Erica Hellen


Erica Hellen runs Free Union Grass Farm near Charlottesville with her business partner Joel Slezak. Using rotational grazing practices, the farm produces pastured chicken and duck, free-range eggs, 100% grass-fed beef, and forest-fed pork. Joel and Erica started the farm in 2010 on 13 acres of family land and it has since expanded production to [...]

Andrew Bayker


Andrew Bayker runs Charlottesville-based Althea Bread with his wife Susan. They started the bakery in 2018 and operate it out of their cottage in the woods in southern Albemarle County. Although still in the developmental stages, their business is making a huge impact, particularly through their commitment to the local grain economy by sourcing from [...]

Heather Coiner


Heather Coiner runs Little Hat Creek Farm in Nelson County with her husband Ben Stowe. They grow dozens of varieties of seasonal vegetables and berries using ecological practices. They also have an on-farm wood-fired bakery, overseen by Heather, used to produce sourdough breads - using mostly local and regional organic grains - and sumptuous pastries. [...]

Michelle Oliver


Michelle Evans Oliver recently joined Virginia Department of Social Services - Benefits Programs as the SNAP Outreach Coordinator. Her job is to improve access to nutritious food options by enhancing awareness of the availability of utilization of benefits at farmers’ markets; support local, community gardening and agriculture efforts; and provide nutrition education information and opportunities [...]

Beth Austin


Beth Austin Beth is the Nutrition Incentive Coordinator for Virginia Community Food Connections, a food access nonprofit based in Fredericksburg, where she oversees the SNAP and Virginia Fresh Match incentive program at a number of farmers market in the Central region.  She is also the Assistant Manager for Spotsylvania Farmers Market, so between the two, [...]

Chelsi Bennett


Chelsi Bennett Chelsi Bennett, J.D. currently serves as the Virginia Government Relations Director for the American Heart Association. She has a wealth of experience from both serving as a staff person for an elected official and having served as an elected official herself.  Mrs. Bennett began her career working for a global company with offices [...]

Rebecca Rowe


Rebecca Rowe Rebecca Rowe traded cannolis and cappuccinos for banana pudding and bourbon when she moved from upstate New York to Richmond, Virginia. Rebecca has degrees from SUNY Geneseo and Texas A&M and more than 20 years of experience in Community Revitalization programs. She lives on the Northside of Richmond with her husband and rescued [...]

Cheryl Bursch


Cheryl owns a home in Petersburg with her husband Troy. She has been the Manager of River Street Market in Petersburg since July 2017. She is a State Certified Horticulturist and Master Gardener. Cheryl started at farmers markets while working for Agriberry Farm in 2016. She was also a customer of the CSA Seasonal Roots [...]

Sarah Showalter


Sarah Showalter and her husband, Shannon, are second-generation owners of Showalter’s Orchard & Old Hill Cidery in Timberville, VA. Sarah describes herself as: wife, mother, farmer, and business owner in this order because this is the order that she has stepped into these roles over the last 30 years. She is one part of a [...]

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