farmers inspired is the membership and purpose of North American Farmers’ Direct Marketing Association, Inc. (NAFDMA)
NAFDMA was founded in 1986 and is a membership based non-profit trade association dedicated to advancing the farm direct marketing and agritourism industry.
We are entrepreneurial farm families who invite customers to visit our farms and experience the food and the fun we create in our effort to sustain our land and livelihood.
MISSION: Growing the prosperity of our members.
VALUES: teamwork, excellence, positive attitude, creativity, empowerment, commitment, accountability
VISION: We aspire to be the world’s leading association for farm direct marketers and agritourism operators through building relationships while providing education, business development, employee training, and farm diversification resources.
farmers inspired includes innovative, resilient, and creative farmers, extension agents, industry suppliers, researchers, farmers’ market participants, government officials and other professionals who are part of the thriving farm direct marketing and agritourism industry in North America.
farmers inspired advances agritourism, on-farm retail, pick your own, consumer-supported agriculture, direct delivery, farmers markets, and other direct farm-to-consumer channels offering food, fiber, flora, fuel, and fun.
farmers inspired facilitates events, resources, communications, and peer-to-peer exchanges that bring new relationships, opportunities, growth, and success to those who participate.
We are farmers.
We help develop fertile businesses that cultivate crops, raise livestock, grow, bake, prune, brew, produce, boil, propagate, ferment, preserve, mix, and sell products that add value for the community and advance the agrarian economy.
We believe in collective improvement, standing up for what we believe in, doing what’s right, and are willing to buck the norms of conventional wisdom.
We embrace farming as our way of life, invest in others, and ourselves, and possess a ‘get it done’ attitude.
We strive to sustain a healthy balance of tradition and innovation in educating and connecting the non-farming public with agriculture, farms, and families that are stewards of the land.
We are dedicated to the advancement of farm-based businesses that create the foundation for incredible farm visits, lasting memories, nurturing foods, and family traditions.
We celebrate farms and promote smiles.
We are newly established farms, multi-generational farms and small business entrepreneurs that might at any time include inventive new farm enterprises that support the industry.
We are progressive farmers who embrace cutting-edge activities in farm diversification where agriculture and people meet.
We are pioneers and innovators who do not settle for “good enough” – We strive for excellence!
farmers inspired is committed to supporting family farms. Direct marketing is not for all farms, but for those who choose to sell their products directly to consumers, farmers inspired is here to help.
Board of Directors
NAFDMA is governed by a board of directors. The Advisory Board members fill established seats from five different regions of North America and five representative areas of interest. Officers are elected from among the board members. The board meets monthly by conference call and at least twice, face-to-face each year. The Board of Directors sets policy and direction for the organization, delegates day-to-day operations to White Loaf Ridge Management Company, and works hand-in-hand with management throughout the year.
President, Board of Directors Chair
Midwest Seat – Term ends 2018
Tom Tweite, Tweite’s Family Farm, Byron, MN
I grew up on the farm that is now Tweite’s Family Farm near Byron, Minnesota. I never intended to make this farm that has been in my family for five generations into an Agritourism business, but here we are 27 years later with a now 40 acre fall theme park/corn maze business. My wife and business partner Colleen and I were introduced to NAFDMA in 1990 in Toledo Ohio. It was great to find others with similar interests in providing wholesome family fun on the farm. Over the years, NAFDMA has provided us with encouragement, cutting edge information and some of the best networking ever. I look forward to my time on board to help keep NAFDMA exciting and to keep the organization the leader in an ever changing business environment.
Vice President of Membership, Membership Team Chair
Grower Seat, Term ends 2019
Jeff Probst, Blooms & Berries Farm Market, Loveland, OH
Jeff Probst grew up in a rural setting with a childhood focus on creativity, education and the outdoors. When he turned 14, his parents Dave and Cathy Probst moved to the family farm, fired up the 1957 Ford tractor and showed a young Jeff how to plant strawberries. Next were pumpkins and produce. Eventually, his family built a small garden center and Blooms & Berries was founded so Jeff could learn life skills, develop a solid work ethic and ultimately pay his own way through college. What followed was a realization of a passion and the recognition that being a good person?in conjunction with hard work, dedication, passion and a plan brings amazing opportunity. In 2012, Jeff married his wife Emily as added proof of his blessings. By 2013 Blooms & Berries sales experienced a 20% increase. Another year, another conference and 2014 brought about a 53% increase in Fall sales and an overall annual increase of 30% yet above 2013. Jeff expects another amazing and blessed year in 2015 as he and his wife Emily welcome the birth of their first child in March and the construction of new market barn to be opened May. Jeff says, “I have a passion for direct to consumer agriculture, innovative ideas, continuous improvement and helping others. I believe NAFDMA embodies all of the above, explaining why I respect and admire the people of NAFDMA so very much. My areas of strength are fueled by my ongoing optimism, and they generally revolve around new business development, mid-term strategic planning and some risk assessment. I feel serving on the Board of Advisors will be a great way for me to begin to pay back this organization for the huge contributions to my business and my future.”
Vice President of Education, Education Team Chair
Canada Seat, Term ends 2019
Sarah van Heeswijk, Surrey, BC
Although I wasn’t born into a farming family, I grew up surrounded by farming; living on fruit farms that were leased out to be farmed by others. My love for agriculture grew when I joined the 4H program as a teen and started raising sheep and rabbits. In 2004 I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree and started my career with the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture. For the past 10 years my work has focused on agriculture awareness and education. In 2011 I married a farmer and worked for 3 years in the family agritourism business. In 2012 I expanded my teaching abilities by completing an instructor diploma with a focus on adult education. Today my love of agriculture is stronger than ever. I have a passion for food and farming, and I am looking forward to a life and a career where I can continue to share that passion with others. Although I am no longer working in our family business, I still have a great personal interest and passion for agritourism and direct farm marketing. I believe that there is a great deal I can learn from the NAFDMA board and membership. I also strongly believe in the value of the NAFDMA organization and would be happy to contribute my time energy to further its purpose. I am currently employed as a Youth Development Specialist for the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture and serve as the ministry representative to the Fraser Valley Farm Direct
Treasurer, Finance Team Chair
Southeast Seat – Term Ends 2018
Tammy Peterson, Hubb’s Corn Maze, Clinton, NC
Tammy Peterson is owner/operator of Hubb, Inc. along with her husband John. Tammy grew up on a farm, but after college she settled into the corporate world of accounting. After some 20+ years in the corporate world, her focus changed and she decided to become self employed. Along with a swine farm and residential rental property, she and John started Hubb’s Corn Maze in 2008. A couple of years after starting the maze, Tammy and John attended their first NAFDMA conference. Tammy does not attend the conference every year, but as she says, “The NAFDMA Facebook group provides a way for you to have your own NAFDMA conference right in your office.” Prior to attending her second conference, Tammy was asked to join the NAFDMA Board. Tammy was thrilled to have been asked and eager to fill the seat. The NAFDMA membership has provided a wealth of information and friendships to Tammy that she would not have experienced anywhere else.
Secretary, Promotion Team Chair
Retailer Seat, Term ends 2020
Stephanie Quinn, Quinn Farm, Notre-Dame-de-l’Île-Perrot, QC
While I didn’t grow up on a farm, my father was an agricultural service provider and made sure we had every opportunity to learn about agriculture. I was actively involved in 4-H and went on to work for the provincial 4-H office for many years. There I discovered my passion for organizing activities and events for people which led me to complete my degree in Leisure and Recreation. While working for 4-H I met Phil Quinn, who’s family had been in the agri-tourism business since 1982 and had been longstanding members of NAFDMA. I quickly fell in love with the business where I could combine my passion for agriculture, educating people and organizing events. I have only been involved with NAFDMA for a few years, but so quickly saw how much the organization had to offer and how willing the members were to share, support and help us build our business. I hope to be able to bring my knowledge and experience from serving on other boards to NAFDMA and I fully anticipate to benefit from personal growth while being involved.
Advisory Board of Directors Seats
Entertainer Seat – Term Ends 2019
Amy Ladd, Lucky Ladd Farms, Eagleville, TN
Amy Ladd with her husband Jason own and operate Lucky Ladd Farms in the community of Eagleville, Tennessee where they are involved in agritourism and farm direct marketing. What began as a hobby has quickly evolved into Tennessee’s largest petting farm and a premier agritourism destination for thousands of families in Middle Tennessee each year. Amy’s professional experience also includes working with agritourism, farm direct marketing and value-added producers in the areas of business development and marketing during her tenure with the University of Tennessee, Center for Profitable Agriculture. Amy received a B.S. degree in Business Administration in 2002 and went on to complete her M.B.A. in 2005, both from Middle Tennessee State University. Amy shared the following sentiments when joining the NAFDMA Farmers Inspired Board, “This organization has been a key factor in the success of our business. The relationships we have made and information we have yielded through our participation over the years has been invaluable. I believe in paying it forward and would love the opportunity to not only help this organization grow but also to serve as a mentor to other startup operations.”
Service Provider Seat – Term Ends 2018
Karen Kollars, Nebraska Tourism Commission, Kearney, NE
Karen is an “agricultural / tourism service provider” in Nebraska who provides resources and information to farmers and ranchers to help them find the answers to challenges and to provide them with the latest information in marketing and other areas. She works closely with tourism entities and helps encourage more rural residents to reach out to travelers wanting to take vacations that involve immersing themselves in ranching and or farming experiences. Having grown up on a small farm, she understands the commitment, passion and hard work that go into being involved in any type of Agritourism business.
When her youngest son graduated from high school in 2004, Karen accepted the Agritourism Development Consultant position with Nebraska Tourism. This opened the doors for Karen to once again become involved with two areas close to her heart – agriculture and tourism. Karen attended her first NAFDMA Convention in 2007 with the objective of learning the current trends and ideas to better help her own state’s Agritourism businesses. “I was greatly impressed with the level of open dialogue and sharing on the bus tours and in the speaker sessions, as well as by the level of professionalism and the diversity of topics that NAFDMA provided. I am excited to take on a leadership role in NAFDMA. It is a progressive organization that continues to keep up with changes in the industry and with technology and social media.”
Southeast Seat, Term ends 2021
Rebecca McArthur, McArthur Farms
The lady in the tractor seat at McArthur Farms is Rebecca McArthur. She was born and raised in South Carolina. Rebecca is a graduate of Francis Marion University and FDTC with degrees in Biology and Nursing. The daughter of the late Lester and Clara McArthur, she is also the youngest of three children. Rebecca loves God, family, friends, the beach, and her animals. Working in agriculture and then the nursing field, she was faced with a decision … “Which career do you want to do?”… and from that point McArthur Farms became a working dream. McArthur Farms is a 400 acre working farm with a farm market, bakery, catering services, and an agritourism farm. McArthur Farms specializes in small fruit/ vegetables and berry production as well as traditional row crops including corn, cotton, and soybeans. “My first NAFDMA conference was in Pennsylvania with 2 blizzards. It was the BEST money I spent for my farm.” Rebecca has attended each conference since then. “NAFDMA has allowed me to meet and make friends who are more like family. I could never repay this organization for the value it has provided me and my farm!” Rebecca will continue to help grow, promote, challenge, and share the core values for which NAFDMA stands. “I look forward to serving our membership!”
Northeast Seat – Term Ends 2020
Amy Holmberg, Holmberg Orchards & Winery
Amy is Retail Manager and 4th generation family member at Holmberg Orchards & Winery, located in southeastern Connecticut. She plays an active role in the farm’s diversified retail operations, including Pick-Your-Own, Winery and a bustling year-round Farm Market and bakery. Amy also oversees HR and Marketing for the farm business as well. Additionally, she runs multiple large scale farm events, most notably an annual Spring Festival that attracts thousands and includes a full farmer’s market, food trucks and features farm tours and winery tastings to kick off the season.
I am honored to be considered for the NAFDMA Board of Directors. I believe organizations thrive on the participation of its members; we are best able to meet the needs of a group when it is consistently and diversely represented. I’ve pushed myself far outside my introverted comfort zone at past conferences to network with other members, and the reward has been great. I feel I am ready to step further outside that zone to help build NAFDMA into something that can grow to meet a wider audience and tackle the ever-changing consumer.
West Seat, Term ends 2021
Jay Schwinn – Schwinn Produce Farm
In 2014 Schwinn Produce Farm LLC was honored to host the NAFDMA conference at their fourth generation family farm. Jay was immediately struck with the organization and more importantly its members. From that conference forward the desire to promote Agritourism has driven Jay to get involved. Farmers Inspired has proven time and time again that Agri-entrepreneurs of any size can benefit from this amazing group of forward thinking, united through NAFDMA individuals.
Jay currently manages The Barn at Schwinn Produce Farm and in 2017 opened, with his cousin, a new Agritourism destination, Salt Creek Valley Agriventures LLC. Jay also serves as the Chair of the Kansas Agritourism Advisory Council and as a Commissioner of the Leavenworth Kansas Planning and Zoning board.
Non-Owner Seat Term ends 2021
Kim Sisco, Whitehouse Fruit Farm Inc.
White House Fruit Farm is a fourth generation farm. Kim is from the third generation and began working on the farm as a young child. Her first job was
Charlie Touchette, White Loaf Ridge Management Co., Southampton, Massachusetts
I live with my family on our fourth generation farm in Southampton, Massachusetts. I caught the NAFDMA fever when I traveled to Toledo, Ohio in 1990 with a bus full of friends from New England. In my role as Executive Director of one of the local sponsoring associations, I was an organizer of the 1996 Saratoga, New York Convention, was later named NAFDMA’s Executive Director in 1998, and have enjoyed serving in this capacity ever since. I am fortunate to live a life of balance serving NAFDMA and being grounded on the home farm. The family farm is being operated under low maintenance strategies allowing the flexibility to carry out my full-time obligations to NAFDMA. My passion is enabling dedicated farm families to lead prosperous and fulfilling lives on their farms. That’s NAFDMA at its core.
Jeff Winston – Education & Resources Manager
Having previously worked as a film/video producer in Philadelphia and as a high school English teacher in Massachusetts, Jeff now lives in Asheville, NC with his wife Alli and has been working for White Loaf Ridge Management Company since September 2013. As Operations Manager, Jeff oversees the planning and implementation of all aspects of member engagement, education and resources within the organization.
Melinda Shaw- Business Manager
After 30 years of owning her own businesses, Melinda is excited to work with such an amazing group of entrepreneurs! From her first foray into business in 1988 as a restaurant owner, she has come full circle through 5 other businesses to land at
NAFDMA as an experienced business manager. Melinda handles all aspects of finances, website updates, marketing and graphic design, to general operations. She is the mother to 5 children and lives in Florence, MA.
Veronica Frantz-Eggleston- Membership Manager
After many years of managing patients and workers as a Dental Office Manager/Assistant, she then chose to run the family’s private consulting firm – Global Environmental Options, LLC for 15 years. Being introduced to NAFDMA, their family of members and their core values, she feels she has found her calling and is able to blend her love of people and farms.
When she is not working at building and maintaining NAFDMA’s membership, she is usually traveling and spending time with her husband, son and their extended family in their Easthampton, MA home.
Nicole Touchette – Membership Coordinator
NAFDMA is a financially transparent organization. Any current member may request a copy of NAFDMA’s annual budget or current financial statements.