FMC Begins 2019 With New Leadership: A Letter from FMC Executive Director, Jen Cheek
Posted On: December 20, 2018
It is an incredible privilege to lead the Farmers Market Coalition and work every day with FMC’s staff to advance the goals of our distinguished board and inspiring members.
While I enjoy this work immensely, I’ve come to a time where it makes sense to “lean out,” if just a little, to make room for new FMC leadership. As of January 7, 2019, I’ll be resigning as Executive Director, and taking on the role of FMC’s Director of Programs.
In this new role, I’ll ensure that FMC’s existing programs and upcoming initiatives progress smoothly through the transition and beyond. I’m eager to do this under the leadership of Ben Feldman, FMC’s current Policy Director and former Board Member, who has accepted the position of Interim Executive Director. Most of you are already familiar with Ben, and have witnessed his passion for farmers markets and local food.
Ben and I are working together to ensure a seamless transition, and will soon share more details about the process and the launch of the Executive Director search.
FMC has made significant gains over the past six years. With a quadrupled membership representing all 50 states, a growing network of state farmers market associations, and the support of key partners, our national coalition of local food advocates helped shape the 2018 Farm Bill, securing vital farmers market programs for future generations.
Our advocacy tools have given market leaders the confidence to share the impacts of their work with local officials, legislators, partners, and funders. Together, we created important resources to strengthen farmers markets, including the Farmers Market Legal Toolkit, the Farmers Market Metrics program, and the Power of Produce Club. Our work promoting farmers markets has catapulted National Farmers Market Week into the mainstream, nearly doubling our outreach to American shoppers nationwide last year.
While all this progress is certainly worth celebrating, there is still so much to be done. FMC is well-positioned to take on the challenges ahead, boasting an experienced and passionate Board and staff. Our programs are growing, and we’re armed with feedback from our 2018 membership survey to improve and build our resources in 2019.
Thank you for your commitment to the success and growth of the country’s farmers markets, and for making my time as Executive Director incredibly rewarding. I’m looking forward to our continued collaboration in my new role.