Oregon Farmers Markets Association (OFMA) Enlists New Talent for 2008

      Posted On: April 10, 2008

Cottage Grove (April 2, 2008) – The Oregon Farmers Markets Association’s (OFMA) Board of Directors met for a two day retreat in late March to re-establish its Board of Directors and plan the future of the 20 year old organization.

The new 12 member Board of Directors includes market managers, farmers, community advocates and government officials from across the State: Laura Barton, Oregon Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Development and Marketing Division; Gina Bell, Adelante Mujeres/Forest Grove Farmers Market; Val Blaha, Mossback Farm; Chris Coles, Market Consultant; Mary Ellen DeLuca, Manager, Rogue Valley Growers and Crafters Market; Melissa Matthewson, faculty for OSU Extension Service Small Farms Program; Eamon Molloy, manager, Hillsdale Farmers Market; Alan Rousseau, Pine Mountain Ranch, and manager, Friends-N-Farmers Market (Bend); Kelly Streit, Nutrition Consultant with On Nutrition Streit; Sharon Thornberry, Oregon Food Bank; Peter Tuomola, manager, Troutdale, Clackamas, and Fairview Farmers Markets; and Karen Wagner of Pendleton Farmers Market. This marks the first year that board positions include non-market managers. Board Officers for 2008 include: Val Blaha, President; Chris Coles, Vice President; Karen Wagner, Secretary; and Melissa Matthewson, Treasurer.

U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farmers Markets Promotion Project grant funds are helping OFMA do long range strategic planning, organizational restructuring, and identifying market members needs.

The phenomenal growth of farmers’ markets brings value to Oregon farmers, customers and the communities in which they reside, but also growing pains for the markets. USDA grant Program Manager Karen Wagner weighs in, “The Association not only provides a voice for markets all over the state, but will now be better positioned to serve this burgeoning agricultural niche and to help meet the growing hunger for “local food” in Oregon.”

OFMA is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to the support and promotion of Oregon farmers’ markets. OFMA maintains a website and provides a comprehensive list of Oregon farmers’ markets in the form of a brochure. For a complete listing of 2008 markets and information about the Association, visit www.oregonfarmersmarkets.org or call 503-525-1035.