FMC Executive Director Transition Announcement

      Posted On: January 23, 2023

Dear Friends of FMC, 

In January 2019, I was given the opportunity that I could not pass up: to serve as the Executive Director of the Farmers Market Coalition. Given my background in both farmers markets and non-profit management, it felt like the stars had aligned and this was an opportunity uniquely suited to my experience. It has been a wonderful privilege and an incredible challenge to have led the organization during the past 4 years, but as with all good things, it too must come to an end. It is bittersweet to announce that I will be transitioning out of my role as Executive Director of FMC by June 1, 2023. Given the importance and timing of the Farm Bill, I will continue to support FMC’s policy advocacy work as a consultant through the completion of the 2023 Farm Bill. 

It has been an honor to work with you all toward our common goals of supporting and strengthening farmers markets and I am incredibly proud of all that we have accomplished together in a relatively short time. I hope readers will indulge me as I share some of the highlights of my time as FMC’s Executive Director.

One of the first projects the FMC Board tasked me with was the creation of a five-year strategic plan for the organization. That strategic plan has been a critical, guiding tool during my tenure as Executive Director. The plan centering farmers market managers and operators as FMC’s primary stakeholders has been critical to sharpening the organization’s purpose and focus. The plan has stood the test of time and an unprecedented global event (more on that in a moment) and it remains useful today. 

Just a few short months into the implementation of that strategic plan, the COVID-19 pandemic upended farmers markets, along with nearly all of the rest of society. As tumultuous, and in many cases, tragic as the pandemic was, FMC was able to respond quickly to support our members by doing what we do best: making space for market operators to come together, share experiences and solutions, and amplify those voices. It certainly didn’t hurt that FMC has always been a remote organization. When many organizations were having to completely restructure their operations, we were able to focus on the challenges our members were facing.

One area where our strategic plan fell short was with regard to racial equity. Historically, FMC had avoided taking a stance on issues of race, but when the strategic plan fell short our board and staff were quick to point this out. Since then, FMC has engaged meaningfully in efforts to address injustice and racism in our food system. I am incredibly proud that FMC has supported the creation of the Anti-Racist Farmers Market Toolkit which has had a clear and important impact on the farmers market sector. A less public effort to approach internal efforts has also been underway that has led to the creation of a Racial Equity and Learning (REAL) Plan to help guide our efforts for the near future. 

Lastly, I want to highlight the incredible group of people that I have had the privilege of working with over the last 4 years. The FMC staff is an incredibly creative, courageous, and kind group that is committed to FMC’s mission and the betterment of our collective food system. As I move on to new endeavors, I want to express my sincere appreciation for the support and cooperation that our staff and members have shown me and each other during my time with the Coalition. After nearly a decade with the organization in one capacity or another, FMC feels like home and I will always look back on my time here with fond memories.

Our hiring committee is putting on the finishing touches on the job description and in the coming weeks FMC will open the search for our next Executive Director. Please keep your eyes on our newsletter for that announcement.

I am confident that FMC’s best days are yet to come and the organization will see continued success and growth long into the future. Please do not hesitate to stay in touch. I can be reached at my FMC email address through May 31st.


Ben Feldman