Farmers Market Managers Seminar

February 22 & 23

New or experienced farmers market managers, join your peers virtually from across the region on February 22 and 23 for workshops and discussions designed specifically for those managing farmers markets.


February 22

All of Day 1’s Presentation

All of Day 1’s Recordings (available until March 31)

8:30 am – 8:45 am: Welcome

Speaker: Mary Jordan, President, Harvest New England

8:45 am – 10:15 am: So Long 2020! It’s a New Year, a New Day, a New Marketplace in 2021

2020 was an extraordinary year for farmers markets. Recognized for the essential role they play in the health and vitality of our communities, market managers had to balance providing food access while creating healthy, safe and sustainable market environments. Often, market managers had to re-evaluate, re-imagine, and re-invent their marketplaces and the infrastructure required to operate.

Opening and operating a market wasn’t easy, wasn’t cheap, and wasn’t for the faint-hearted. With the 2020 season in the rear-view mirror, we’ll look back at the challenges, opportunities and successes of a season nobody saw coming. Together, we will begin to plan and imagine

what our marketplaces could look like and how they’ll operate during the 2021 season.

Come prepared to share you market’s unexpected successes and challenges, share the new initiatives you want to continue, and articulate the details — the alternative sales methods, market policies, communications, and best practices — that have allowed you and other market managers to continue to balance the needs of customers and farmers while keeping farmers markets healthy, safe and sustainable.

Facilitators: Edith Murnane, Executive Director, Mass Farmers Markets, Waltham, MA; Dawn Kirlin, Market Manager, Francestown Community Market, Francestown, NH

10:30 am – 12:00 pm: Lessons in Conflict Resolution at Farmers’ Markets

Conflict represents an incompatibility of ideas, needs, or strategies. At farmers’ markets, conflicts are not uncommon between and among vendors, market organizers, and customers. In this session, our panelists will share stories of conflict and conflict resolution at their markets. We’ll then break out into smaller groups to share our own stories, and work together to brainstorm common themes and potential miscommunications and assumptions that can lead to conflict. With the support of professionals from the Maine Agricultural Mediation Program, we’ll discuss the types of conflicts that can be inherent in groups, as well as strategies for self and group management.

Moderator: Jimmy Cesario-DeBiasi, Director of Programs, Maine Federation of Farmers Markets

Speakers: Noah and Lorelei Cimeno, Rainbow Farm, Stockton Springs, ME; Leslie Forstadt, Human Development Specialist, University of Maine Cooperative Extension, Orono, ME; Karen Groat, Director, Family and Community Mediation, Maine Agricultural Mediation Program, Orono, ME; Sherry Maher, Founder/Market Manager, Brattleboro Winter Market, Brattleboro, VT

Handout: Conflict Resolution Resources

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm: Break

1:00 pm – 2:30 pm: Creating Effective Partnerships through Community Engagement 

Hear from speakers about how farmers’ markets can create partnerships with community stakeholders in the form of fundraising, event planning, and sponsorships. Methods for attracting volunteers and successful outreach tactics including social media marketing will also be discussed. This will be a short presentation followed by an open forum to discuss ideas and methods that have worked for markets in the past.

Moderator: Morgan Morani, Program Coordinator, Seacoast Eat Local, Dover, NH

Speakers: Dawn Kirlin, Market Manager, Francestown Community Market, Francestown, NH;Lori Mahar, Market Manager, Barnstead Farmers’ Market, Barnstead, NH; Steve Marcelin, Market Manager, Roslindale Farmers Market, Roslindale, MA

February 23

All of Day 2’s Presentations

All of Day 2’s Recordings (available until March 31)

1:00 pm – 1:15 pm: Welcome Speaker: Mary Jordan, President, Harvest New England

1:15 pm – 2:45 pm: Working Towards More Inclusive Farmers Markets

Discussion will explore creating a welcoming and inclusive space for customers and vendors, including customers and vendors of different socio-economic backgrounds and cultures, and strategies for including BIPOC-led (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) vendors.

Facilitator: Martha Page, Executive Director, Hartford Food System, Hartford, CT

Speakers: Muhidin Libah, Executive Director, Somali Bantu Community Association of Maine, Lewiston, ME; Brittany Peats, Program Manager, Massachusetts Food System Collaborative; Habiba Salat, Farmer/Board Member, Somali Bantu Community Association of Maine, Lewiston, ME; Shana Smith, Market Manager, North End Farmers’ Market, Hartford, CT; Anika Dinna Whitmore, Operations Specialist and Geneliz Herrera, The Food Project/Lynn Farmers Market, Lynn, MA; Devon Whitney-Deal, Local Hero Program Manager, Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture, South Deerfield, MA

3:00 pm – 4:30 pm: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Farmers’ Markets: Developing a Successful SNAP Program at Your Farmers Market

This workshop will explore what you need to know to successfully administer SNAP at your farmers’ market, including how to become SNAP authorized, successful outreach tactics, and models for SNAP incentives. We will hear from those working at the national, state, and local level on farmers’ market SNAP initiatives. This workshop will be helpful for new farmers’ markets or markets already accepting SNAP benefits.

Moderator: Andrew Graham, Direct Markets Coordinator, NOFA-VT/VT Farmers Market Association

Speakers: Jimmy Cesario-DeBiasi, Director of Programs, Maine Federation of Farmers Markets; Amy Crone, Project Manager, MarketLink; Alexandria, VA; Rachel Eisenberg, SNAP EBT Coordinator, USDA-FNS, Northeast Regional Office; Amy Meyers, Member Services Manager, Mass Farmers Markets, Waltham, MA; Morgan Morani, SNAP Program Coordinator, Seacoast Eat Local, Dover, NH; Maria Natera, Healthy Living Program Manager; Groundwork Lawrence/Lawrence Farmers’ Market, Lawrence MA

Handouts: SNAP-EBT-TPP-guidance & SNAP Resources


Additional speaker bios coming soon!

Noah and Lorelei Cimeno own and operate Rainbow Farm, a diversified livestock and vegetable farm in Stockton Springs, Maine. They participate in three farmers’ markets throughout Mid-coast and Downeast Maine

Amy Crone is the Project Manager for MarketLink, a national initiative developed in collaboration with USDA to increase acceptance of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) at farmers markets. MarketLink, a program of NAFMNP, is the only app-based means of accepting SNAP available, and since its start in 2013 has enabled sales of more than $39m in SNAP and more than $90m nationwide in overall electronic sales by farmers markets and direct marketing farmers. Formerly, Amy was the Executive Director of the Maryland Farmers Market Association, a nonprofit organization that she founded in 2012. Crone is a nationally recognized expert on federal nutrition assistance programs, who has experience in speaking to a variety of audiences across the country about farmers market and agricultural issues. She lives on a small farm in Maryland with her husband and two children.

Jimmy DeBiasi is the Director of Programs at the Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets. Jimmy has overseen the growth and development of the Maine Harvest Bucks program at farmers’ markets and farm stands across Maine. For over a decade, Jimmy pursued work experiences that entrenched him in agriculture, food systems, and community development work in Vermont, Missouri, and Oregon. Jimmy is excited to be setting his roots in Maine and helping to strengthen farmer livelihood and fresh food access for all at MFFM.

Rachel Eisenberg is the SNAP EBT Coordinator in the Northeast Regional Office of the USDA Food and Nutrition Service.  She is responsible for overseeing SNAP-eligible Farmers Markets in seven states and one territory.

Leslie Forstadt is the Human Development Specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Director of the Maine Agricultural Mediation Program with statewide work for farmers, farm families, and agricultural service providers on topics related to communication, health and well-being, and family. She is a founder and currently on the board of the Maine Resilience Building Network.



Geneliz Herrera is from Lynn, MA and is currently a senior at Lynn English High School. She has been with The Food Project since the summer of 2017. In the summer of 2019, she was the Community Engagement Peer Leader where she worked with the mobile markets around Lynn. She has worked with farmers’ markets since she was a child with her grandparents. She hopes to continue engaging with the community this spring as a Lynn Gardens Intern.


Dawn Kirlin is the founder and manager for the Francestown Community Market which is heading into its 4th season. Dawn owns Kingsbury Hill Farm where they make hay, grow cut flowers, herbs and gourmet mushrooms. Her professional background is in equestrian/veterinary multi-platform media sales and marketing.

Muhidin Libah (he/him) is a farmer and the Executive Director of the Somali Bantu Community Association of Maine (SBCA), which runs Liberation Farms. He attends the Yarmouth Farmers Market and Alan Day Community Market in Norway, Maine selling diversified vegetables, handwoven baskets, and African flint corned milled by Maine Grains.

Lori Mahar, is the Volunteer Market Manager and Chair of the Barnstead Farmers Market. Lori started the farmers market in 2016. The market offers a family friendly atmosphere, local music, community events including Kid’s Business Day and Articulture Festival. Our success is based on the relationships and engagement of all our area communities working together for a common cause. “Better Together” is our motto.  Picture: Governor’s visit to the Farmers Market: Lori Mahar, Governor Chris Sununu, Agricultural Development Director Gail McWilliam Jellie and Agricultural Commissioner Shawn Jasper

Sherry Maher is a founding member of Post Oil Solutions, a grass-roots sustainability group in the Brattleboro area, and the sponsoring organization for the Brattleboro Winter Farmers’ Market.  She has managed the winter market in Brattleboro since its inception in 2006, and organized and managed the Townshend Farmers’ Market from 2008-2013.  She served on the VTFMA Board from 2009 to 2015, and has worked closely with NOFA-VT over the past 3 years on the Farmers Market Metrics Project funded through an FMPP grant obtained by NOFA-VT.  She lives in Athens Vermont with her husband Tim and their cat Guapo, enjoys gardening, yoga, and visiting farmers markets wherever she travels.

Steve Marcelin was the Roslindale Village Main Streets (RVMS) Farmers Market Assistant for three years and took on the role of Market Manager in 2019. Some of Steve’s fondest memories from his homeland were from the local farmers market on Saturday morning. It was an incredible place that brought joy, discovery, scenery, cool gifts, and a place for people to meet each other. Those feelings have been revived through Steve’s work with RVMS, where the farmers market is once more a magical place that brings him back to those memories and Port-au-Prince.


Amy Meyers is the Member Service Manager for Mass Farmer Market (MFM).  She serves as the primary point of contact for farmers market managers from across Massachusetts. She is focused on supporting market managers with the resources and information necessary to help make their markets thrive. Amy came to MFM in 2019 following a 20-year career in the MA biotech industry. When COVID-19 hit in 2020, her background as a scientist and experience with health and safety caused a quick evolution of her role. She became the go-to person at MFM to help market managers navigate all of the new rules and requirements related to operating during a pandemic and was part of the team that ensured markets had access to the supplies needed to operate safely. She brings to her work enthusiasm, a passion for food, and a desire to support local farmers markets throughout the state.


Morgan Morani has worked at Seacoast Eat Local in varying capacities for the past 4 years and in 2020 took on a new role as the Program Coordinator. A few of her roles include coordinating a SNAP program in the Seacoast region of New Hampshire and Maine and being the market manager for the winter farmers’ markets located in Rollinsford and Exeter, NH.




Edith Murnane is the Executive Director of Mass Farmers Markets where she leads a team of 10 using her deep expertise in developing food systems that support farmers, food businesses and all enterprises along the food chain while creating food access for Massachusetts residents. Previously as part of Mayor Menino’s administration, Edith established the Office of Food Initiatives, launching the Micro Urban Farming Initiative, the Urban Agriculture Re-zoning work, the Restaurant Roadmap, the Food Truck Initiative, and the Food System Resiliency Initiative.

Maria Natera joined the team of Groundwork Lawrence as a LISC AmeriCorps member in September 2010 and became the Healthy Living Programs Manager in 2012. She manages the development and implementation of a series of healthy living workshops (cooking and nutrition classes for kids and Adults, and Gardening classes), is working to strengthen Groundwork Farmers Market and the growing community gardener network, and expanding the city’s tree canopy through GreenStreets and other tree plantings. Originally from the Dominican Republic, Maria moved to New York in 1993 and six years later to Lawrence, where she received her Associate’s degree in Psychology and Social Work from Northern Essex Community College and then completed a B.S. in Psychology at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. Maria is a passionate and committed member of the Lawrence community and loves to work with children “because they are the future.” When she is not at the Groundwork office, she is a volunteer at Lawrence CommunityWorks and serves on the Board.

Martha Page is the Executive Director of Hartford Food System, a 42-year old nonprofit organization devoted to food security programs, including community development, urban agriculture, policy, and advocacy.  Before coming to this role in January 2010, Martha was the Environmental Health Director for the City of Hartford Department of Health and Human Services.  Prior to completing a Masters Degree in Public Health in 2009, Martha spent more than 25 years in the health insurance industry in a number of executive positions.   In addition to her MPH and MBA, she is certified in Public Health.

Brittany Peats is the Program Manager at the Massachusetts Food System Collaborative, where she works to network local food policy councils, advocate for food waste reduction legislation, and co-wrote the Creating a Culture of Inclusion at Mass Farmers Markets Toolkit. She has a master’s degree in Food Policy and Applied Nutrition from the Friedman School at Tufts University and previously worked for Project Bread, the Office of Food Initiatives at the City of Boston, and Food Link.

Habiba Salat (she/her) is a farmer and sits on the SBCA Board of Directors. She attends the Yarmouth Farmers Market and Alan Day Community Market in Norway, Maine selling diversified vegetables, handwoven baskets, and African flint corned milled by Maine Grains.

Shana Smith is a long-time Hartford, CT resident and is passionate about the health and welfare of Hartford community members.  She exercises that passion by serving for 5 years and counting as the Market Manager for the North End Farmers Market, which was established with strong community design input in 2008.  Shana also is the coordinator for the year-round Hartford Mobile Market, which brings high quality fruits and vegetables to under-served Hartford neighborhoods.

Anika Dinna Whitmore serves as the Operations Specialist at The Food Project for the North Shore region. She recently returned to the North Shore after attending Spelman College in Atlanta, GA where she studied Economics. While attending Spelman College, Anika worked as a student archival assistant and developed a passion for historical preservation and archival studies. She has had the opportunities of working in the archives at Spelman College, the Brown vs. Board of Education National Historic Site, and Heritage Werks. Anika is an alumna of The Food Project’s Seed Crew and Root Crew and worked with the organization in those capacities from 2008 to 2012. In her free time, you can find her hanging out with friends and family, catching up on the latest documentary series, and everything in between.

Devon Whitney-Deal, Local Hero Program Manager
Devon works directly with farmers, restaurants, nurseries, farmers’ markets, and local retail establishments that sell local agricultural products by helping them build their businesses and marketing capacity. Prior to joining CISA, Devon worked for Staples as a customer service development manager and Staples Business Expo project manager. Devon received a bachelor’s degree in management from Suffolk University.