Welcome, New FMC Board Members!

      Posted On: February 19, 2018

FMC is pleased to welcome seven new additions to the Board of Directors. This year, the election resulted in a tie for the sixth spot, and since FMC’s bylaws permit adding seven members, the Board decided to include both candidates.

Our new Directors are:

Adrienne Akers, Kokomo Downtown Farmers Market, IN (photo 1)
Corey Chatman, Experimental Station, IL (photo 2)
Ross Dakin, Bank of America Merril Lynch, NY (photo 3)
Kelly Foss, Downtown Farmers Market, Des Moines, IA (photo 4)
Kathleen Glahn, Adams County Farmers Market Association, PA (photo 5)
Sagdrina Jalal, Georgia Farmers Market Association, GA (photo 6)
Allen Moy, Pacific Coast Farmers Market Association, CA (photo 7)

An incredible slate of candidates was nominated this year, and we’re so grateful for the willingness of the FMC community to step up. Thank you to everyone!

We’re excited to introduce our new leaders at FMC’s upcoming annual member meeting that has been rescheduled to Wednesday, February 28 at 2:00pm ET. We’ll be looking back at FMC’s activities in 2017, reviewing goals for 2018, and getting a federal policy update from Ben Feldman. Please plan to join us; click here to register.

(For those who have already registered, there is no need to re-register. Your registration will carry over to the new meeting time.)

New Board of Directors Bios

Adrienne Akers
Market Manager
Kokomo Downtown Farmers’ Market (KDFM), Kokomo, IN
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.

Corey Chatman
Program Manager
Experimental Station
Chicago, IL
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).

Ross Dakin
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).

Kelly Foss
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.

Kathleen Glahn
Founding Board Member/Treasurer
Adams County Farmers’ Market Association, Gettysburg, PA
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.

Sagdrina Jalal
Executive Director
Georgia Farmers Market Association, Atlanta, GA
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.

Allen Moy
Executive Director
Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association, Concord, CA
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.”