Interim Executive Director
Amanda’s work with MIFMA has focused on improving food access for all Michigan residents by helping farmers markets participate in food assistance programs. Since MIFMA began in 2006, the number of farmers markets accepting SNAP benefits in Michigan has increased from 3 to over 125 in 2013. Amanda now also plans and facilitates MIFMA programs and events including the Market Manager Certificate Program, annual Michigan Farmers Market Conference, and Farmers Market at the Capitol events. Amanda earned a Bachelors of Science in Horticulture from Michigan State University in 2009 and lives with her husband in Marshall, Michigan.
Design and Branding Specialist
Emily graduated from MSU in 2006 with a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural and Natural Resources Communications and has been working in local food systems ever since. Growing up on a family farm in Kalamazoo raising sheep and cattle, her passions are for her family, agriculture, and writing. In addition to her work with MIFMA, Emily works on her family’s farm and manages the Texas Township Farmers’ Market. She lives in Kalamazoo with her husband, Chad, and three children.
Emily is a longtime Lansing community member who is passionate about equitable access to fresh, local food, and she is very excited to bring her organizational and clerical skills to the MIFMA team. She lives on Lansing’s Eastside and enjoys going on walks (especially to nearby farmers markets!) with her dogs Benji and Marceline. When not in the office, Emily can often be found cooking with friends, writing for blogs and online magazines, and performing stand-up comedy at various venues in the Midwest.
Special Projects Associate
Michelle graduated from MSU in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and Sustainability. During her undergraduate studies, Michelle was given the opportunity to get involved with local food and farming systems. Since receiving her degree Michelle enjoys living in Lansing while spending time with friends, family, and her small dog.
Special Projects Assistant
Nicole made her way from the Chicago suburbs to Michigan State University in 2013 and graduated in the summer of 2017 with her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and Sustainability, with an additional major in Music and a minor in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems. She has fallen in love with Michigan’s diverse food systems and is excited to apply her experience as an editorial assistant and assistant market manager to her new position with MIFMA. In her free time, Nicole enjoys running, horseback riding, and cooking.
Hoophouses for Health Program Manager
As the Hoophouses for Health Program Manager, Rebekah’s work focuses on increasing access to Good Food for vulnerable families through increasing the season extension capacity of Michigan farmers and expanding Good Food infrastructure in Michigan. Rebekah earned a Bachelors of Science in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Resources and a Masters of Science in Horticulture from Michigan State University. In addition to her work with MIFMA, she and her husband also own and operate Faivor Fresh Produce in St. Johns, Michigan. She enjoys spending time with her two children and husband growing and harvesting vegetables from their hoophouse.
Food Access Program Manager
As the Food Access Program Manager for MIFMA, Sydney is working to expand and support farmers markets in Michigan accepting SNAP benefits, Double Up Food Bucks, and other food assistance programs. Sydney graduated from Michigan State University in the spring of 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Policy and a specialization in Agribusiness Management. She is from Gaines, MI, where she first developed her passion for agriculture policy. Sydney’s hobbies include gardening, baking, and camping.
Josh is a current senior at Michigan State University majoring in Environmental Studies and Sustainability and planning to earn a Masters in Public Administration to focus on sustainable community development within the State of Michigan. Originally from St. Clair County, he’s joining MIFMA as an intern during the Spring 2018 semester to expand on his existing nonprofit background and to explore the economic impacts of community markets. Josh enjoys spontaneous road trips, reading, being an active citizen and spending time with animals.
Lee Ann Viera
Hoophouses for Health Student Assistant
The Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA) and MSU Center for Regional Food Systems (CRFS) are pleased to welcome Lee Ann Viera to the team as a student assistant for the 2015-2016 academic year. Lee Ann will be assisting MIFMA and CRFS on their joint project, Digging In and Taking Root, funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The project includes MIFMA’s Hoophouses for Health and CRFS’ Michigan Farm to School programs. Lee Ann will be performing a variety of administrative duties to assist with implementation of these programs.
Food Access Assistant
Rebecca Peña was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley, she is currently a junior at Michigan State University. Her passion is working with children and is currently pursuing a degree in Early Childhood Education with a minor in Communication Science and Disorders. She plans to pursue her Master’s Degree as well in CSD. Some of her hobbies include hanging out with friends, fishing, photography, and volunteering.
Student Administrative Assistant
Yadira Corona was born in Chicago, Illinois but raised in Coldwater, Michigan. Currently, she is a junior at Michigan State University. She has a passion to work with children and help them. She is majoring in Social Work, which will give her the opportunity to make her passion come true and work with children. Her hobbies include hanging out with friends, volunteering, and taking naps.