Ruthann Resch credits her mom, Helen Samuelson, for leading
her to the Emporia Farmers Market. She was a faithful customer from the start. "Bringing Mom at 8:00 am on Saturday morning
became a lovely habit and really a necessity when I moved and lost my garden spot," says Ruthann. "It was then and
continues to be a joy to buy the fruits (and veggies) of our fine Vendors' labor. After all, one of my major hobbies is
eating! What is more healthy, delicious, and varied than the fresh, ever-changing array of good food from our hard-working
area people? Every week is an adventure." Ruthann considers her main role in the Emporia Farmers Market as a consumer.
Ruthann has been an elementary teacher for over 36 years and is so
recently retired that she still has her red pen. She has been Vice President of the EFM Board and is currently serving as
EFM Board President. Ruthann joined the market board in 2008.
is a life-long Emporia resident who believes in investing in her community. She serves on the Emporia Farmers Market
Board and is a key figure and organizer in various activities for the betterment of downtown Emporia, including Live in the
Lot, ESU Block Party, Great American Market and more.
the manager of Town Crier bookstore and Event Coordinator for Emporia Main Street.
Hopkins became a market customer during her college days at ESU, and the passion for local food has continued throughout
the years. Jessica enjoys making the market a family affair, shopping for delicious produce with her husband, Brandon, and
one-year old son, Owen. Jessica enjoys the wide variety of produce, baked goods and other products that can be found at the
market, but more importantly, she comes back every week for the sense of community the market brings to Emporia.
When she's not ringing the bell at the market, Jessica enjoys a good book, naps in the hammock, and finding adventure
in everyday life. Jessica helps promote the Farmers Market Class Series through the Community Connections program at FHTC,
and also serves on the Emporia Main Street Board of Directors. Jessica joined the EFM board in 2013.
Joe Foster returned home to Kansas after having lived in Portland, Oregon, a mecca
of the local food movement. Joe has spent time working on a small, urban CSA farm and for the regionally-known Portland Nursery,
which specializes in urban landscapes and edible plants. He has a Master Gardening Certificate from Oregon State University.
In 2010, Joe toured 10 states as a musician, visiting farmers markets
across the country. He relocated to Lyon County in January of 2011 and is looking forward to bringing his passion for agriculture
to the Emporia Farmers Market and local foods movement. Joe joined the board in 2011. He is a case manager at the Emporia
Mental Health Center.
Debra Blackwell is a board
member and market vendor. Debra specializes in baked goods at the market, including cinnamon rolls and sticky buns, sour dough
bread, quick breads and various treats to fit the season. Debra is also known for making homemade dog treats with all natural
ingredients. Debra joined the EFM board in 2008.
Brassart is a retired high school teacher with three grown children and four grandchildren. She has lived in Lyon
County since 1974 and in Emporia since 1983. She became an Emporia Farmers Market vendor in 2009 and a board member in 2010.
Janet is a backyard gardener who grows vegetables, small fruits and flowers. "There is hardly any grass left in my back
yard," she says. She believes in following an organic growing strategy; work WITH nature, not against it.
Janet is a member of Lyon County Master Gardeners. As well as gardening, she enjoys bird
watching, reading, and fabric crafts.
has been a vendor with EFM since 1987 and a market board member since 2008.
Colby Fuller joined EFM as a market vendor in 2012 and the market board in 2013.
Ellen Hansen grew up in a city in southern California with a father who
planted a vegetable garden in the back yard every spring. "We all loved the fresh corn he would pick only after the water
was boiling on the stove or the coals were hot in the cook-out fire; we loved picking fresh tomatoes, peas and beans off the
plants. We had a miniature orchard in the small yard with an apricot tree, a peach tree, and a fig tree. Rarely did any quantity
of fruit make it inside the house; we ate it off the tree when it was barely ripe," says Ellen. "That part of my
childhood has stayed with me; I gained a great appreciation for fresh produce and for small-scale locally-produced food."
Ellen has had a garden nearly everywhere she has lived, and has been a farmers market patron for many years. She joined the
board in 2008.
Ellen is a knitter and spinner of natural fibers,
a lover of mountains, oceans, and deserts, and more recently of prairies and rolling hills. She is also a professor of geography
at Emporia State University.
Fannie Harrell is
a long-time board member who is also active on the board of Camp Alexandar.
Bill Ihling didn't begin his horticultural career until he moved to the Emporia area in 2004, despite
living in the Garden State for 50 years. Bill became a board member in 2010. These days, he and his wife Dianne own and operate
"Buffalo Hollow Farm" near Reading, where they raise market vegetables, chickens, and graze beef. In addition to
being a grower/vendor, Bill is a musician and retired special education teacher. Bill is a life-long "treehugger",
supporter of local foods and sustainable agriculture, and is very happy to be living the good life here in Kansas.
Ben Stallings moved to Emporia in 2008 after living in Iowa, Minnesota, and Oklahoma. He was active in
community gardens in Minneapolis and worked on a community-supported farm in Fairfield, Iowa, where he got his permaculture
design certification. He and his wife Jessie operate Interdependent Web Urban Farm, where they raise crops for market
and make crafts that feature recycled materials. Ben joined the EFM board in 2012.