Our Staff and Board

We make healthy, locally grown food accessible to under-served Oregonians.

AR Kittleson Springer (they/she)
Administrative Coordinator

Coming straight from 6 seasons of veggie farming with Lil Starts Farm, AR is no stranger to Farmers Market Fund. Before farming, they were a market manager with Portland Farmers Market and served on the board of the Oregon Farmers Market Association, as the advocacy chair and President. AR has been a vendor at markets since 2010, originally owning a small sorbet company in Detroit, MI that sourced fruit from community orchards and gardens. Owning a business quickly led AR to realize their passion and skills were best used to support folks trying to make our food systems more equitable and just- whether that was through creative small business support, advocating for policy change, or connecting food justice with other movements for equity

AR runs a small flower CSA in North Portland with their wife and can often be found taking Farmers Market Fund meetings from their yard. They love to dweeb out on queer visionary fiction and stories that imagine new futures for our communities. If you get AR talking about disaster preparedness as a form of community care, you will be chatting for hours.

Ayana Lance (she/her)
Communications & Outreach Coordinator

Ayana joins the Farmers Market Fund with five years of experience in communications. She’s passionate about building partnerships with farmers and community members to develop relevant, impactful, and engaging communications and outreach efforts.

As a Chicago native, she grew up surrounded by subway tracks, concrete, and snow. Growing up, she experienced barriers to fresh, locally grown produce. It wasn’t until her early 20s that she experienced the joys of local seasonal produce. She’s excited to work with farmers, community members, and community partners to help Oregonians overcome some of these barriers. New to Oregon, the coastal winds and the moderate climate have turned Ayana into a new-found lover of all things outdoors. Depending on the weather, you can find her looking for whales on the rainy coast, basking in the sun, or lounging in a hot spring.

Heather Morrill (she/they)
Pilot Program Coordinator

Heather joins Farmers Market Fund to expand the Double Up Food Bucks program to farm stands as well as explore implementing a new system at farmers markets that would replace the physical “Food Bucks” with digital currency. They bring with them six seasons of farmers market management experience and a passion for coalition building and increasing access to local food. Heather also works for Montavilla Farmers Market as Community Engagement Manager.

Heather has spent much of her career collaborating with community members to develop partnerships and programs to meet community needs. They did not grow up shopping at farmers markets, but came to shop regularly, eat well and contribute to building a more resilient local food system because of SNAP match programming. Always connecting people, paying attention to threads and batting around big ideas, Heather loves to bring people together around food–both at the table and through advocacy work in support of local farmers. 

Most evenings, you can find Heather swimming (and water aerobicizing) at her local community center, trying out a new recipe or enjoying the same big batch of something for dinner all week long. When not thinking about food, she’s often dreaming of a dip in the ocean and one day farming flowers in Alaska.

Joel Caris (he/him)
Program Director

Joel Caris comes to Farmers Market Fund with over twelve years experience in local food systems work. He first discovered his love of
local food and farming while apprenticing on an organic vegetable farm on Whidbey Island in 2009, then spent the next five years growing and raising food on farms and ranches in Washington and Oregon. He joined the Tillamook-based community food systems nonprofit Food Roots in 2015 as the Development Director and helped grow the organization significantly over the next seven years. Joel is a gardener, long-time Grange member, food preserver, walker, reader, writer, enjoys camping, loves working with numbers, and appreciates how good food can bring people together. He has lived nearly all his life in the Northwest.

Mallory Watson (she/her)
Program Manager

Mallory Watson was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, and she has been living in Oregon since 2008. With a background in nutrition, administrative work, and increasing food access though urban farming, coming to FMF just made sense for her! Since moving to Portland in 2012, she has worked with with multiple garden and nutrition education organizations around town, and she loves teaching kids about growing nutritious food in the garden. Mallory was introduced to farmers markets as a SNAP shopper and SNAP match participant. She has also worked as a market vendor, and still loves to visit her neighborhood farmers market as often as possible with her small child and large dog in tow. When she’s not working on Double Up Food Bucks, she enjoys veggie gardening, bike riding, and crafting.

Rachael Ward (she/her)
Executive Director

Rachael joins Farmers Market Fund with over a decade of experience in the nonprofit sector at the intersection of nutrition, public health, and agriculture. She is passionate about tying the fields of food assistance and local food together to create equitable and inclusive environments where shoppers can connect with the people who grow their food. Rachael has a wide array of experiences with nutrition incentive programs like DUFB, ranging from hyper local to the national scale. She has been a shopper using SNAP, a farmers market manager, an administrator of Georgia’s statewide nutrition incentive programs, and most recently, a leader of technical assistance for the Nutrition Incentive Hub, supporting programs across the country. Outside of work Rachael can be found with her nose in a book, hands in the soil, or feet following paths through Oregon’s natural beauty.

Interested in working with the Farmers Market Fund? 
Check out our career page for employment opportunties! 

The Board

Reeba Daniel
Keep Growing Seeds


Hannah Ladwig
Vice President
Gorge Grown Food Network

Abby Farber
West Linn

Ian Paik
Oregon Department of Consumer & Business Services

Eliza Hallett
Oregon Health & Science University

Rich Schwartz
Alder Street Consulting

Zoe Potts

Katy Kolker
Ex Officio
Portland Farmers Market

Rebecca Briggs
Biodynamic Association

Mary Meades
Beneficial Bank

Alexandra Kihn-Stang
Portland State University

Kim Nesbitt
Integrative Nutrition & Wellness

Rachel Pompe

Abigail Warren
Unite Us

Special Acknowledgement

Rosemarie Sweet
Co-founder & Former Board President

Rosemarie co-founded Farmers Market Fund and served as Board President through 2015. She was also on the Board of Portland Farmers Market from 2006 to 2011, serving as its president for two years.

Rosemarie organized and co-chaired the Portland/Multnomah Food Policy Council from August 2001 through Dec. 2004. This Council advised the City of Portland and Multnomah County on policies promoting a healthy and sustainable regional food system. She also worked with the Healthy Eating by Design program on food access and regional food planning. Other consulting work included facilitating the development of the Zenger Farm project and working with stakeholders in Lincoln City to improve their farmers market and to connect local growers with the area’s institutional purchasers.

Prior to working on sustainable food system issues, Rosemarie Sweet was the founder and executive director of Sustainable Communities Northwest (SCNW). This non-profit corporation provided affordable housing to people of low and moderate income in the Portland area, with an emphasis on ecologically sound building and promoting sustainable lifestyle choices. Prior to that, Ms. Sweet practiced law for 17 years.