Staff

Leigh Hallett

Executive Director

After graduating from the American University in Washington, D.C., Leigh completed graduate work in comparative theology, political science, and semitic languages at Boston University and at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Following a decade as an educator, she became director of a cultural nonprofit, developing expertise in fundraising, programming, and community development. As a youth she enjoyed time working at her grandparents’ farm stand , PYO orchard, and the farm’s stall at the  Boyce (Fredericton) Farmers’ Market. With this life-long predilection for farmers’ markets, she became Executive Director of MFFM in the summer of 2014.

director@mffm.org

Jimmy DeBiasi

SNAP Program Coordinator

During his college years at the University of Vermont, Jimmy pursued classes and work experiences that entrenched him in agriculture, food systems, and community development work.  Jimmy spent a year as an AmeriCorps in rural Missouri where he launched an online farmers market and spearheaded garden-based education programming at local schools and low-income communities.  Most recently, he worked as a volunteer organizer and development professional at a major social services nonprofit in Portland, Oregon.  Jimmy is excited to take root in Maine and help strengthen farmer livelihood and fresh food access for all with his role as SNAP Project Coordinator at MFFM.

snap@mffm.org

Joan Burke

Administrative Assistant

Joan is a lifelong Maine native with deep roots in the Central Maine community. Her gardening prowess is highly regarded and harvest seasons find her generously donating fresh produce and a myriad of canned goods to friends and family. After studying at University of Maine and Boston College, Joan spent 14 years as a marketing associate traveling from Presque Isle to Portland representing a New England trucking firm. Most recently Joan spent 13 years working as a customer service representative for L.L.Bean. Her duties as Administrative Assistant for MFFM will include maintaining the Maine farmers’ market database and providing logistical support for our Maine Harvest Bucks program. Joan looks forwarding to working with all of our MFFM members!

assistant@mffm.org

Emily Buswell

Outreach Assistant

Emily is a life long New Englander who grew up visiting her local farmers’ market weekly and tending her own backyard flock of chickens.  Her interest in agriculture and farm-to-table eating was evident even then, and her great enthusiasm for all things local has continued to grow ever since.  Now she visits her local farmers’ market each week with her own family.  She lives in Carmel where she and her family (and their backyard flock!) enjoy working on their homestead, with a focus on permaculture, towards their goal of food self-sufficiency. As Program Assistant, Emily works on a variety of Federation projects, including membership, Maine Farmers’ Market Snapshot Week, and social media.

outreach@mffm.org

Marie Taft

Aroostook County Farmers’ Market SNAP Access Coordinator

Marie has a longstanding interest in health and wellness and a particular enthusiasm for growing, cooking and sharing nutritious food. Throughout her career, she has worn many hats in the wellness field, including personal care provider, health consultant, massage therapist, and natural food store staff person. She appreciates the community she’s found in moving to Aroostook County and is excited to help expand access to healthy food via the Houlton Community Market this season.

In collaboration with the Southern Aroostook Soil & Water Conservation District, MFFM has hired Marie to oversee the new SNAP and Maine Harvest Bucks incentive program at the Houlton Community Market. Marie manages the market’s information booth and coordinates promotion and outreach to make sure everyone who could benefit from this new program knows about it. In 2017, Marie will provide remote support to the Madawaska Farmers’ Market’s SNAP and Maine Harvest Bucks program.

thecounty@mffm.org

Madison Morton

Brewer Farmers' Market SNAP Clerk

Madison is a second year student at UMaine. She is studying sustainable agriculture. Madison just moved to Maine in 2016. She is helping her parents build a house and start a farm in a small town called Detroit. She plans on staying in Maine long after graduation. Originally from New Hampshire, Madison has always  grown up in a farm and has always been interested in improving her local community through food.