and educates Kentuckians about local farms and food. She is a graduate of Berea College with a B.S. in Agriculture and Natural Resources and a minor in Appalachian Studies. She was an active member of the campus community with her energetic leadership in several student organizations. Currently, she lives in Berea where in her free time she enjoys writing, traveling, and cooking. maggie (at) cfaky.org



Margie Stelzer: Farmers Market Support Program Regional Technical Assistant (Central KY)

Margie has been the manager for the Berea Farmers Market (BFM) since 2013. A native of St. Louis, MO and graduate of St. Louis University, she has spent many years in health related fields in Missouri, California and Kentucky. She sees her role with farmers markets as another phase of that health work. Margie firmly believes that creating safety nets for the most marginalized citizens has positive repercussions for the entire community and is excited to be a part of the program that will create greater access of farmers market food to more Kentucky residents.  Along with her husband and two children, she resides in a small intentional community  outside of Richmond KY dedicated to environmental sustainability, hospitality, and peace action. margie (at) cfaky.org



Becca Warta: Kentucky Double Dollars Program and Marketing Coordinator

Becca started her work in food systems at Harvesters the Community Food Network in her home state of Kansas. After moving to Kentucky in 2013, she continued discovering her passion for local food assistance and nutrition education. Becca has worked as the Bluegrass Double Dollars Program Coordinator and assisted with the creation of the new Kentucky Double Dollars program. She received her Masters in Community and Leadership Development from the University of Kentucky in 2017. She currently lives in Lexington with her husband, Shane, and their dog, Buckley.  becca (at) cfaky.org


Victoria Wheeler: Director of Finance and Administration

Victoria studied agriculture and literature at Berea College. She has worked as the assistant supervisor of a small grocery store, the interim manager of an urban farm startup, and in a variety of customer service positions. She has lived in Madison County since 2011 with her husband and their plethora of pets. In her spare time, Victoria enjoys writing, cooking, gardening, and hiking. victoria (at) cfaky.org