Joan Glynn – PRESIDENT
Having arrived here in 2013 to be Director of Development and Communication at Penland School of Crafts, I am a relative newcomer to the area.  I am thrilled to be involved with Dig In! and excited to get to know the community through my service as Treasurer of the Board. My husband, Kerry, and I, along with our two dogs, are grateful to call the mountains of WNC “home” and live in such a welcoming community.


Working at Reconciliation House, I have seen the direct impact of Dig In!, seeing people’s eyes light up knowing they are receiving delicious and nutritious food. It truly is amazing and humbling to see the difference we’re making in the community.



Kathlene Stith – TREASURER
Having seen the wonderful food Dig In! produces while volunteering at the “Good Eats” soup kitchen, I wanted to be a part of Dig In! in order to support feeding the hungry and educating the community on gardening for self-sufficiency. I just joined Dig In! this spring of 2015, but hope to contribute for many years to come. I work full time for the American Cancer Society of WNC, where I help navigate the uninsured toward cancer prevention and screenings. I have two sons, a husband, raise chickens and live in the Celo Community of Yancey County.


Eric Klein – SECRETARY
I grew up in Burnsville back when it was legal to raise goats within the town limits.  When I was 17 years old, I went down the mountain to explore the world and get an education.  I returned three years ago to begin my Doctorate at App State University in Education. Although my years  of global exploration may not be over, I am, for now, enjoying working for the GEAR UP program in Yancey County Schools and living in the house I grew up in with my wife, Hannah, and my daughter, Miranda.


Deborah Palmer 
Dig In! volunteer since 2009, Mattock Maven (Thursday garden volunteers). Camera shy, but passionate about taking photographs of/for Dig In!, I bring an immeasurable passion for all things related to food security within Yancey County. You can typically find my alter veggie ego, “Chief Carrot,” at various festivities spreading the message of Dig In! and allowing kids of all ages the opportunity to look at a vegetable as a fun food that makes them happy.


IMG_1182Ayla Archer

As a Yancey County native I have a deep appreciation for this area, growing up here was a true blessing. I attended Spruce Pine Montessori School, Burnsville Elementary, Arthur Morgan School and then graduated from Mountain Heritage in 2005. After graduation I earned an Associate’s Degree from Mayland Community College and B.A. in Elementary Education from Less McRae College. I spent one year working as a long-term substitute at South Toe Elementary as an Assistant Technology Facilitator.  I work currently as an Assistant Librarian at the Spruce Pine Library. My fiancé, Brinton McKinney is a Physical Education teacher at three of Yancey County Elementary Schools. As an adult I feel I need to give back to the community that helped form who I am. I look forward to contributing to Dig In and seeing what opportunities await!

John Hartom
Artist and activist working for social justice. Created The Empty Bowls Project with my wife Lisa Blackburn. Helped to start Dig In! Yancey Community Garden.





Nancy Lowe

I am a grant writer, science educator, community builder, and gardener.  As an Atlanta native, I am relatively new to the area and new to the Dig In! Board. I look forward to getting my hands dirty, helping build community, sharing nutritious local food, and helping Dig In! grow.            



RobertRobert Thompson
We moved here to Melissa’s home state in 1999. I have farmed for 30 years. Since 2000 we have sold produce at the Yancey County Farmers Market of which I am the board president. Our main products are garlic, cut flowers and tomatoes. I have been a promoter of natural farming a long time and am active on the Cooperative Extension and Farm Bureau Boards. Working on food security at a time when many are not sure they will have enough food to feed their families is very important. It is also very important to educate people about the importance of eating healthy food.

Rebekkah Cook 

Next year marks the 30-year anniversary of calling Burnsville my home. I attended Mountain Heritage sophomore through high school graduation after which I received my BA from Mars Hill College. I have been working with Mitchell Yancey Healthy Families since April 8, 2013, as a Family Support Worker and since December 2015 as the lead Family Assessment Worker. I find joy in helping parents attach and bond with their babies in fun, creative ways. When I am not at work, I enjoy spending time and traveling with my husband, daughter, and son. I also enjoy all types of music, being creative in many forms and tinkers a little bit in her small raised-bed garden.




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