Fiber Podcast #1: Stories from the Field

Posted: May 16, 2016

On our first Breaking Beans podcast on natural fiber systems, CFA Fellow Sam Hamlin interviews alpaca farmer, Alvina Maynard, sheep farmer, Kathy Meyer, and fiber mill owner, Ed Crowley. Pictures courtesy of Hope Hart, Appalachian Transition Fellow with Appalshop. In the next few weeks we will be releasing more in depth one on one interviews with some of the folks featured in this podcast, so stay tuned!

Alvina Maynard is an alpaca farmer in Richmond, Kentucky. In this episode, Alvina talks with Sam about why she became an alpaca farmer, visions for the Kentucky natural fiber sector, and the innovative work that she does on her farm, River Hill Ranch.


Kathy Meyer owns Final Frontier Farm, a sheep farm in beautiful Paris, Kentucky. Kathy talks with Sam about how she got into sheep farming, discovering the value of her wool, and about the upcoming Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival, May 20-21 in Lexington.


Ed Crowley is a sheep farmer in Versailles, Kentucky who is opening a new fiber processing mill in early summer, 2017. He talks with Sam about what makes Crowley’s Mill unique and about how it could change the natural fiber sector landscape in Kentucky.

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Breaking Beans: The Appalachian Food Story Project is an initiative of Community Farm Alliance to tell the story of how local food and farming in Eastern Kentucky can contribute to a bright future in the mountains. Eastern Kentucky is at the point where it can foster a food system that is equitable and accessible to all, provides fresh nutritious food, and serves as an economic generator that builds community wealth. With a rich history of food and farming, stories of how Eastern Kentucky is already growing in that direction – and the challenges along the way – are important for informing people and policy alike.