Becky Gartner, Team Leader

Becky’s work experiences have allowed her to focus on her specialties of food safety, nutrition, and food preservation. Her manufacturing experience includes working as a quality assurance manager in juice/beverage processing, flour milling, frozen dough products and retail /wholesale seafood processing. Becky moved to the regulatory field by working for the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation as an Environmental Health Officer in Unalaska/Dutch Harbor. Responsibilities included the enforcement of state and federal food regulations for seafood processing facilities and vessels, restaurants and retail food establishments. Currently, she provides educational programs in the counties of Culpeper, Rappahannock and Fauquier in home food preservation, ServSafe Manager Certification, food safety and healthy living. Becky also designed, organized and leads the Stone Soup Project for the Carver Food Enterprise Program.

Becky is an Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences, Virginia Cooperative Extension with a BS – Housing, Interior Design and Resource Management, Home Economics Education/ Extension, Virginia Tech and an MS – Human Nutrition and Foods, Virginia Tech.


Janet Bearden

Janet brings to the team thirty years of management experience in environmental programs and project development.  After retiring in 2008 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, she began working to expand local food production in the Virginia Piedmont Region. Having grown up in a canning culture, her goal was to provide locally-grown and processed food to Virginia’s community food banks and other social service organizations.

Janet launched the all-volunteer Virginia Food Enterprise Center in 2011.  With support from the Virginia Farm Bureau and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, VAFEC was successful in helping the Prince Edward/Farmville community cannery successfully introduce value-added processing.  In 2014, VAFEC received private foundation funding, which was used to assess and confirm the need for a similar project in the Culpeper/Madison region.  The Culpeper County Government provided space for an educational, non-profit facility in the former George Washington Carver Regional High School.  This facility is now known as the George Washington Carver Food Enterprise Center.


Becky Ramsey

Becky is Branch Manager with Farm Credit of the Virginias in Culpeper, VA.  As an agricultural lender, she works closely with local farmers to help meet their personal and operation’s financial needs.  She enjoys helping her customers work though a business plan to help determine those financial needs.  Early in her career, she spent 5 years working in non-profit and fundraising and then spent several years direct marketing freezer beef to restaurants in Northern Virginia.  Becky has a B.S. in Agricultural and Applied Economics and a M.S. in Agricultural and Extension Education, both from Virginia Tech.


Clyde Firman

Clyde is Food Service Director at Woodberry Forest School in Madison County. His other work experience has included serving as the Director of Catering and Special Events at Old Dominion University and a Chef Instructor at Johnson and Wales University in Norfolk, VA.  Clyde attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde, Park, NY and earned an AAS degree in Occupational Studies.


Megan Clark-Weakly

Megan works with her family to operate Thornton River Orchard and Market in Sperryville, VA.  She is part of the third generation to work in the fruit industry. Their fruit and vegetables are sold to local school systems, various farmer markets in the Northern Virginia area and at their on-site market.