Joseph Brouse, New River Gorge Regional Development Authority

Heather is the Coordinator of the Greenbrier Valley Local Foods Initiative, a program started by the Greenbrier Valley Economic Development Corporation in 2010 as a means of helping support food-based businesses in and around the Greenbrier Valley. She also serves as the Greenbrier Valley Grown branding and certification program manager. As the head of sales and marketing for the new Greenbrier Valley A&D, Heather will be responsible for selling the products coming from the Sprouting Farms  facility. She resides in Frankford, West Virginia with her husband Darren and their two young sons.

Laying the groundwork for sustainable farm business

Eric Fitts, Bethlehem Farm

Joe Brouse

New River Gorge
​Regional Development
info(at) nrgda (dot) org  

Chris Chanlett

Elizabeth brings organizing, legal, and farming perspectives to her work supporting Appalachian food systems. Formerly the Executive Director of the WV Food & Farm Coalition, Elizabeth is a food policy consultant with the Chesapeake Foodshed Network, based in Maryland, and the Local Environmental Agriculture Project, based in Virginia. She is proud to serve on the Board of Sprouting Farms, WV's first farm incubator, because she believes in the power of farming as a community and the shared ownership that these enterprises support. Elizabeth holds a JD from Vermont Law School and attends Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine in western North Carolina part-time.

Taylor Feury, Farm Assistant

Project Staff & Implementation Team

This team offers complementary skills, expertise, and extensive community development experience which come together to create an innovative and long-term project.  


CALL US  +1.304.445.7200
​ +1.304.322.4596

Sprouting Farms Board 

Sprouting Farms Non-profit Corporation Board of Directors is made up of farmers, community members, and is committed to the mission of the Sprouting Farms project.

Elizabeth Spellman

Dane Gasier, Production Crew

Heather Hanna, Greenbrier Valley Local Foods Initiative

Brad Moody, Resource Share Manager

skeezix (at) gmail (dot) com

Fritz Boettner

Downstream Strategies 
Project Director in charge of farm management, on-site development and activities.
Fritz (at) sproutingfarms (dot) org
​ 304.376.0041

Alex Ogrinz, Sprouting Farms Production Manager
alex (at) sproutingfarms (dot) org  
Alex grew up in Charleston West Virginia and comes to Summers County from Denver Colorado.  Alex is passionate about organic produce production.  This passion led him to pursue a degree in Horticulture.  While pursuing his degree, Alex ran his own landscaping business specializing in food production gardens. Alex also has experience working on several farms.  Most recent was the Denver Botanic Gardens Farm, where they grew produce on 7 acres providing an extensive CSA for over 275 families.  He brings his growing expertise, knowledge, and passion to his work at Sprouting Farms.  

A few miles from Sprouting Farms Chris Chanlett has been working a small farm for over 40 years. With his wife he raised two daughters, a significant portion of their food and fuel, and a nursery/landscape/ garden center business.  Community resourcefulness remains his purpose.

Bill Woodrum

RCBI, Agricultral Innovations
bwoodrum (at) rcbi (dot) org

Our Team

David Buhrman

Annie Stroud

Downstream Strategies 
Project Director in charge of outreach, recruitment, and programming.

astroud (at) downstreamstrategies (dot) com 304.322.4596

Eric is the Director of Bethlehem Farm (, a small Catholic nonprofit in Clayton, WV, that hosts groups of high school and college volunteers on service-retreats. The mission of Sprouting Farms not only ties directly into the mission of Bethlehem Farm, to transform lives through service with the local community and the teaching of sustainable practices, but is also a personal passion of his.    Eric has 17 years of experience in agriculture and local food systems, 16 of those in West Virginia. As Director of a small nonprofit for the past 10 years, Eric has experience with nonprofit governance, accounting, finances, legal issues, decision-making, strategic planning, fundraising, human resources, and volunteer management and coordination, among other skills. As part of the founding group at Bethlehem Farm, Eric also has experience founding a nonprofit organization and complying with state and federal requirements to incorporate and maintain 501(c)(3) status. He has a Masters in Public Administration with a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from West Virginia University, which afforded him a strong base of knowledge and robust professional network in the region.

Dave Buhrman’s vegetable gardens grew in size from 1972 until 2010.  Catering mostly to the demands of The Greenbrier Hotel chefs from 1983 on, Dave also sold his fresh produce to local grocers and restaurants in and around Greenbrier County.  Never a certified “organic” grower, Dave chose to follow what he believed to be the best and most efficient techniques; plowing down tons of animal and green crop manures to prepare his soil.  Then he transplanted “grower friendly” vegetable varieties (raised from seed in his greenhouses) into raised beds irrigated with drip tape under black plastic mulch. Now retired, Dave hopes to give back some of his knowledge and experience to others interested fresh vegetable production.