Ryan Burnette, Board Chair
After coming back to the family farm Ryan transitioned it to growing mixed produce, pasture raised poultry, eggs, and Berkshire pigs. He is the president of the Lexington Farmers Market as well as serving on several Kentucky Farm Bureau statewide committees. Ryan is also the director of the plant division at the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and oversees many programs that directly affect farmers in KY such as the Organic Certification program as well as Produce Safety. He is a graduate of Georgetown College and The Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce at the University of Kentucky.
LaToya Drake, Vice Chair
LaToya Drake is a University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service professional with Kentucky’s Nutrition Education Program. LaToya holds a Master of Science in Integrative and Functional Nutrition from Saybrook University, CA) and received her BS Sociology from the University of Louisville. She has held a variety of titles in her decade-plus career in public service, including residential counselor, dependency case manager, substance abuse counselor, service coordinator, Extension Agent, and most recently Program Coordinator for the KY NEP.
Much of her career has been focused on getting folks fed. Whether that be working in food service, cooking meals for residents at youth facilities, organizing a community garden, or educating folks on proper use in her role as a food educator. In addition to her role as Program Coordinator, LaToya serves on the Feeding America Kentucky Heartland Board, Barren River Area Safe Space Board, the Mammoth Cave Region Advisory Council, the Sustainable Glasgow/Farmers’ Market Board, and as a mentor at the local Boys and Girls Club. LaToya believes that all community members deserve access to fresh and healthy food and her current efforts in the community focus on the promotion of local foods, sustainable agriculture, and nutrition education.
Ashton Potter Wright, Secretary | Fayette County
Ashton Potter Wright has worked in public health and local food systems development for the past 15 years. She started her career at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta working on foodborne disease outbreak detection and response and later working to develop best practices for physical activity and nutrition for childcare centers as a part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Child Care initiative.
Ashton launched and currently manages the Bluegrass Farm to Table for the City of Lexington where she works to cultivate new market opportunities for Kentucky farmers and on collaborative projects that increase access to and affordability of Kentucky farm food. Ashton is a Lexington native and holds a Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) degree from the University of Kentucky College of Public Health. Ashton lives in Lexington with her husband Jonathan and three boys—Potter, Miller, and Wheeler.
Valerie Horn, Treasurer | Letcher County
Valerie Horn is a community leader who works with the Cowan Community Action Group, Whitesburg Farmers Market, and Community Agricultural Nutritional Enterprises Inc. (CANE Kitchen) to grow a healthier community. Valerie believes ailing communities have the power to heal from within.
As a former CFA employee and Chair of the City of Whitesburg Farmers Market, she has developed partnerships that have resulted in a Farmers Market with nationally recognized incentive programs including a fruit/vegetable prescription program, a USDA SFSP, and a University of Kentucky research project. Valerie is Chair of CANE Kitchen, a commercial kitchen with an event space that provides space for local producers and events. Valerie is the Director of Cowan Community Action Group, Inc. and oversees programming including a Grow Appalachia Site, Levitt Amp Music Series, and nationally recognized Mountain Music School.
Valerie has served as a Director for a National Institute of Health community-based participatory research project while working at CFA and served as co-facilitator on a UK research project to promote fitness and nutrition thru the Farmers Market and CANE Kitchen. Valerie was recognized as a Healthy Communities Champion by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. Valerie is a retired school counselor and now does community development and is a partner in Appalachian Groundswell.
Kenya Abraham | Fayette County
Along with her family, Kenya is the Co-founder of SLAK Market Farm located in Lexington, Kentucky producing signature raw milk and halal meat products. She is first a wife and mother of 6 beautiful kids. The Abrahams have been on a farm for 6 years.
When she’s not out building relationships with other farmers, she’s at home on the farm, helping her family, and keeping up with their agritourism by mentoring young people, inspiring visitors, and promoting the success of beginning farmers and agricultural innovators.
Kenya has a strong dedication to utilize their farm as a place for serving the well-being of not only her family but for the well-being of the community that they have built through relationship-farming. The framework of her methods stems from her entrepreneurial free spirit and her background work experience in marketing, interpersonal communications, and business management. Kenya has begun her work as a liaison to farmers to help them push beyond the racism, limitations, and bottlenecks in the industry.
Andre’ Barbour is a fifth generation famer, having farmed all his life on his family farm of 150 acres. The family farm has a past of tobacco production but currently has a small dairy, beef, hogs, pastured poultry, and a mixed variety of produce. They raised most of their crops for their livestock on their personal farm with the additional 100 plus acres leased within the community. The family consists of father Douglass Barbour, mother Maggie Barbour, oldest brother Sammy Barbour (who retired from the Army) and Andre’ himself, who runs and operates the family farm.
Andre’ attended Western Kentucky University for a few years before coming back to the family farm once all his siblings left home in 2003; he has been on the farm full-time since then. His parents where share croppers before the farm was bought in the early 1900’s. Growing up tobacco, dairy, 5 acres of cucumbers, and 2 acres of bell peppers and pimento peppers was the mains cash income for 30 plus years.
In 2004 Andre’ started growing a mixed crop of vegetables, the value-added products of the pork, beef, chicken, and some micro-processing was the sole entity on the farm. Presently today, they are still growing produce and meats in addition to a small greenhouse and 4 high tunnels. They sell from the farm and do a weekly vegetable box home delivery type of CSA deal.
Jeong Hyun An, Ann Montgomery
Ann is a Korean native has been living in the US for over 20 years. She has a BA in public administration in South Korea, an MA in journalism from the University of Southern California, and a Doctorate in communication (intercultural communication) from the University of Kentucky. She speaks Korean, English, and Spanish.
“Farming and food are the powerful tools I have purposely chosen to use in my effort to contribute to this world, helping people communicate and connect with one another as well as with nature. Currently, I am a farmer and food manufacturer with a strong focus on cross-cultural local foods. I also consider myself a local food cultural diversity activist with a global vision that is closely connected with such concepts as food justice, food equity, food sovereignty, food sustainability, food literacy, etc. I am working toward a vision of a “glocal (global + local)” food co-op connecting all small-scale farmers around the world and forming a global market that is fair and beneficial to both farmers and consumers.”- Ann
Kurt retired from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service serving as the Urban Conservationist for the State of Kentucky and a former District Conservationist with career work that served in the Eastern Kentucky Coalfield and Outer Bluegrass physiographic regions. With 40 years of providing natural resource management assistance in the Louisville area, Kurt maintained a focus on watershed management issues affecting all land users and connecting people and communities with opportunities to address natural resource issues on agricultural, suburban and urban landscapes.
Kurt continues to provide leadership to land based organizations including chairing the Louisville/Jefferson County Environmental Trust Oversight Board and Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest Board of Trustees. He also serves as vice-chair of the Food Literacy Project Board and New Directions Housing Corporation Board.
Kurt is a Georgetown, Kentucky native and is owner of a small family farm. He holds an undergraduate degree in agriculture from Morehead State University and graduate degrees from the University of Louisville in Urban Planning and Design and Public Administration. He is a Certified Professional Erosion and Sediment Control Specialist and continues to work as an agricultural land use consultant.
Angela “Angie” Hatton grew up in Letcher County, graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a degree in journalism in 1994, and worked as a newspaper reporter in Lexington and Frankfort. She then enrolled at the University of Kentucky College of Law where she graduated with a juris doctorate and has now been practicing law for 23 years. She has served Pike and Letcher Counties for three terms as 94th District Kentucky State Representative. She was elected House Minority Whip in 2019.
Prior to being elected State Representative, Angie was the Assistant County Attorney for Letcher County. She serves as attorney and board member for numerous volunteer organizations and was a Breaking Beans Fellow for CFA. She is a mother to Sam and Ellie, wife to David, and a proud Appalachian American.
Marcus Bernard is currently an Associate Professor of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology at Kentucky State University and an Interdisciplinary Research Leader Fellow (alum) with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. His research focuses on resilience and food security through a community-based participatory research lens and seeks to understand how marginalized groups build community through relationships and resistance.
Prior to this, he served as the Director of the Rural Training and Research Center for the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/ Land Assistance Fund in Epes, Alabama. There, he led an 8-member team in developing workshops and trainings for socially disadvantaged farmers and landowners, cooperatives, outreach to low-income rural communities, and developed partnerships with land-grant universities across the Southern United States.
Marcus’ dedication to rural development originated from his own rural roots in North Carolina on his family’s small produce operation. Throughout his career, he has integrated working for and researching rural-based organizations and communities. Academically, Bernard has built on his relationships with community organizations, small businesses, and farm families to research economic development, public health, and opportunities for youth in agriculture throughout the Black Belt Region.
Wayne Riley (Previous Board Chair)
A carpenter by trade, in 2004 Wayne Riley founded the Laurel County African American Heritage Center in London, KY in honor of his late aunt, Lutisha Riley Bailey, in order to preserve African American heritage and history in Laurel County. The trustees and volunteers of the LCAAHC are working to remodel the historic Mill Street Baptist Church in London, which will serve as a meeting place and public archives for the community.
As CEO/Director of the Laurel County African American Heritage Center Inc., Wayne has coordinated one oral history project, several youth summer programs, ten community-wide celebrations of Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday that include speakers, music, a parade, and dinner. He is beginning his eight-year managing and directing the Grow Appalachia Food Security Project in Laurel. He has completed the Brushy Fork Institute programs for Management of Non-Profit Organizations and Ordinary Communities. He also received the 2016 Berea College Service Award and attended the 2008 inauguration of President Barack Obama.
Wayne is also well known for carrying forward his own family food way traditions of barbecue and fish fries and has been a featured demonstrator at the Kentucky Folklife Festival in Frankfort, the Redbud Folklife Festival, and the Multicultural Folklife Festival in London, among other venues.