On November 20th, Garnet Bruell will complete his two years of service with us as an AmeriCorps VISTA! Garnet’s worked with us on all manner of things in the past two years, from buyer-grower expos, ARC tours, numerous grants and grant reports, website development, newsletters, conferences… the list goes on! You’ve probably seen Garnet at events or heard him on phone calls, and he’s often behind the scenes, working a camera, or authoring an event summary once all is said and done. After his service he’ll be working in his capacity as a Registered Dietitian in Beckley, West Virginia.
AmeriCorps VISTA has long played a role in the work of the West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition. Our former director Savanna Lyons was an AmeriCorps VISTA Leader with the Appalachian Coal Country Team, and in 2012, Savanna added much-needed capacity to The Coalition through the service of Leah Smith, another AmeriCorps VISTA. Leah’s term of service was the first year of a three year project, the last two of which were filled by outgoing VISTA Garnet Bruell. And it doesn’t end there: Megan Smith and Spencer Moss, two current staff members, are AmeriCorps VISTA Alumni!
And so it’s no surprise that we have a new AmeriCorps VISTA on board! We’re pleased to introduce Evelyn Hartman. She returns to West Virginia after 15 years of living in Michigan, Virginia, California, and North Carolina. Most recently, Evelyn leaves the fields of Ivy Creek Family Farm in Asheville, North Carolina to join The Coalition as the Foodshed Economic Development VISTA. Evelyn’s year of service with WVFFC will include the development of the WV Foodshed Support Network, Buyer-Grower Directories and The Coalition’s Farm Marketing Study, and will coordinate conferences and business training for food and farm cooperatives, aggregators and distributors, and food and farm businesses. Evelyn is excited to become a part of the food and farm community in West Virginia.