SESSION DESCRIPTIONS:






Keynotes & Guest Speakers:

Qiana Mickie, 2021 Keynote Speaker

Qiana Mickie is a food systems and equity consultant based in Harlem, NY. For the past 11 years, she has worked on fostering a food based solidarity economy in the New York region that increases farm viability, healthy food access, and leadership opportunities for small- mid scale regional farmers, youth, mixed income, Black, Brown, and other communities of color. Qiana also brings an equity-driven lens to her local, state, federal, and international policy work on issues such as food sovereignty, land tenure, and health. Qiana is the former Executive Director of Just Food. During her tenure at Just Food, she advocated for equitable food/farm policy, and supported community leaders and farmers to start, sustain, and increase equity within CSAs and community-run farmers markets.

Qiana serves on the International Council of Urgenci, Coordination Committee of the Civil Society Mechanism (CSM) for the United Nations, as well as the boards of the Farmers Market Coalition, South Bronx Farmers Market, The Point CDC, and recently joined the Farmers Market Coalition Working Group in order to build an Anti Racist Toolkit for farmers markets nationally. Qiana recently wrote “Solidarity, Not Charity” for the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung Foundation and will be expanding on the topic of how U.S. food systems can shift from emergency response towards resilient models and racial equity in a chapter of an upcoming collaborative publication by the Foundation. Qiana has a B.S. in Marketing from Hampton University and received her Food Hub Management Certification from the University of Vermont. She speaks on issues of racial equity, food justice, and solidarity economy locally and internationally.

Ben Feldman, Guest Speaker
Farmers Market Coalition, Executive Director

 

Ben Feldman currently serves as the Executive Director for the national Farmers Market Coalition, where he previously worked as the Policy Director. Ben has spent his career in farmers markets. Prior to joining the Farmers Market Coalition, Ben worked at the Ecology Center where he helped found the California Alliance of Farmers’ Markets, served as vice-chair of the CDFA Farmers’ Market Advisory Committee, administered the California Market Match Program, and championed policy to connect low-income shoppers and farmers at farmers’ market. Ben also worked for the Pacific Coast Farmers Market Association where he managed the first farmers market on a Kaiser Permanente campus.

Ben also has experience on the other side of the table, having sold produce and baked goods at farm stands and farmers markets. Ben is a graduate of the UCSC Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems program and holds a Masters Degree in Environmental Science from the University of California, Riverside. Ben resides in Albany, California (Lijsan Ohlone Territory) with his partner, two kids and any number of pets.

Sarah Jensen, Guest Speaker
Washington State Farmers Market Manager + Social Media Maven

 

Sarah studied Fashion Design at the Fashion Institute for Design & Merchandising in Southern California. She immediately jumped into the design industry at Eddie Bauer followed by Tommy Bahama, Zumiez, Kische and Brooks Sports. After 10+ years in the industry, she decided it was time to move towards smaller, more localized focus, and away from all of the drama & politics that office jobs – even in fashion design – can bring. Sarah created Mockingjay Press with the dream of bringing desire back to small-town shopping. In this social media business, she helps bring awareness and insight to supporting small, local shops & businesses. Through curated connections in the community, she became the Snohomish Farmers Market Manager in 2015. As market manager, Sarah curates an engaging vendor mix working with local artisans, creators and farmers. Sarah handles the social media & graphic advertising for her (now 3) farmers markets, along with her growing client list in & around the greater Snohomish area. Sarah has been a featured speaker at the 2019 WSFMA conference as well as the 2018 Women in Business Conference.

Darlene Wolnik, Guest Speaker
Farmers Market Coalition, Training & Technical Assistance Director

Darlene Wolnik (Wahl-nik) has been a national advocate and trainer for farmers markets for more than 20 years. Her pre-market career includes human resources positions, community organizing, and small business projects before serving a decade as  Market Umbrella’s Deputy Director. While on staff at MU, she designed and ran one of the first technical assistance and resource sites for markets in the US. Since 2011, Darlene has consulted for dozens of markets, assisting with design, operations, data collection, and analysis.  She has worked with FMC since its inception and joined as staff in 2015.