Originally from Mercer County, WV, Crystal finished her PhD in Science and Technology Studies in Society at Virginia Tech fall 2017, examining the potential for land-based industry growth in Southwest Virginia, Southern West Virginia, and I -77 NC. In addition to co-founding EDGE with Bandy, Tartt, and others, she also co-founded SEEDH, a for-profit producers cooperative project headquartered in the Appalachian coalfields region, but with a regional focus. With her husband Edward she has farmed in the foothills of North Carolina since 2011.
Crystal also has a strong background in marketing, public relations, start-ups, social media, web presence, events, and entrepreneurship. Additionally, she has a long history in education, project management, and working overseas.
Crystal researches best nonprofit practices, advises in institutional viability, mentors in nonprofit leadership, advocates for agricultural reskilling, and pilots mountain farm products lines. She also works to find secure markets for mountain farm products.