Board of Directors Election 2018 Slate of Candidates
Posted On: January 12, 2018
Members of the Board of Directors are FMC member volunteers with demonstrated leadership experience in the field of farmers markets and local food, who support the FMC mission of strengthening farmers markets for the benefit of farmers, consumers, and communities. Please read the candidate biographies below and get ready to vote on February 11, 2018.
Members of the Board of Directors must hold a committee chair or executive committee position, and must volunteer at least 50 hours per year. Board members develop FMC’s policies, provide oversight, approve FMC’s budget, raise funds, safely invest funds, and are actively involved in strategic planning. Terms of the directors are effective upon election and are for three years. FMC seeks to have leaders who represent a variety interests, skills, and geographic locations. This year in particular, the Board is seeking candidates with demonstrated experience and interest in fund raising.
All members whose dues are up to date at the time of the election will be able to vote to approve the whole slate of nominees as presented or only for select nominees. Members also have the option of a write-in candidate, provided that the write-in is an FMC member in good standing.
The following candidate biographies are based on their responses to the Nominee Questionnaire. We hope they help you get to know them, their interests, and their priorities for helping FMC fulfill its mission to strengthen farmers markets for the benefit of farmers, consumers, and communities.
Kokomo Downtown Farmers’ Market (KDFM)
Years in Farmers Market Field: 8
I was born and raised in Kokomo, Indiana. I am the daughter of factory workers but had farming in my blood from grandparents and great grandparents on both sides. I grew up walking through fields and playing in gardens and eating fresh, tasty food right out of the ground thinking it was how everyone ate, but I never considered any kind of career in agriculture. As a college student I worked as a grant writer for IUPUI School of Engineering and Technology, I interned in a museum in Washington, DC, spent three summers learning about native plants at a restoration nursery, worked in a local library, and finally, after first earning a degree in English, I set about to get a teaching license. Throughout all of this searching and growing up, I had the pleasure of moving around quite a bit and living in DC, Seattle, and Oakland, CA, where I first discovered farmers’ markets.
I was a fan right away.
In 2001, some forward-thinking people in my hometown started the first Kokomo Farmers’ Market, and a few years later, after I moved back to Kokomo, I started selling my handmade soap there. The City of Kokomo is known for entrepreneurship–the first mass-produced automobile, stoplight, corn picker, and can of tomatoes all came from here and I felt like the market was a place that spirit of innovation could return with a handful of rugged farmers, makers full of interesting ideas, and hippie couples selling flowers and artisan breads. I felt totally at home and like big things were just waiting to happen at the market. After a couple seasons though, I left the market for my “”real job”” of teaching kindergarteners. I definitely missed it.
That real job was great, but due to an economic downturn, my position was eliminated. I made one of the best decisions of my life and returned to the KDFM as a vendor. Shortly thereafter, I was nominated to the board of directors and within months offered the job of market master. I accepted, thinking it would be “”fun””, and it was, but it has also proven to be one of the most stressful, challenging and rewarding things I’ve ever done. My years as an educator could not have been more valuable: I learned to meet people where they are on their path, to be organized, to think way outside the box, to be supportive, to help diverse personalities get along, to motivate people, and to be committed to helping people succeed. Those big things I envisioned are happening at the market now, from farm-to-fork fundraisers and wellness education to cooking demonstrations and our success in increasing SNAP use at the market, and so much more. We’re working together and partnering with other local organizations to make a difference, strengthening the local food system and our local economy, providing new avenues for farmers, makers, and bakers to get their products to customers, helping those in need, providing a pretty amazing little celebration of our city every week, and making sure more people actually do eat the freshest, tastiest food right out of the ground.
The major obstacles I see to growth of farmers’ markets nationwide is a lack of funding for adequate, full-time management teams that can plan and innovate, the lack of support and training for overburdened small farmers who struggle with “doing it all” as market farmers, and rapid growth in the number of markets without strategy or cooperation between markets.
Also a member of Hoosier Farmers’ Market Association and Eat Fresh Howard County.
Number of Years in the Farmers Market Field: 8
Corey Chatman is a program manager at the Experimental Station a not-for-profit incubator of innovative cultural projects and small-scale enterprises located on the south side of Chicago. He began working there on healthy food access projects in the early part of 2010. One of his first projects involved the expansion of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) access at Farmers Markets in Illinois. To that end Corey began working with the Illinois Farmers Market Association to support markets in Illinois with education, resources, and best practices for programs like SNAP access.
Corey currently manages 3 programs at Experimental Station:
- City of Chicago’s Farmers Markets EBT program. Since 2010 Experimental Station has provided processing services for SNAP transactions at many of the city sponsored Farmers Markets.
- LINK Up Illinois Double Value Coupon Program, which provides grants for healthy food incentives on SNAP and WIC purchases at Illinois Farmers’ Markets.
- SNAP Support grants. Sponsored by the USDA, grants are awarded to qualifying Farmers Markets to cover expenses associated with operating a SNAP redemption system at Illinois Farmers Markets.
These programs have directly impacted SNAP sales at Farmers Markets and Direct Marketing Farmers in Illinois. Resulting in a marked increase from $32k in 2010 to $453K in 2016.
Top 3 obstacles facing farmers markets: The decline in the number of farmers; The reduction in available funding for farmers markets; Lack of support for the profession of market management (training, professional development, retention, and inadequate pay).
Chisago City Farmers Market
Number of years in the farmers market field: 20
I grew up in Argentina and emigrated to the US several decades ago. I attended Rice University, TX and graduated with a BA in Biology. I then made my way up north to Minnesota to raise a family. Raising kids opened my eyes to the various threats to health that come from low-quality food. My interest in natural foods, gardening, and farmers markets all grew out of this realization. Slowly, I entered the farmers market world, first as a vendor selling home-baked breads made with organic, freshly milled flour, then as a member of the team that helped set up the market. I gained valuable experience then that I was able to use in setting up a new farmers market in a city close by. That experience gave me the tools I needed to found my own farmers market about 7 years ago. I also participated in my market as a vendor, continuing my bread business but also trying out a portable wood-fired pizza oven enterprise. The pizza enterprise started out as a work-force training project for area youths which both trained them but also exposed them to the activities of our farmers market.
A few years ago, I was asked to be part of the Board of the MN Farmers Market Association. In that capacity, I was given the task to re-write our MN farmers market manual. Of course I consulted the FMC website extensively during this process. While with the MFMA, I also had the privilege to be involved in writing and helping pass legislation that made sampling and cooking demos easier to offer at all MN farmers markets. I’ve also collaborated with other state-wide nonprofits in various projects designed to advance the popularity and viability of farmers markets.
I realized I lacked some background in economics, management and analytics, so I decided to round out my experiences with some academics. I am now almost done with my MBA. Along the way, I also picked up a certificate in project management and business analytics. These tools have already proven helpful in running my market and in my contributions to the organizations with whom I work. Most of all, the spirit of service is deeply ingrained in me. Most of my free time is spent volunteering at my market or tutoring (yes, I also tutor math and science!). Thank you for considering my application.
Top 3 obstacles facing farmers markets: The top challenges include ensuring food safety (ensuring food safety and being able to communicate this to customers); enhancing the customer experience, and the dealing with the threat of online competition.
Also a member of Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture and Chisago City Farmers Market.
Senior Strategist, Global Tech & Operations
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
New York, NY
Number of years in the farmers market field: 2
Ross Dakin is a senior strategist on the Global Technology & Operations team at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Ross recently advised the Microsoft Technology and Civic Engagement team in New York City following his appointment as a White House Presidential Innovation Fellow under the Obama Administration. As a private sector technologist in Silicon Valley, Ross created the infrastructure that helped the same-day delivery provider Deliv achieve market-winning growth; novel financial services at Upstart; threat intelligence collaboration tools at BrightPoint Security (acquired by ServiceNow); and distributed call center technology at LiveOps. Over the past two years, Ross has served as an advisor to the Farmers Market Coalition and other market organizations on data collection and analysis initiatives, and wireless electronic payment processing improvements.
Ross also volunteers his time by providing prehospital emergency care services as a licensed EMT under the auspices of various organizations including the National Ski Patrol, Palo Alto Medical Reserve Corps, Santa Clara County Medical Volunteers for Disaster Response, and multiple arms of the American Red Cross.
Ross holds a Bachelors of Science in Computer Engineering degree from Santa Clara University, where he serves on the Dean’s Engineering Advisory Board. Ross is currently based in New York City.
Top 3 obstacles facing farmers markets: 1) reauthorizing relevant appropriations in the Farm Bill, 2) the ability for farmers markets to leverage technology as a scaling mechanism, 3) the growing number of same-day-delivery grocery services potentially cutting into the farmers market customer base.
Also a member of United Nations Association of the USA (Sponsoring Member) — the principles of farmers markets apply to multiple Sustainable Development Goals (Zero Hunger, Good Health and Well-Being, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Responsible Consumption and Production).
Catt Fields White
CEO, San Diego Markets and InTents Conference
San Diego, CA
Number of years in the farmers market field: 10
Catt Fields White is the CEO of San Diego Markets, bringing farmers to the city and more than 25,000 visitors weekly to the table by developing and managing year-round weekly farmers’ markets including San Diego County’s largest – the Little Italy Mercato – and the Pacific Beach Tuesday Farmers’ Market and North Park Thursday Market. The State of California hosts the largest number of farmers’ markets in the US, and Catt enjoys adding a west coast perspective to farmers’ market conversations.
A former restaurant owner and publisher, she promotes entrepreneurship and financial sustainability for small farmers as producer of the annual 3-day InTents Conference, which brings attendees from across the US. The conference is an extension of the Vendor-101 classes she has taught since 2010 to help small farmers and food makers launch their market businesses, succeed and grow.
Catt writes and speaks about food, farms, restaurants and business at cattfieldswhite.com and for regional and national publications and conferences, and advocates for small farmers as a Steering Committee member of the California Alliance of Farmers’ Markets, a member of the FMC State Leaders Forum and a past president and now advisory board member of the Berry Good Food Foundation. An aspiring escargot farmer, Catt’s concerns for her nine grandchildren fuel her devotion to the cause of financial security for small farmers and the future of real food.
Top 3 obstacles facing farmers markets: 1) Increased land and water prices that create challenges to new farmers entering the field, which leads to a lack of active market farmers 2) Labor shortages fueled by immigration issues and regulations that limit use of interns 3) Regulatory restrictions, particularly towards farmers and value added products, and risk management requirements for the events
Also a member of California Alliance of Farmers’ Markets (steering committee), Berry Good Food Foundation (past president), Slow Food, National Farmers Union, and FMC State Leaders Group.
Greater Des Moines Partnership
Executive Director, Downtown Farmers’ Market – Des Moines, IA
Number of years in the farmers market field: 17
Kelly is the Director of one of the largest and oldest outdoor farmers markets in the state of Iowa – The Downtown Farmers’ Market in Des Moines. Holding this position since 2000, she has played a major role in the development that this open-air Saturday farmers market has seen in recent years.
Under her direction the Downtown Farmers’ Market has recruited, encouraged and trained hundreds of local entrepreneurs, growers and artisans. She is passionate about connecting the entire community to the health, social and economic benefits of The Market.
Although the farmers market she manages is now bustling with more than 300 participating farmers and food producers and attracts nearly 25,000 shoppers each Saturday, it hasn’t always been that way. Kelly believes that a farmer’s market is never done growing, she is committed to continue to implement unique programming and experiences, and safety and aesthetic enhancements in effort to continually rejuvenate and create a fresh marketplace.
Kelly has shared her passion and knowledge of farmers markets through leading educational workshops, speaking at conferences and networking with farmers market advocates across the country.
Top 3 obstacles facing farmers markets: Maintaining farmland, family farmers and growing new dedicated farmers.
– Financial resources and funding to develop and grow farmers markets, farmers market programs (such as SNAP/DUFB) and support for skilled farmers market professionals.
– Consumer Demand, not only through increased supply of farm fresh food within local groceries but also the ability and ease of ordering fresh produce, eggs, meat, cheese and other farm related food from online delivery services could be seen as an obstacle. We must continue to promote the social and community benefits of farmers markets.
Also a member of Iowa Farmers’ Market Association and Prairie Rivers of Iowa.
Founding Board Member/Treasurer
Adams County Farmers’ Market Association
Number of years in the farmers market field: 10
Kathleen Glahn owns and operates a small diversified farm just outside the historic battlefield sites in rural Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. With her primary crop being hardy kiwi berries, Kathy also manages on site guest accommodations as well as cultivates an interesting crop mix to delight her overnight guests and increase farm revenue. Setting aside her own business ventures, Kathy has been very active in launching a variety of farmers’ market initiatives to increase vendor sales while meeting multiple needs of the community. In collaboration with the Adams County Food Policy Council and Healthy Adams County, these nutrition and wellness initiatives have grown by over 325% since 2011 and most recently generated a combined boost of $65,000 in annual market sales. Kathy has secured a number of funding opportunities for the Adams County Farmers’ Market Association (Gettysburg, PA) which assisted in start up support for the programming. Prior to relocating to Gettysburg, Kathy managed a sales territory in Upstate New York and successfully secured placement of products in both independent and major retail stores. In 2009, Kathy was recognized by the United Way of Adams County as an Exceptional Woman in Agriculture.
Top 3 obstacles facing farmers markets: 1. Increase of savvy retailers creating stronger “”locally grown”” produce sections in their stores and offer consumers more one stop shopping alternatives; 2. Markets needs more support from local business/community & economic development corporations that can assist in providing infrastructure support to build capacity; 3. Development of community partners especially in the healthcare sector; 4. Unwilling to adapt to change.
Also a board member of the Gettysburg Hospital Foundation and active member of the Adams County Food Policy Council.
Georgia Farmers Market Association
Number of years in the farmers market field: 5
Sagdrina Jalal is the founding Executive Director of the Georgia Farmers Market Association: a state wide organization led by farmers, farmers market managers and other local food advocates. GFMA seeks to support communities in growing healthy local food systems and foster pathways to equitable food access.
Sagdrina is a graduate of the University of Georgia and holds a Bachelors of Science in Education. A 2015 participant in SoulFire Farm’s Black and Latinx Farmer Immersion program, Jalal was selected to participate in the Center for Civic Innovation’s Food Innovation Fellowship program. She now serves as an Advisor to current Fellowship participants.
Her commitment to local food and health extends to her home life as she loves to cook, tinker with tinctures and considers herself a kombucha mixologist. She is currently a studying herbalism at Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine. Sagdrina has found her space in the good food movement; at the intersection of food and community.
Top 3 obstacles facing farmers markets 1) The need for sustained economic stability of small scale farms and farmers markets 2) Limited local food access in low income/high need communities 3)Potential policy changes.
Also a member of Georgia Organics, Georgia Food Policy Council, Center for Civic Innovation, SoulFire Farm Black and Latinx Farmer Immersion Program (Alumnae group), and Foodwell Alliance.
Plenty Community Food Services
Number of years in the farmers market field: 12
Lannie Kali is on a mission to strengthen and support a meaningful connection between people and their food.
Lannie has been involved in the Portland metro farmers market community for over a decade and has been instrumental in fostering new & reviving existing farmers markets and food programs.
Lannie is the founder of the Senior Nutrition program, the only senior focused hunger reduction program in the state of Oregon that is based at a farmers market.
She uses her background as a farm kid, her passion as a chef and her professional life as a social change advocate through her business, PLENTY Community Food Services.
Lannie was a grant writer and fundraiser for more than 10 years of her professional life. The bulk of these grants were local as well as some partnership grants that were federal and state funded. She has extensive organizational management work through her business and the management of multiple farmers markets. In 2017, she worked with more than 400 vendors and farmers, 127 volunteers, 4 staff members, 70 musicians. 34 sponsors and 50 community partnerships.
Top 3 challenges facing farmers markets: 1- Perception from the customer standpoint of what a farmers market actually is and why to choose a farmers market vs a grocery store that calls their produce section a ‘farmers market’ (national Trader Joes stores currently do this)
2- Local fundraising- The chasm that exists between the fact that farmers markets are more often than not doing great work around promoting small business, supporting farmers, providing hunger reduction programs, supporting community collaboration etc. This message is being lost as we fundraise for markets and are often met with confused looks as the funders had no idea that farmers markets could be in need of charitable giving.
3- A national focus on the place of farmers markets in national food policy. With FNIP money being severely limited and not seeing an uptick in available federal money to support our great work. Advocacy is needed.
Also a member of the Oregon Farmers Market Association, Farmers Market Fund, Moreland Farmers Market, Double Up Food Bucks, Green Lents, Peoples Food Co-op, Plenty Community Food Services, Winter Farmers Mercado, Farmers Market at Bridgeport Village, and Holiday Stock Up Autumn Market.
Local Foods Director/ Market Director
Cook Inletkeeper/ Homer Farmers Market
Fritz Creek, AK
Number of years in the farmers market field: 8
Robbi Mixon has managed the Homer Farmers Market for over 7 years, fostering amazing growth due to her knack for recognizing needs and addressing them. Her tenure includes the adoption of the market coin program and SNAP benefits program and other initiatives at the Market that have improved the access to local food as well as the advancement of basic infrastructure at the Market. The first ever Alaska State Farmers Market Managers Conference this spring was her vision and her hard work. The gathering connected markets from around the state of Alaska- again fostering a kind of growth that comes from building relationships.
She is also the coordinator for the new Kenai Peninsula & Anchorage Food Hub, a new and baffling form of market access for producers and a new platform for local food distribution. Juggling the new challenges this platform has presented, she continues to innovate as to how it can be modified to succeed here in Alaska. She has jump-started the Alaska Farmers Market Association with a recent FMPP grant for three years of support and further relationship building and resource sharing.
Robbi Mixon has had a tremendous impact on Alaska’s food system, transformed Homer, Alaska’s community food system, and is making a difference in Alaska’s prosperity, health, and self-reliance.
Top three challenges facing farmers markets: Affordable products for low income patrons, lack of support for market management and infrastructure, competition with large box stores and online retailers.
Also a member of the Alaska Food Policy Council, Alaska Farmers Market Association, Homer Farmers Market, Kenai Peninsula & Anchorage Food Hub.
Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association
Number of years in the farmers market field: 14
Allen J. Moy is Executive Director of the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association (PCFMA), a nonprofit organization which serves over 300 California farmers by operating and promoting more than 50 certified farmers’ markets in the San Francisco Bay Area. Allen joined PCFMA in 2003, bringing over 15 years of experience in nonprofit organizations.
Allen is a Board member of Fresh Approach, a nonprofit organization founded by PCFMA in 2008 that connects California communities with healthy food from California farmers through innovative health, nutrition and food access programs such as VeggieRx, Market Match and the Freshest Cargo Mobile Farmers’ Market.
Allen is a native of San Antonio, Texas. He holds a Master’s in Urban Administration and a Bachelor’s in Communications and Political Science, both from Trinity University in San Antonio. Allen also has a Certificate in Human Resource Manager from California State University, Hayward (now Cal State East Bay).
“The most immediate threat that I see to farmers’ markets nationwide is the proposed elimination of federal funding for the Farmers’ Market Promotion Program, Local Food Promotion Program, Specialty Crop Block Grant program and WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program. The combination of these cuts would be devastating to the farmers’ market industry by simultaneously eliminating funds that farmers’ markets use to innovate while also eliminating the only designated funding support for farmers’ market customers.
Another significant obstacle that farmers’ markets in California is seeing is an increase in regulation and regulatory fees from multiple levels of government. In California we are seeing increases in fees charged by county Agriculture Departments and Environmental Health Departments along with new fees from fire districts. In addition to permitting costs, each of these governmental entities also charges fees for regular inspections. We are also seeing new user fees from city governments for access to public spaces such as streets, parks and plazas that were previously provided for free as a part of a local commitment to community service. I have heard anecdotally from colleagues in other states of similar challenges.
The final obstacle that I see, and the one that is most difficult to address, is how to help farmers’ markets adapt to the changing food retail landscape. The growth of local food delivery services like Good Eggs and Amazon Fresh are promising farmers’ market quality food with additional convenience of home delivery. As consumers turn to social media and mobile phones for information and prioritize convenience over authentic experiences, farmers’ markets must find ways to continue to prove their worth and their relevance.”
“I am a Board member of Fresh Approach, a nonprofit organization that works in partnership with the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association to help increase access to fresh, locally-grown fruits and vegetables while supporting opportunities for local small farms.
I previously served as the Executive Director of Fresh Approach from 2011 to 2015.
I am a Board member and Treasurer of the California Small Farm Conference. The California Small Farm Conference is a nonprofit organization that organizes an annual educational conference for California’s small scale direct marketing farmers and the state’s certified farmers’ market managers. I previously served as the President of the California Small Farm Conference Board of Directors from 2006 to 2010.
PCFMA is a member of the California Alliance of Farmers’ Markets. PCFMA’s Director of Direct Marketing represents PCFMA on the Alliance Steering Committee.”