Pictured left to right: Kathy Zeman, Kim Guenther, Maeve Mallozzi-Kelly, Sina Pleggenkuhle
Minnesota Farmers' Markets Association Makes History with Record-Breaking 362 Markets and Unveils Dynamic Leadership Changes
Minnesota, Feb 17th, 2023— Exciting growth happening at Minnesota Farmers’ Market Association as it approaches a new high of 362 Minnesota farmers’ markets. Entering 2023, MFMA announces Sina Pleggenkuhle as new Communications Director, Kim Guenther transitions to Board of Directors, and Maeve Mallozzi-Kelly ends her two year VISTA position.
MFMA has announced the addition of Sina Pleggenkuhle as the new Communications Director. In this new capacity, Pleggenkuhle will be responsible for maintaining periodic contact with Minnesota farmers’ markets and their managers, general public relations and media outreach, coordinating special events, as well as keeping a ‘pulse’ on the challenges and successes with which each market is dealing. Additionally, Pleggenkuhle will be involved with various special projects throughout the year such as National Farmers’ Market Week and public policy collaboration.
Prior to joining MFMA, Sina Pleggenkuhle held the position of Director of Programs and Partnerships at Central Minnesota Growers Association and served as a Market Manager for the MPLS and Nicollet Mall Farmers Market from May 2020 until January 2023. During this time, she oversaw the largest food access and rescue program for farmers' markets in the state. In the face of the pandemic and civil unrest in Minneapolis, Pleggenkuhle played an instrumental role in keeping the MPLS Farmers Market open as an essential business, ensuring that local residents in a food desert had access to healthy and nutritious food. She also provided a safe space for over 100 local farmers to sell their produce during the peak growing season in Minnesota. Pleggenkuhle's dedication to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion is evident in all her work, including her previous role at the Rae Mackenzie Group where she organized the POC Career Fair to assist top employers in Minnesota in diversifying their workforce. As a first-generation Cambodian American, Pleggenkuhle is committed to working towards a better future for all BIPOC communities.
According to Kathy Zeman, Executive Director, Minnesota Farmers’ Market Association, the board of directors is very pleased to be adding an individual with the skill and experience needed to successfully enhance our operations and meet our goals. “We fully expect Sina Pleggenkuhle will be an asset that allows us to provide services to our local farmers, food makers, local food sheds & food hub and strengthen partnerships to help support long standing challenges that our small agricultural communities are facing.”
“While Pleggenkuhle will be reaching out to our partners and colleagues soon, she can be contacted before then at 612-695-6587 or firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Former MFMA Communications Director Kim Guenther will be transitioning to the MFMA Board of Directors representing the southwest region of Minnesota. Guenther has accepted a full time position as an Extension Educator for Leadership and Civic Engagement with the University of Minnesota and will continue her work as a coordinator for the Marshall Farmers’ Market and advocate for local food systems. “It was a hard decision to leave my position at MFMA because these are great people doing great work,” said Guenther. “But I’m excited to be passing the baton to Sina, and I’m thrilled to be joining the MFMA Board of Directors.”
“We owe much gratitude to Kim Guenther for being a vital advocate with MFMA since 2019 as our Communications Director. Her energy and skill in working with local producers and market managers across the state has created more vibrant equitable farmers’ markets across the state. We are honored to keep her in the family as she transitions to a seat on our board.” said Zeman.
Meave Mallozzi-Kelly ends two year VISTA Position. Mallozzi-Kelly has accepted a role with Greener Pastures as their Local Food and Farms Outreach Specialist.
“Maeve Mallozzi-Kelly served the last two years as the Farmers’ Market Economic Opportunity VISTA at SMIF working with the Minnesota Farmers’ Market Association. She worked on the FM360 survey to capture data from farmers’ markets and the local food economy while supporting Diversity Equity and Inclusion efforts, aiding the Minnesota Department of Agriculture conduct the Cooperative Partnership survey, collecting agriculture statistics in the state that are under-represented in order to help create better programming to support more sustainable, inclusive, and financially sound local food economies. We are thankful to Maeve for her willingness to be meticulous while taking ownership of projects to reach our goal of shining a light to all of the 362 farmers markets in the state. Congratulations on your new role with Greener Pastures” said Kathy Zeman, Executive Director of MFMA.
Meave Mallozzi-Kelly can be contacted at Meavekelly6@gmail.com, 574-310-5553