Speakers and Moderators

Speakers and Moderators – Convention 2018

Philip Ackerman-Leist is an author and Professor of Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems at Green Mountain College in Vermont. Philip will deliver the keynote address today, entitled, “Hacking the Local Foodshed: Packing the Toolbox,” in which he will explore how farmers’ markets represent “food democracy” and living economies, and how Maine markets might increase their customer base and their local impact. ackermanleistp@greenmtn.edu

Lucie Amundsen is a writer, marketer and reluctant farmer. She and her husband co-own Locally Laid Egg Company, a farm that provides pasture-raised eggs in Minnesota. A former editor at Reader’s Digest Association, Lucie authored the book, Locally Laid, part humorous memoir/part farm startup horror show published by Penguin Books USA. lucieamundsen@gmail.com

Mike Bahner owns and operates Bahner Farm with his amazing wife Christa on 37 acres in beautiful Belmont. They grow a diversity of organic vegetables, raspberries, strawberries, herbs and cut flowers for sale at three farmers markets a week from May through October. They also sell at their farm stand and through a summer and winter CSA program. After working for 4 years on diversified farms in central Maine, familiarizing themselves with farmers markets, they struck out on their own. They first applied to farmers’ markets for the 2010 season and haven’t looked back. They also have two adorable little children who help tremendously with farm marketing. bahnerfarm@gmail.com

Jaime Berhanu, her husband, Andy, and their 2 daughters run Lalibela Farm Tempeh in Bowdoinham. They produce MOFGA certified organic Tempeh and sell to restaurants and natural food stores throughout New England. While no longer a vendor, Jaime and Andy spent 10 years as a vendor at the Portland Farmers’ Market and Jaime continues to serve as the market’s Bookkeeper and on the SNAP Committee. lalibelafarm@gmail.com

Tina Bernier is the WIC vendor manager for the state of Maine. She received her BA from Colby College in Environmental Sciences. Tina is an avid gardener and appreciates the farmers’ market community and services. She helped to start the Pittsfield Farmers’ Market with Tom Roberts in 1997 and has enjoyed shopping and supporting that market as well as many others throughout the state. tina.bernier@maine.gov

Sherie Blumenthal is the Food Access Coordinator for the Lots to Gardens program at St. Mary’s Nutrition Center in Lewiston, where she lives and works. Sherie has been the Market Manager for the Lewiston Farmers’ Market for three years and is a founding member of the Faire Bande a Part Housing Cooperative (Faire-Op) in Lewiston; the second Housing Cooperative created in the state. SBlumenthal@stmarysmaine.com

Johanna Burdet, along with her husband Jarret Haiss, own and operate Moodytown Gardens in Palmyra. They raise mixed vegetables and pastured pork and sell at the Skowhegan Farmers’ Market, Belgrade Lakes Market, Hampden Farmers’ Market, at their farm stand, and wholesale. Johanna works to help grow and strengthen the markets they belong to and believes in the importance of increasing access to healthy food for all. moodytowngardens@gmail.com

Emily Buswell has been part of the MFFM team since 2015. She has worn several hats within the organization and is currently working as Outreach Coordinator, working specifically with a group of 5 Bangor-area markets to grow their SNAP/MHB programs. She manages the Hampden Farmers’ Market and her family’s own small farm, Buswell Croft. outreach@mffm.org

Arielle Greenberg Bywater began her career in New York City, doing publicity and marketing for cultural non-profits, then went on to graduate school and became a college professor in writing and literature. She still teaches and consults on creative writing, but is now also the copywriter and creative strategist for Pica, a creative services agency in the Belfast area, whose clients include non-profits and small businesses all over the state of Maine. arielle@pica.is

Clayton Carter owns and operates Fail Better Farm in Etna, ME. He raises MOFGA certified Organic produce for sale exclusively at farmers’ markets in Waterville, Orono and Bangor. Clayton also serves as Chairman of the Bangor Farmers’ Market, Treasurer of the Orono Farmers’ Market and is on the board of directors for MFFM. failbetterfarm@gmail.com

Ketra Crosson is an UNH graduate and is a licensed Occupational Therapist with over 30 years of experience in developing and providing independent living options for people with disabilities. She has worked for the last 25 years for Alpha One throughout the state. She provides services such as access design consultation, independent living skills assessment and training, information and referral, peer support, assistive technology consultation, job accommodation assessments, advocacy and consumer-directed personal assistance services. Ketra has been an AgrAbility specialist working with Maine farmers since 2010. KCrosson@alphaonenow.org

Debbie Crosby has worked for Food & Nutrition Service, USDA for 28 years, with 10 years military service prior to USDA. She is a life-long Maine resident (except for her time in the military). She used to have horses, pigs, chickens and a garden, but no longer does, preferring to purchase from the farmer or farmers’ markets and letting the younger people take care of the animals! debbie.crosby@fns.usda.gov

Isla Dickerson is a vice president and organizational development officer at Bangor Savings Bank.Prior to joining Bangor Savings Bank she founded and led Cape Rosier Consulting, a marketing and communications consulting firm with offices in Maryland and Maine, for 8 years. She began her career at a small publishing company on an island off the coast of Maine and joined MBNA in 1996 where she held executive leadership roles in Marketing, Operations and Employee Education & Leadership Development. She is also the founder and owner of The Retreat at Betsy’s Cove. Dickerson is an MBNA Management Development Alumnus and recipient of the Bank of America Leadership Platinum Award. She serves on the boards of The Hudson Museum and Blue Hill Educational Enrichment. She is a member of the Eastern Maine Medical Center Patient Advisory Council and an active supporter and volunteer at Coastal Mountains Land Trust and Peace Ridge Sanctuary.Isla.Dickerson@Bangor.com

David Flannery has been with the Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry for 6 ½ years. In his work as a Weights and Measures Inspector, David performs quality assurance work in such varied fields as scale inspections (from small scales to truck scales), gas pumps, firewood complaints, and milk tank calibrations. David and his wife own Cobb Hill Farm in Bucksport, where they have raised Black Angus cattle for the last 15 years. david.flannery@maine.gov

Shannon Grimes is Nutrition Incentive Project Coordinator at Maine Farmland Trust, where she currently manages Maine’s local-retail incentive programs. Maine Farmland Trust protects farmland, supports farmers, and advances the future of farming, and sees these programs as a vital step in connecting farmers and low-income Mainers. She has also worked directly with building the Maine Harvest Bucks program at Belfast Farmers’ Market, and enjoys cooking, dancing, and being outside. shannon@mainefarmlandtrust.org

Mark Guzzi and Marcia Ferry own and operate Peacemeal Farm in Dixmont, bringing certified organic produce to central maine for the last 16 years. Peacemeal Farm participates in the Bangor, Belfast, Camden, Orono, farmers’ markets. Mark currently serves as the Treasurer of the MFFM Board of Directors, as well as the Market Manager of the Orono Farmers’ Market. peacemeal@midmaine.com

Leah Hancock is a Program Manager for the National Nutrition Incentive Network at Wholesome Wave, which includes more than 90 organizations representing nearly 600 direct-to-consumer markets in 38 states and D.C.. Leah currently facilitates statewide nutrition incentive program development in Maine, New Hampshire, Ohio and Florida, where she works with stakeholders to design and implement a network structure that will promote the long-term scaling of nutrition incentive programs in their state. Prior to her current role, she organized the implementation and evaluation of pilot projects in Wholesome Wave’s Innovations Lab. Leah graduated from Connecticut College with a B.A. in Sociology-based Human Relations and Hispanic Studies, also earning a certificate from the Holleran Center’s Program in Community Action and Public Policy with a focus on food policy. leah@wholesomewave.org

Brittany Hopkins owns Wise Acres Farm in Kenduskeag, where she grows over 2 acres of certified organic vegetables and berries. She showed dairy goats in 4-H as a kid and had a farming relapse brought on by volunteering in an urban garden in New Jersey after college. Before farming on her own, she spent three years apprenticing and working at Peacemeal Farm, Parker Family Farm, and Fisher Farm in central Maine. She is co-master of the Ellsworth Farmers’ Market and treasurer and EBT coordinator of the Bangor Farmers’ Market. hopkins.brittany@gmail.com

Emily Horton works on agriculture, fisheries and environmental policy for Congresswoman Chellie Pingree. She grew up on an organic farm in Montville, Maine, holds a B.S in Environmental Studies and a Master’s in Public Health where she focused on food, farming and nutrition. Emily worked at the Maine Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association under Russel Libby’s leadership, taught nutrition education to low-income Mainers and has served on the Good Food Council & Farm to School Workgroup in Lewiston & Auburn. She is a past Maine delegate to the New England Food Summits and a 2016 delegate to Terra Madre Salone Del Gusto in Turin, Italy.

Jill Johanning is a Maine Licensed Architect who specializes in accessible and universal design at Alpha One. As a part of the independent living center at Alpha One, Access Design has been a core service of Alpha One for more than 20 years, providing ADA technical assistance, training, and consulting on designing facilities for universal access. Before joining Alpha One, she was employed as a project designer for a large A/E firm in northern Maine. She has over 10 years of design and construction experience in public and private building projects, with a focus on educational and universal design campus facilities for users of all abilities. Her strong accessibility background developed from working with children and adults with disabilities while studying architecture in college. jjohanning@alphaonenow.org

Hilary Kark works as the SNAP-Ed Nutrition Education Program Manager for UNECOM’s Coastal Healthy Communities Coalition based in Saco. As a community nutrition educator with SNAP-Ed, Hilary helps families, youth and adults shop, cook and eat healthy on a budget. Before planting roots in Maine, Hilary studied Biomedical Science at Marist College in New York and went to graduate school for Community Nutrition at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where she taught undergraduate nutrition classes and worked on a diet intervention pilot study investigating the effects of increased fruit and vegetable consumption on breast cancer risk. hwiggins@une.edu

Cathy Karonis owns Fairwinds Farm with her husband, Pete. The farm has grown over the years and now encompasses 60+ acres of vegetables and small fruits…including 16 acres of strawberries and 5 acres of raspberries and blueberries. Fairwinds sells at the Brunswick Farmers’ Market, the Saturday Market at Crystal Springs Farm (also in Brunswick), and the Portland Farmers’ Market (with berries only). The farm also opens the berry fields to the public for “pick your own”. In the winter, Fairwinds sells at the Brunswick Winter Market and the Midcoast Winter Farmers’ Market in Topsham. Farmers’ markets, and their continued growth, are very important to Cathy, as both a farmer and a community member. fairwindsfarm08@gmail.com

Shelley Latham is a communications and development consultant who has worked with organic farmers, small businesses and nonprofit organizations in New York, New Jersey, Maine and Washington DC. She was the Development and Communication Coordinator at the Blue Hill Public Library where, among other things, she implemented local business outreach and sponsorship campaigns. For over 15 years she was actively involved in outreach and member engagement for several CSAs in New York and New Jersey. Shelley@beeswaxproductions.com

Carole Mapes grows specialty cut flowers at Flywheel Flowers in Unity, Maine. She attends markets in Northeast Harbor, Camden and Bangor.

Jack McAdam and his wife Ellen operate McDougal Orchards in Springvale. McDougal Orchards is a diversified seventh generation family farm in Southern Maine specializing in the production of high quality apples for sale to pick-your-own, farm stand, Sanford Farmers’ Market and local wholesale customers. He is the Market Manager of the Sanford Farmers’ Markets and co-chair of the Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets Board of Directors. He is involved in a number of agriculture/food related organizations. captjack@gwi.net

Dave McConnell is a shareholder and director of Perkins Thompson in Portland, Maine, where he chairs the Litigation Department. He has a keen sense for practical solutions and he has worked closely over the years with many farmers and food entrepreneurs to achieve cost-effective results. In addition to his litigation practice, Mr. McConnell practices in the area of intellectual property and the evolving law on cyber security. He also helps clients deal with various local, state and federal government agencies and boards. Mr. McConnell is AV Peer Review Rated for Ethical Standards and Legal Ability by Martindale-Hubbell. He has also been selected by his peers for inclusion in the New England Super Lawyers directory for Business Litigation. dmcconnell@perkinsthompson.com

Heather McGuire is a SNAP-Ed Nutrition Educator within the Center for Health Innovation. She delivers community nutrition education programs and provides obesity prevention services to individuals of all ages that are eligible for SNAP in Southern Aroostook County. She implements her SNAP-Ed work plan in accordance with USDA SNAP-Ed and Maine DHHS guidance and has a particular interest in working with low-income, older adults to improve their access to fruits and vegetables. She has led successful Maine SNAP-Ed projects to establish community gardens in low-income, senior housing and child cares. You could find her most Saturdays last summer, promoting Maine Harvest Bucks at the Houlton Farmers’ Market. hmcguire@pwless.net

Andrew Mefferd spent seven years in the research department at Johnny’s Selected Seeds, traveling around the world to consult with researchers and farmers on the best practices in greenhouse growing. He put what he learned to use on his own farm in Maine. He is now the editor and publisher of Growing for Market magazine. Previously, he worked on farms in six states across the United States before starting his own farm. Andrew also works as a consultant on the topics covered in this book. For more about the magazine, please visit www.growingformarket.com. For more information on consulting, see www.andrewmefferd.com. farmers@onedropfarm.com

Heather Omand, MBA, is MOFGA’s organic marketing and business specialist. In that role she provides business and market planning to organic and transitioning farmers, develops and supports local purchasing at a variety of market channels, and provides other types of technical assistance and market research. Omand creates MOFGA’s organic price reports, supports the Farm Beginnings training program and manages Maine Harvest Bucks at CSA farms. She, her husband, and son are slowly developing a regenerative farm on 36 acres in Belfast, Maine. homand@mofga.com

Tim Poulin is the Deputy Director of the Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations at the Department of Administrative and Financial Services for the State of Maine. tim.poulin@maine.gov

Chris Quinlan serves his passion for regional economic and food security as the manager of the Whistler Farmers’ Market in British Columbia, a role that gave rise to his development of Marketwurks.com. Chris developed Marketwurks as a customizable program that allows market managers to generate the applications forms required to better qualify applicants, utilize that information to create public profiles and populate market maps, all while maintaining control of their data, and market customers, inside the markets’ website. chris@marketwurks.com

Julie Ann Smith grew up on a dairy farm in Monmouth operated by her grandfather, Clement Smith, then attended the University of Southern Maine in Portland. After college Julie Smith worked as deputy registrar of the Cumberland County Probate court. She is currently working as executive director of the Maine Farm Bureau Association. executivedirector@mainefarmbureau.com

​Trisha Smith has been a Community Education Assistant at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension since 2015. She coordinates Sedomocha School garden activities and oversees Master Gardener Volunteers in Piscataquis County, among other Home Horticulture-related duties. Trisha is looking forward to establishing a Farmers’ Market Kids’ Club at Dover Cove Farmers’ Market with support from 4-H and Piscataquis Healthy Food for All. trisha.smith1@maine.edu

Ronda Stone is a Consumer Protection Inspector with the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. Ronda is originally from Aroostook County and has roots in the agriculture community. She has also worked in both dairy manufacturing and low acid canning as a quality control manager. ronda.stone@maine.gov

Marie Taft has a longstanding interest in health and wellness and has a particular interest in growing, cooking and sharing nutritious food. Throughout her career, she has worn many hats in the wellness field, including personal care provider, health consultant, massage therapist, and natural food store staff person. For the past 2 years, Marie has overseen the launch and operation of a SNAP info booth at Houlton Community Market. Marie manages the market’s information booth and implements promotion and outreach to grow participation in Maine Harvest Bucks. thecounty@mffm.org

Hanne Tierney and her husband, Dan, have owned and managed Cornerstone Farm in Palmyra since 2001 with the help of their children Edie and Sam. Hanne has a BS in Animal Science from the University of Maine and farms full time. Cornerstone Farm sells at the Orono, Bangor, Portland and Waterville summer and winter markets. hannetierney@gmail.com

Courtney Williams grows certified organic vegetables, mushrooms, herbs and cut flowers with her partner Ryan at Marr Pond Farm in Sangerville, Maine. Marr Pond Farm attends the Waterville and Orono farmers market, distributes CSA shares, and markets to wholesale accounts. Courtney is also an active member of the East Sangerville Grange, and co-creator of the Grange’s Farmer Committee which supports farmers and homesteaders in her area with collaboration and camaraderie in the face of all things farming.

Angie Wotton and her husband live on a small farm and sell mixed vegetables and fruit at the Houlton Community Market. Angie has been on the board of Houlton Community Market since its inception in 2009 and has been active in establishing the SNAP program. She currently works at the Southern Aroostook Soil and Water Conservation District. amwotton@earthlink.net

Sarah Wiederkehr manages Winter Hill Farm in Freeport, along with her husband, Steve Burger and their two young children. Winter Hill Farm is a diversified dairy farm, focused primarily on high quality dairy products from a small herd of Randall and Jersey cattle. In addition to producing raw milk, yogurt, and award winning cheeses, Winter Hill farm finishes about 100 whey-fed Berkshire hogs a year, raises a flock of 100 pastured chickens for eggs, and includes a small, seasonal organic vegetable and cut flower operation. winterhillfarmer@gmail.com