A Fair Food System: Summit 4 Recap

Summit Four
October 27, 2022 9:00AM–1:00PM EST


We are proud to welcome a litany of talented food systems experts from across Appalachia. Below, you can read about each speaker slated to present at the second session of A Fair Food System: A Summit on Scalable Solutions to Creating Community Food Systems. 


Adam Hudson, Coalfield Development

Adam Hudson is the Director of Refresh Appalachia, the agriculture program of Coalfield Development. Adam grew up on a small farm in West Virginia, where he worked alongside his grandfather in the garden and the greenhouses. After earning a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Agriculture and Natural Resources in 2017 from Berea College in Kentucky, he moved back to West Virginia and has been working with Refresh Appalachia for over 5 years. He has been a leading partner in the implementation of numerous federal grants, including ARC Power grants, USDA LFPP and RFSP grants, totaling more than 5 Million dollars in investment. Adam’s motto is “agriculture is the answer” because agriculture affects all of us every day and has the potential to solve many of our most serious challenges, from public health issues to environmental threats.


Dr. Emma Eggleston, WVU Health Sciences Center Eastern Campus

Dr. Emma Morton-Eggleston, MD, MPH is the Associate Vice President and Dean of the WVU Health Sciences Center Eastern Campus. She is a practicing endocrinologist specializing in diabetes and endocrine disorders. Dr. Eggleston received her master’s in public health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her medical degree at University of North Carolina. She completed residency in Medicine at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA and fellowship in Endocrinology at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA.

Before coming to WVU, Dr. Eggleston held faculty positions at UVA and Harvard Medical School. While at HMS, she was Endocrine Director of the multidisciplinary Diabetes in Pregnancy program at Brigham and Women’s hospital and Director of Teaching Programs for the Department of Population Medicine, with a focus on the role of health systems in improving population health. In addition to her role as Dean of the Eastern Campus, Dr. Eggleston is also the Director of the WVU Medicine Center for Diabetes and Metabolic Health.

James & Connie Holliday, Big Branch Farm

Connie and James Holliday own and operate Big Branch Farm. This was their first year to sell at their farmers market. They decided to try selling at the market after James retired after 43 years and 8 months working the same job. “This year was a learning experience for us. Hope to use what we learned by applying this in the future.”






Jessica Hodges, Community Farm Alliance

Jessica Hodges is the Fresh RX Coordinator at Community Farm Alliance. After receiving a B.S. in agriculture from WKU, Jessica sought additional training for international agriculture development work from World Hunger Relief, Inc. in Waco, TX, and Tillers International in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She has worked with limited resource farmers in Liberia, Congo, Peru, and Ecuador to develop appropriate technologies and improve food security concerns in their communities. Those experiences opened Jessica’s eyes to the need for locally-grown, nutritionally dense, organic produce in her home community of Glendale, Ky. She started a small CSA as a side job in 2014 and began farming full-time by 2016. Her husband joined her full-time on Modern Heritage Farm in 2018. They realized that together they could build a business that could feed their community healthful, nourishing food while stewarding the land in a regenerative way that respects the ecology and biodiversity of the farm. Jessica is excited to join the efforts of CFA in helping small farms thrive and become more resilient while simultaneously building a more equitable food system.

Kayla Nichols, Appalachian RC&D Council

Kayla Nichols joined ARCD in 2018. At ARCD, Kayla is responsible for public and media relations, social media, external communications, and will be launching the Northeast Tennessee Food Policy Council later this year. Prior to ARCD, she worked in the marketing industry in various roles since graduating from East Tennessee State University in 2014. Kayla’s previous roles include work on the Kingsport Carousel Project, Social Media Coordination at AccelNow, Digital Content Coordination at the Bristol Herald Courier, and most recently Marketing Project Coordination at Biltmore Estate. At ETSU she studied Marketing and Management and interned at Engage Kingsport and AccelNow (two non-profits in Kingsport). Those internships sparked a passion for community engagement and empowerment. Kayla grew up in Fall Branch, Tennessee, and now resides in Jonesborough.


Kelsey Cloonan

Kelsey Cloonan has worked for the past year as Community Agricultural Support Coordinator at Hindman Settlement School in Knott County, KY where she supported home-based food producers and managed the Knott Co. Farmers Market. She will soon be joining Cowan Community Action Group as their new Community Agriculture and Education Director.





Kiristen Webb, Northfork Local Food

Kiristen Webb began working as a high school Earth and Space Science Teacher in eastern Kentucky in 2014. Working in the school system, she became aware of the painful impact food insecurity was having on her students. In 2021, she became the Local Markets Coordinator for Northfork Local Food in hopes of better serving the region by ensuring children and families had access to fresh, local food. She lives in the hills of Leslie County, Kentucky with her three children, two dogs, and a cat.




Mallory Koening, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA (NIFA)

Mallory Koenings, PhD, RDN is a National Program Leader in the Division of Nutrition, Institute of Food Safety and Nutrition at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA (NIFA). Previously at NIFA, she provided national program leadership to the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and the Web-based Nutrition Education, Evaluation, and Reporting System (WebNEERS) as the National EFNEP Coordinator, to advance the science of nutrition education and deliver enhanced low-income national nutrition education programs and services to consumers throughout the United States, District of Columbia, and the Territories. Mallory also provided programmatic support for the AFRI Childhood Obesity Prevention Challenge Area Program and the AFRI Function and Efficacy of Nutrients Foundational Program. In a Special Assignment to the Office of the Director she provided support and leadership to the Science Program and Analysis Officer.


Maribeth Saleem-Tanner, Community Food Initiatives

Community Food Initiatives fosters communities where everyone has equitable access to healthy, local food. As a partner in the Appalachian Accessible Food Network, CFI works alongside others to empower community-driven efforts to meet the food security needs of our region. Maribeth’s commitment to community-based work is informed by her experience serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA and VISTA Leader through the Pocahontas Communications Cooperative, her degree in Conflict Transformation from the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University, and 20 years of living and working in Appalachia, including serving previously as Co-Director of High Rocks in Hillsboro, WV and Director of Civic Engagement at Marietta College in Marietta, OH.


Reed Graham, Breathitt County Extension Agent

Reed is the Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent with the Breathitt County Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service where he has been working with farmers and the Breathitt County Farmers Market for the last four years. He teamed up with other ANR Agents in the region to conduct flood assessments of farms and connect impacted farmers with hay, fencing, livestock feed, and other resources. He is also the co-owner and herd manager for Holly Creek Farms.




Rosie McVeigh, Appalachian RC&D Council

Rosie McVeigh joined ARCD in 2020 through the AmeriCorps program, and was then promoted to continue her work with Build It Up and Field School. Rosie graduated from ETSU in December of 2019 where she studied Anthropology, Spanish, and Public Health. Before joining ARCD, she worked for the Town of Jonesborough managing the Ardinna Woods Arboretum. Rosie was born and raised in Northeast Tennessee and her family participated in many food co-ops growing up. Her family also utilized most of their property to grow all their own fruits and vegetables along with eggs. This self-sustained way of living inspired Rosie to work in agricultural sustainability and food insecurity. She has a passion for this work, and is proud to be a part of the ARCD.


Valerie Horn

Valerie Horn is the Director at Cowan Community Action Group, Inc. Valerie is a lifelong resident of Cowan and always had a strong relationship with Cowan Community Center. She is a retired school counselor and is beginning again. Valerie serves as Director of Programs at Cowan including the Grow Appalachia, Levitt Amp Whitesburg Music Series, USDA Summer Food Service Program and Kids on the Creek Camps. Her most admirable trait is pure luck that she was born the daughter of Kendall and Carol Ison and learned the value of community from a very early age. She hopes to continue growing a stronger community for the community’s sake as well as her grandchildren Eliza Jane and Owen. Valerie is a partner in Appalachian Groundswell, a stream mitigation banking company that hopes to give back to the community.


Agenda (Subject to Change)

Time   Topic   Presenters
9:00–9:10   Welcome to Day Four of the Summit Leslie Schaller, ACEnet
9:10–9:30   USDA Presentation Mallory Koening, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA (NIFA)
9:30–10:20   Free Farmers Markets in Eastern Kentucky for Flood Response James & Connie Holliday, Big Branch Farm

Kelsey Cloonan, Knott County Farmers Market

Kiristen Webb, Perry County Farmers Market 

Reed Graham, Breathitt County Extension Agent

10:20–11:30   Food Access Programs Serving Central Appalachia Kayla Nichols, ARCD

Valerie Horn, Cowan Creek Community Center

11:30–11:40   Active Break Jennifer Weeber, Community Farm Alliance
11:40–12:10   Community Empowerment Maribeth Saleem-Tanner, CFI

Rosie McVeigh, ARCD

More TBA

12:10–12:50   Health Care & Funders for Healthy Food Access Dr. Emma Eggleston
12:50–1:00   Wrap-up & Highlights for Next Session Leslie Schaller, ACEnet