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.
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.
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.
Food Access Manager
Joe is a GVSU graduate, joining MIFMA after 10 years of managing farmers markets in Michigan. He has a passion for working with people to help everyone increase their access to freshly grown produce, and to help farmers and food creators showcase their products. He is excited to bring his hands on experience at markets to help support markets and programs across the state. Joe also has a passion for genealogy, traveling, and movies. He lives outside of Grand Rapids with his wife Jenn and their dog Tucker.
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.
Communications & Membership Manager
After graduating from the State University of New York College at Cortland, Diane taught middle school Social Studies for a number of years in upstate New York, designed custom eLearning courses, and spent five years organizing an environmentally-focused volunteer program for a small nonprofit in the bayou communities of southern Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana. Since returning to her home state of Michigan in 2013, Diane has worked in communications for Legacy Land Conservancy and Michigan Audubon. She currently lives in Lansing and enjoys hiking, birding, photography, and messing up the kitchen with her wife Carolyn.
Professional Development Manager
Josh graduated in 2018 from Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and Sustainability, focusing on sustainable environments and economic systems in Michigan communities. Originally from St. Clair County, Josh now spends his time at MIFMA focusing on economic contribution metrics, market manager education, and a variety of other efforts that strengthen farmers markets. Josh lives in Lansing and enjoys reading, photography, and travel.
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 and 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.