Board of Directors

Wayne Riley, Board Chair | Laurel County

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.

Jenny Williams | Perry County

Jenny Williams has been teaching writing and reading at Hazard Community and Technical College since 1992. She is the Chair of Pathfinders of Perry County, a non-profit citizen action group that promotes community well-being, engagement, outdoor recreation, and education. The youngest of six siblings, all of whom still live in Hazard, Jenny grew up in Hazard and is deeply rooted in the community. She is a member of InVision Hazard, a downtown revitalization group, and is passionate about food—eating it, cooking it, sharing it, and trying to change policies and behaviors so that everybody, regardless of income, age, or geography, has access to fresh, healthy, local food and knows what to do with it.

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 1st 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.

Paul Dengel | Whitley County

Paul Dengel grew up on a homesteading farm in Green County where his family raised Black Angus cattle, a big garden for fresh eating and preserving, and chickens for fresh eggs. He now farms with his wife, Cortney Moses, and two children in Whitley County. They grow certified organic vegetables for farmers markets and restaurants.  

Paul is a veteran of both Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. After serving four years in the Air Force, Paul went on to attend and graduate from the University of Kentucky’s Sustainable Agriculture program and received his M.S. in Agriculture from Washington State University. He recently left his job as the UK horticulture extension agent for Whitley County so that he could focus more on his farming and be a stay-at-home dad. Paul has been active with the Community Farm Alliance since 2012.

Maggie Bowling | Clay County

I farm with my husband and in-laws at Old Homeplace Farm in Clay County, KY. Previous to becoming a full-time farmer in 2014, I worked at Pine Mountain Settlement School in Harlan County coordinating the Grow Appalachia program for four seasons. I was raised on a certified organic vegetable farm in Ohio and became involved with CFA shortly after moving to Harlan County, KY in 2010.

Jann Knappage | Wolfe County

I have dedicated the last decade of my life to food and farming. Not many things bring me greater joy than talking about food systems. Since moving to Kentucky in 2014, I have had the privilege to work with several organizations in their efforts to create food access for limited resource Kentuckians. Not just any food, but fresh, local food. Supporting the health of individuals and families, while supporting our Kentucky farmers, is foundational for healthy, thriving communities.

In my current position with the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, I focus on working with the SNAP and SNAP-eligible audience on local food system projects. I also co-own a small farm outside Winchester, KY. We just completed our first farmers market season this year. We chose this lifestyle because we desire to walk gently on this earth and have a strong need to work in tandem with Mother Nature. All this being said, food and farming are my life’s work. It would bring me great joy to serve on CFA’s board. I would be honored to commit time and attention more directly to CFA’s goals and objectives for the coming year(s). 

Jeong Hyun An, Ann Montgomery | Fayette County

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

André Barbour | Hart County

André Barbour is a longtime CFA member and fourth-generation farmer running Barbour’s Farm LLC on 150 acres in Canmer, KY. His family-owned and -operated farm has been in business for over 70+ years. He raises beef, dairy, hog, chicken, and vegetables, and works hard to get more fresh healthy food to his community.

Ryan Burnette | Shelby County

After coming back to the family farm he 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. 

Valerie Horn | 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. 

Kurt Mason | Jefferson County

Kurt is recently retired from serving as the Urban Conservationist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. He currently serves on the Kentucky Black Farmer Fund Review Committee.

Click here to learn more about the roles and responsibilities of the board