Board of Directors

MIFMA’s bylaws specify an eleven-member board. Four positions are to be held by farmers market representatives from around the state, two positions are to be held by Michigan farmers who sell their own products at farmers markets, and five positions are to be held by professionals with a vested interest in our mission and vision. The mission of MIFMA is to advance farmers markets to create a thriving marketplace for local food and farm products.

Alexander Steward


Alexander Steward has been involved with several Michigan Farmers Markets for many years, currently serving as the Market Manager of the Westside Farmers’ Market in Ann Arbor and the Market Assistant at the Farmington Farmers & Artisans Market. He completed the MIFMA Farmers Market Manager Certification Program in 2018 and has participated in numerous MIFMA programs and events, including presenting multiple times at the Michigan Farmers Market Conference. Alexander currently serves as Chair of the MIFMA Advocacy Committee. He is the proud graduate of Schoolcraft College and the University of Michigan - Dearborn. Additionally, Alexander has served for over a decade as a Community Events Organizer in Southeast Michigan.

Lauren Amellal

Vice President

Since 2011, Lauren Amella has apprenticed at three organic farms, an online farmers market, and purchased her own farm in Caro. Last year she began her tenure with the City of Caro. Originally hired to manage the market, she now serves as the Director of Strategic Initiatives. She looks forward to continuing her work with the city, and developing new and exciting ways to improve their economy. Lauren has 11 years of experience managing farmers markets in Michigan, and has been farming for the last eight. Prior to her work in the City of Caro, she owned and operated The Romeo Farmers Market in northern Macomb county where she fell in love with all things market related.

Amy Fisher


Amy Fisher currently serves as the Dean of Business and Professional Studies at Mid Michigan College. In her role as dean, Amy oversees the Business & Accounting programs at the college as well as the Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, and Computer Information Systems. Amy also works with international students and directs the LUCES program at Mid. Prior to her role as dean, Amy served as a Senior Business Consultant with the Mid-Michigan region of the Small Business Development Center. During her time with the SBDC Amy obtained her Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) designation as well as her Certified Small Business Consultant (CSBC) certification. Prior to joining the team at Mid Michigan College Amy worked in the Risk Management and Insurance field. Amy obtained her Bachelor of Business Administration from Saginaw Valley State University and her Masters of Science in Administration with a concentration in Leadership, from Central Michigan University. In addition to her degrees, Amy also has obtained her Graduate Certificate in College Teaching from Central Michigan University. Amy currently lives in Midland Michigan with her husband Jim and their dog Bella. Together they have four children who live throughout the beautiful state of Michigan.

Anna Almanza

Anna Almanza serves as the Director of Policy & SNAP Outreach for the Food Bank Council of Michigan (FBCM). In this role, Anna leads both FBCM’s state and federal policy agenda to address hunger and food insecurity, as well as oversees FBCM’s SNAP Outreach efforts to increase access to food assistance in Michigan. Anna also provides leadership for the Michigan Alliance to Stop Hunger (MASH), an anti-hunger advocacy coalition. Anna began her career in public health, with a passion for advancing racial and health equity, social justice, and addressing Social Determinants of Health. It was through this work that Anna developed an interest in shifting a deeper focus on food security, justice, and sovereignty.

Anna brings passion and perspective in supporting MIFMA’s efforts to work towards ensuring that all Michiganders have access to the fresh, nutritious food that is available at Michigan’s farmers markets.

Carol Moody

Carol Moody is a Recreation Coordinator and a Certified Farmers Market Manager for the City of Mt. Pleasant. Carol has worked in the recreation field for more than 25 years and has a background in event management. In 2012, Carol welcomed the opportunity to expand on her career portfolio and manage the Mt. Pleasant Farmers’ Market and participate in the Market Manager Certificate Program. Since then, Carol's dedication to collecting and sharing metric data at the market, including customer counts and market sales, has proven beneficial and quantifies that Mt. Pleasant Farmers’ Market is truly one of Mt. Pleasant’s community treasures.

Carol says, "I have a passion to see all people have access to locally grown foods that are fresh and nutritious. Farmers markets are in a unique position to offer so much more than just food. They offer an ideal gathering place for the community that promotes healthy and active lifestyles, a place for small businesses to connect with shoppers and the exchange of information through partnerships and programs to name a few."

Connie Watson

Connie Watson

Connie has a long history of working in community food systems in tribal populations to increase access to local and traditional foods, accept food assistance payments, and implement SNAP Education. Beginning in 2009, she started working with tribal growers of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians to become farmers market vendors in Chippewa, Mackinac, Alger, and Schoolcraft Counties. Connie was instrumental in starting the Bay Mills/Brimley Farmers Market in 2015 and completed the Market Manager Certificate Program in 2016. She has been an integral part of growing the market and making an impact on local and traditional food access in the Eastern Upper Peninsula. As a MIFMA board member, Connie seeks to enhance new and growing markets and increase access to affordable local and traditional produce and goods, while also bringing a tribal market perspective to the table.

Dr. Prashanti Boinapally

Dr. Prashanti Boinapally is the Director of Programs and Quality with Authority Health and has experience as a partner with MDHHS and Eastern Market in various programs related to food. In addition to her current position, she has an educational background as a medical doctor along with 20 years of public health experience in various roles across the State of Michigan.

Prashanti is a member of MIFM’s Racial Equity Committee where she has learned more about MIFMA’s work. She says, “I strongly believe public health work needs to be integrated into the clinical world for better patient outcomes. I look forward to playing a role on the MIFMA Board of Directors to help me achieve some of my goals.”

Rachel Bair

Rachel managed the Downtown Ypsilanti Farmers Market in 2008 and was active in MIFMA’s early work to expand SNAP access at markets. From 2010-2015, she was a program manager and director at Fair Food Network, again working with MIFMA and farmers markets statewide to expand the Double Up Food Bucks program from a Detroit-based pilot to the statewide program it is today.

Now in her role with Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Rachel oversees the activities of the ValleyHUB urban farm and food hub which works to get more local food on local plates in southwest Michigan. She would bring strong skills in organizational leadership, grant writing and administration, instructional design, and a broad network and knowledge in food and farming systems in Michigan to MIFMA if elected.

Rachael Pressley

Rachael volunteered for the Houghton Farmers Market for several years before cofounding a non-profi t organization, From the Ground Up Farmers Market Collective, that now manages three farmers markets in Houghton County in 2022. She has experience serving on multiple boards during this time, including with Main Street Calument and the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative.

Located in the Western Upper Peninsula, where the surrounding six counties only have a population of 80,000 people, Rachael looks forward to providing a rural perspective to the Board. Rachael says, “I am interested in connecting with other farmers market professionals. Learning from them about how I can help our regional farmers markets be more accessible and develop sustainable infrastructure based on shared models and experiences.”

Sarah Longstreth

Sarah has extensive experience as a farmer and vendor, including thirteen years of being a farmers market vendor, fifteen years of being a vegetable and livestock producer, ten years of being a certified organic producer, and ten years of being a small business owner and farm and people manager. She is a farmer mentor through Marbleseed's Farmer-to-Farmer Mentorship and works with Taste the Local Difference to get local produce into Midland school cafeterias and educate students.

Sarah says, “I value farmers markets as one of our few true public, community spaces. They offer important startup opportunities to small producers, and they can offer an inclusive environment for which consumers can build meaningful relationships with farmers and other food producers, bringing them several steps closer to the food they feed their families.” Currently, she is a vendor at the Midland Farmers Market and operates a CSA program.

Suzannah Barrie

Suzannah has 25 years worth of business experience learned through starting her own farm, becoming a vendor, and completing MIFMA’s Market Manager Certifi cate Program. She served for several years fi rst as the secretary of the Caledonia Farmers Market before spending over a decade as the president before resigning in late 2023.

Suzannah says, “As a female farmer, vendor, and market manager, the information I've received throughout the years of working with MIFMA has been indispensable in my various positions with Michigan farmers markets and I truly enjoy having such an organization with proper knowledge that has helped me to exceed in these areas.”