Outreach Coordinator Stacey Budd is a recent transplant to the State College area. A Midwestern girl at heart, she was born in Minnesota, studied at Grinnell College in Iowa and lived most of her formative years in Madison, Wisconsin. While there, she pursued a career in conference management/event planning with an international professional membership association. Her local food frenzy started in Madison, spending Saturdays attending the largest producer-only farmers’ market in the US and becoming an owner-member of the Willy Street Co-op. After 13 years, she was lured East by an opportunity to build an 11-acre homestead with friends in Western Maryland. It was here she explored growing her own food and sourcing her meals from her own backyard.
Before landing in Central Pennsylvania, Stacey spent a year traveling the world seeking to find connection and commonality with diverse cultures. Food was often at the center of her many authentic experiences in foreign lands. Food is a great way to bring people together, and she sees the co-op as a way to build community and strengthen our resilience by consuming more fresh, local foods. Immediately upon her move, she began volunteering for the co-op. Stacey was able to utilize her planning experience to help coordinate the logistics for the membership kick-off, design our first pie contest and organize our inaugural membership meeting. When Stacey is not out promoting Friends & Farmers, you can find her crafting some DIY repurposing project or digging up her lawn making more garden beds for edibles to grow.
USDA Local Food Promotion Grant:
Friends & Farmers recieved a $92,000 grant that will help expand our retail Online Market, and will also create a wholesale Online Market. Two new jobs have been created for the duration of this 2 year grant.
Grant Administrator Jenn Landry is a project manager by day and grant administrator for Friends & Farmers Coop by night. Jenn grew up in Texas and after receiving her BS in Horticulture from Texas Tech University she left the Lone Star State to pursue her MS in Horticulture at Penn State University.
Jenn has professional experience with producing and selling various horticultural crops, grant administration, project management, season extension, and organic certification. Her personal interests vary from backyard bees and chickens, growing and cooking fruits and veggies, sewing and embroidery, printmaking, bicycling, and the occasional wood working project. She can typically be found tending her many garden projects at her home in State College or wandering Rothrock with her husband and their furry friend, Duca. Jenn is excited to be an active member of the coop and looks forward to helping the coop reach its goals.
Marketing Manager Diana Griffith grew up in State College and returned to central Pennsylvania in 2014 after 20 years in Georgia and Florida. She is thankful to be back home and living in Rebersburg, where she has a view of the surrounding farmland and shops for food from her Amish neighbors.
A writer, editor, photographer and community relations specialist, Diana has dedicated her career to writing about health, the arts, and most recently, food. While in Florida, she served as a copywriter for a dietary supplement company, where she saw an opportunity to promote wellness by helping consumers recognize the benefits of food that is grown naturally and organically. She wrote blogs to promote a plant-based diet.
Diana participates in the Centre County Farm Tour each year to meet farmers and learn about their methods. She planted a summer garden that produced a bounty of green beans, lima beans, red potatoes, broccoli, kohlrabi, red peppers beets, tomatoes and more. Eating foods she raised herself, or grown by her neighbors, has helped her to prioritize the foods she eats.
“Watching our food grow has transformed us,” she says. “Now more than ever, we appreciate the blessings of rain, the change in seasons, our plants as a source of food for visiting birds, the beauty of a garden bounty that represents the best eating we’ve ever had. I want to share that experience and knowledge with others who, like me, may be discovering what is possible by eating locally grown foods.
“When people shop the Cooperative, the farmers markets and the country farmstands, they get to know what local farmers are producing. In turn, the farmers get to know you and what you like to eat. We are building a mutually beneficial relationship with each other.”
Diana also serves part-time as Community Communications Coordinator of Ferguson Township, where she performs similar duties: managing its website, social media and publications.