Board Members & Meeting Minutes


Emily Newman
Board President

Emily Newman was born in the south central Pennsylvania. In 2012, she moved to State College to pursue a degree in Agricultural Sciences from Penn State University. During her time at Penn State, she was active in the local food community by helping organize the Centre County Food Summit, volunteering her time with a farm that grows food for Centre County’s food banks and working as the Sustainability Coordinator for PSU Food Services.

In January of 2016, she was hired by Pennsylvania Certified Organic in Springs Mills as a Certification Specialist and spends much of her 40 hours a week in the fields and facilities of organic producers and processors in Pennsylvania and beyond. She feels as though her work with PCO is continuing to perpetuate the good food movement.

With all of these experiences, Emily has seen first hand the hard work, dedication and passion that it takes to be a small, sustainable farmer in 2017. Friends and Farmers Cooperative is one way that the State College community can support our producers, who are also our friends and neighbors.

Emily is looking forward to working with the Friends and Farmers as a board member by hearing the thoughts of the members and distilling that information to relay to the board.



Chris Rand is a business consultant with 20 years of experience in the property management, entertainment, and technology industries. After growing up in Connecticut with parents who taught gardening and how to tend the land, he spent 13 years in California and moved back east to State College in 2002.

Chris's family have laying hens and enjoy vegetable gardening. Chris is an avid canner and bartering partner, and loves to discover new foods & share food experiences with others. The Rand family became founding members due to their desire to eat great, healthy food while supporting the local food movement and economy.

Chris aspires to help Friends & Farmers achieve remarkable progress in 2019 as we explore the viability of a Food Hub, work to improve the Online Market, and reach new audiences who want to participate in eating great food grown by people we know, while helping the Centre Region’s economy. New vendors are joining the market, and as we explore new relationships and business opportunities, we hope you share our excitement for Friends & Farmers’ potential. Please contact us if you are interested in getting more involved.

Joan Karp

In my twenties I discovered food as medicine thanks to the love and mentor-ship of my beautiful Shiatsu practitioner. Since then, my interest in food and nature as the foundation of all vibrant life continues to grow. I've lived beside the ocean in Florida, nestled near the San Juans in Colorado, and amid the splendor that is Southern Utah, but Penns Valley has been my verdant home for the past twenty years and has informed much of what I do. My neighbors here have taught me a lot about what it means to care for soil, water, crops, and animals. I credit this place with allowing me to become more of who I am. I have birthed three children here, been a mother and wife here, hiked and canoed and swum here, gardened, spun honey, and picked berries here. Because our unschooling lifestyle allows a great deal of time and space to be together, entrepreneurship is a also a component of who I am. I suppose necessity breeds invention, and I've created several successful small businesses to augment my family's bottom line through the years.

Most recently, I have launched Mount NitaNee Kombucha, which offers a variety of probiotic-rich teas (herbals and florals as well) and look forward to growing this business to encompass a broader representation of cultured and fermented foods and beverages so that I may offer these healing and nourishing foods to my neighbors. I enjoy laughter and conviviality and camaraderie. I enjoy connecting people with people and connecting people to healing opportunities. I have long loved the adage, "peace begins when the hungry are fed." I surmise that what I strive to offer through my business, and the opportunities I'll have through working with Friends and Farmers will bring me closer to nourishing more of my neighbors. That brings me an inordinate amount of joy.


Tim Flanagan

I have over 15 years of experience in finance, entrepreneurship, and socially responsible investing. As Executive Director of the Washington Area Community Investment Fund (WACIF), I brought socially responsible investment dollars into the most underserved communities in the Washington, DC area. Under my leadership, Wacif (wake-if) provided tens of millions of dollars to dozens of small businesses and nonprofits, who in turn created hundreds of jobs. When I have been asked to serve on boards, I try to bring a particular focus to financial stewardship and efficiency.

My bachelors degree is from Saint Joseph's University in Management, while my Masters in Accountancy is from The George Washington University. I live in State College with my beautiful wife Mary, precocious daughter Eleanor, and jubilant son Patrick.



Jeremy Bean 

I believe that climate change and the sustainability of our species is the challenge of our time. Food is something we all need and today's agribusiness model has proven that it is not a sustainable model. I believe local coops like Friends and Farmers are going to be the answer to a brave new future. We should be setting an example to the rest of the world here in our community.

I have many years of experience working with people in a variety of avenues. In particular my background in facilitation, strategic planning, and my current position as an associate director at the Sustainability Institute at Penn State would be great assets to the Coop.

I think the biggest challenges facing F&F is to convince the public of the ongoing issues with food and sustainability and help them change to a new model of doing and thinking. This includes both the consumer and the farmers. It will be a tough uphill battle on both ends as we try to live in an economic system that is designed to work against this approach.

I believe that good people together that are empowered to make decisions for themselves can be a very powerful thing. I like that people feel they have a say in what goes on and that makes all the difference.

I have served on the PA Recreation and Parks board as a community member. I did not chair or sit on any committees at that time.

Casey Warner has 14 years of experience in the environmental consulting industry with a focus on assessing the social and economic impacts of major capital projects throughout the United States.  Casey grew up in northeastern Connecticut and attended the University of Connecticut for her undergraduate degree. After completing her Masters in Urban and Regional Planning at Virginia Tech in 2005, she spent the next ten years living in both large cities and small towns along the east coast in Maryland, North Carolina, and Vermont.

Casey moved to State College with her family in 2015 and has been a member of the Friends & Farmers Co-op ever since!  She believes supporting local farms and buying locally creates a strong, sustainable economy with effects that ripple throughout the community.  Casey hopes to bring her expertise in community outreach, stakeholder engagement, and communications to the board and she looks forward to utilizing these skills in ongoing efforts to reengage current membership, attract new members to the Co-op, and communicate the benefits of acting, thinking and eating locally.    

Among other things, Casey is a mom, an avid yogi, and an amateur cook and baker.  She’s most at home in her kitchen where you’ll find her making some mess on the way to home cooked meal!


Amanda Marshall

Andrew, my partner, grew up on a fourth generation dairy farm. He has always had a love of farming. Together, we have always had a garden and enjoyed sharing the bounties with our families and friends. Over the years our garden has grown substantially. Andrew convinced me to get chickens, and it's been full steam ahead from there. We have added turkeys, pigs and goats to our little farm, along with the most amazing livestock guardian dog. We feel strongly that the food you eat contributes significantly to overall health and well-being.  We practice an organic, sustainable approach to farming. Recently, we decided to take the first steps in turning our passion into a way of life by participating in the Pine Grove Mills farmer's market, and have plans to expand in the very near future.



Friends & Farmers Cooperative always has a need for dedicated board members and volunteers. If you are considering joining the board, you can read more about it here.


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