Martin Richards: Executive Director


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 for 17 years, 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 director of CFA in November of 2010.  martin (at)




Valerie Horn: Letcher County Project Director, Appal-TREE


Valerie Horn serves as Appal-TREE Project Director in Letcher County. Appal-TREE (Appalachians Together Restoring the Eating Environment) is a joint community-university research and demonstration project to increase access to healthy foods in Eastern Kentucky. Valerie recently retired from the Letcher County School system and coordinates the Grow Appalachia program at the Cowan Community Center. She serves as Co-chair of the Letcher County Farmer’s Market and volunteers at the local Food Pantry. Valerie earned degrees from Eastern Kentucky University and Morehead State University and most recently attended Spalding University. Valerie has a strong connection to community and believes together we have the opportunity and responsibility to make a better life for all. valerie (at)


James Cochran: Farmers Market Support Program Manager

james 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)


Victoria Wheeler: Administration and Resource Manager

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)




Deadorah Bryant: Community Engagement Associate

Deadorah Bryant Website

Deadorah comes to CFA fromThe Center for Appalachian Philanthropy, where she became very involved with Farmers’ Market programs in Morgan, Wolfe, and Elliott Counties.  She received her degree in social work from Morehead State University.  She is bringing her experience to a macro level and hopes to inspire a renewed interest in farming and agriculture in Eastern KY.   She lives in Saylersville with her daughter and two dogs.  deadorah (at)



Maggie Smith: Development and Communications Associate

Maggie Smith

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 Hazard where in her free time she enjoys writing, traveling, and cooking. maggie (@)


Jann Knappage: Eastern Kentucky Farm to Table Coordinator

Jann Knappage

Jann has always had a lifelong love of food. This native Clevelander honed her interests through her dietetics degree from the University of Dayton. From there she began to further narrow her passion to not only nutrition, but where these nutritious foods come from and how they grow. She was able to do this while working at The David School, developing their interdisciplinary garden initiative and running their Grow Appalachia program. She has also been selling at the Floyd County Farmer’s Market the last 2 summers. When Jann isn’t working, she loves to hike with her dog, run & bike ride, and read good books. jann (@)





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.