The GFM Board of Directors includes a president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, committee members, and two non-voting members. The GFM board is a working board; members serve on committees to assist with volunteer coordination, education programs, live entertainment, and fundraising. New board members are elected at the annual meeting held in February.
Agriculture has been a part of Eric McPhail’s life for as long as he can remember. Still engrained in his memories are life as a five year old feeding cows with his dad in the early mornings. This adoration for the land, animals and their well-being directed his education (Masters in Animal Nutrition), profession (Agricultural Agent with Colorado State University Extension), and lifestyle. Eric’s wife and two young boys helped him decide to move to Gunnison for his profession, and have since made a dedicated commitment to this community. Eric is passionate about people knowing where their food comes from and loves to help farmers and ranchers connect with their communities through local food consumption.
Beth Coop has a masters degree in Agriculture Education (CSU) and has been happily living in Gunnison with her husband, two little boys, and dog for nearly a decade. She joined the GFM as a board member in 2009 and has since then taken on the role of market manager. Good quality, local, organic food is central to her survival; her kitchen is well stocked with all sorts of home-canned fruits, pickled vegetables, vegetable ferments, and homemade miso. Beth also loves to teach, she teaches food-related classes for WSCU Extended Studies and garden based agricultual education programs for kids. She currently works for the Center for Adult Family Education teaching English. In her spare time she can be found out in the garden, floating a river, trail running or playing at the park with her family.
Abbey Kuhns has lived in Gunnison since 2007, and has been loving every minute of it. In addition to many seasonal and odd jobs, she has been an educator at Western State Colorado University, Gunnison Middle School and Gunnison Elementary School. Abbey loves biking, hiking, camping, skiing, snowboarding, gardening, cooking, and shopping at the Gunnison Farmers Market. In addition to the Farmers Market Board, Abbey enjoys giving back to the community through her work with Gunnison Valley Mentors.
Blaine Pickett is the co-owner and Head Weed-Puller at Calder Farm, where he grows greens, garlic & other flavors. He moved to Gunnison in the winter of 2015-16 and has been involved with everything local food since his arrival. Blaine has been growing food since 2011 in places like Ireland, Chile and Reno, Nevada. He loves to grow hops and hogs and thinks that supporting your local farmers and ranchers is an important part of supporting your community.
Dr. Kate Clark is the director of the ENVS Program at WSCU. She’s most interested in learning about social movements, with a drive to address various forms of social inequality. Kate’s understanding of environmental conflict was largely shaped by her time in the coal fields of Appalachia, where she learned about environmental justice from Appalachian folks resisting mountaintop removal coal mining. More recently, she was engaged in Boulder, Colorado’s efforts to replace a privately owned, monopoly electric utility with a democratically-run, publically owned alternative. Like other Farmers Market board members, she’s eager to make sure the local food movement serves every member of our wonderful community.
Steve Schechter is the vice president of the board and has been a resident of Gunnison for 40 years. Most of that time was spent gardening on Steuben Creek, but he is now a retired gardener on North Boulevard with its warmer growing season. He spent a few days, stretching into decades, building some of the most energy efficient homes in the County, his last is a “net-positive net-zero home” that produces more energy than it consumes. He is excited to be on the board. “I believe that local food production, especially in the Gunnison Valley, will be very important for survival on a food constrained, climate disrupted planet,”