Teresa Kelly, Director of Operations
Teresa has grown organic produce in the Texas Gulf Coast, northwestern Montana and now in the Kansas City Metro. She has spent the last ten years actively engaged in the Kansas City food system as consumer, activist, advocate, producer, educator, and policy maker. She believes food connects us all and that connecting producers and consumers from all walks of life leads to a strong, resilient community where everyone enjoys easy access to healthy, affordable, locally produced food.
Teresa joined the Hub in 2020 and stepped into the leadership role in 2021. As Director of Operations, the buck stops with Teresa. She leads the Hub with sales, operations, logistics, and future planning.
Alicia Ellingsworth, Farm to School Director
A producer member and eighteen-year veteran organic grower, Alicia ran sales for the Hub for three years and stepped back in 2021 to grow her start-up, KC Farm School at Gibbs Road. She is skilled at year-round production planning, volunteer and crew activation, and holding space for lively conversations where people grow relationship and find paths toward cooperation.
Katie Nixon, President
Katie and her husband, Ken Barber, co-operate Green Gate Family Farm in Wheatland, Missouri. It is a 67 acre certified organic farm, with diversified production of annual and perennial produce, cut flowers, nursery plants, and a variety of eggs. Katie has been involved with the food hub before it was a food hub back in 2011. She is a founding member and is 100% committed to making the wholesale market a place small to medium size farmers can viably sell too. Katie was elected president in November 2017.
Ami Zumalt, Vice-President
Ami grew up on a hobby farm- in charge of the farm floral gardens, and expert green bean snapper. In 2009, she started commercial farming, and now operates Red Ridge Farms with her husband, Jim. She has a masters in Mathematics and a degree in Horticulture and taught in the Missouri Public School system, was a horticulturist at Powell Gardens, and personnel and customer relations manager of Greenbrier Nurseries in Virginia. Ami and her husband have created ‘Flavor Market’, a rural foods market with a gluten-free bakery and commercial kitchen that uses farm produce seconds and harvested ‘over-abundance’. Ami is a founder, and is currently our Vice President.
Tom Byrne, Treasurer
Retired chemist turned certified organic grower, Tom focuses on growing garlic, ginger and turmeric on his homestead in Pleasant Hill, Missouri. His twenty-acre farm, Larksmeadow Farm boasts a multi-acre prairie, fruit tree orchard, high tunnel, Quonset hut barn, horse stables and riding arena. Tom was the brains behind getting our online ordering platform implemented.
Tom Buller, Secretary
One of the founding members of the Hub, Tom is an extension agent for K-State Research and Extension-Douglas County, where he works to build local fruit and vegetable production. He is also owner of Buller Family Farm, a certified organic vegetable farm just east of Lawrence, KS. As you can see in the picture, he is out standing in his field. Buller Family Farm is also a member of Common Harvest CSA.
John grew up in Leavenworth County on his parents’ farm hanging out with his best friend. After school, college and some adventure, John and that same best friend, Austin Reynolds, started Green Thumbs Up LLC that sits on both their land and includes high tunnels of many shapes and sizes, goats, an emu, and some cattle. John is one of Overland Park Farmers Markets’ favorite vendors with a beautiful stand and even prettier vegetables. Organic, not-certified, John and Austin farm in a way that others may still farm the land in 100 years.
James Leek, owner of the certified organic “Pat & Rachel’s Gardens, LLC” of Olathe, KS, is a retired school teacher and administrator. With degrees from the University of Kansas, Jim taught for 39 years in elementary, middle school, high school and college, and administered parochial, private and public schools in rural, inner city and suburban districts. He retired from Shawnee Mission South High School where he taught Latin and World Literature. Gardening has always been a hobby, now it keeps him off the streets. Jim and his wife Sandra live in Olathe.
From a northeast Missouri farming family, Nathan received his BA in agricultural business from Northwest Missouri University in 1999 and worked fifteen years in agronomy and agribusiness before returning to Richmond with his wife, Erin, where they started their own farm dedicated to feeding their neighbors with the healthiest produce they could grow. Expanding with several large high tunnels and a brand new hydroponic system, Nathan is working toward organic as he grows the health and sustainability of his land with cover crops, crop rotation, and farmscaping.