Michelle Jiunta will lead the Sisters Farmers Market, which will be held on Sunday afternoons at Fir Street Park from June 5.Katy Yoder’s photo

Seed to Table has hired Michelle Jiunta, as the new Market Manager for Sisters Farmers. With extensive experience running farmers markets in central Oregon, Jiunta is prepared and excited for this opportunity.

“I am so thrilled to be part of the Sisters Farmers Market (SFM), the Seed to Table family and the community as a whole,” she said.

Former SFM manager Caroline Hager is staying on to help Jiunta with pre-event work and will attend the first two farmers’ markets. Jiunta is thrilled to have this kind of support during the transition as she gets to grips with vendors and a newly installed vendor management software system.

Jiunta’s background is well suited to his new position. For the past 11 years, she has been the manager of the Redmond Farmers Market. During her tenure, she focused on building up vendors and customer base. She has also worked for several years with the coordination of vendors at the Madras Saturday Market.

Audrey Tehan, Executive Director of Seed to Table, the staff and the Board are delighted to have Jiunta join the team.

“Over the past 10 years, she has shown tremendous dedication to small-scale farmers, artisans and local food producers by developing and running the Redmond Farmers Market,” Tehan said. “She did whatever was necessary, including helping vendors set up stalls in the wind and rain, and selling their wares for them if they couldn’t attend. Her strong desire to build community through collaboration and partnerships will complement the great work done by former Market Director Caroline Hager and those before us.

Jiunta understands his responsibility as a community member and advocate for local agriculture and craft businesses.

“It may be a part-time job, but it will take a long time,” she said.

In addition to raising her family, she and her husband have a small hobby farm in Terrebonne.

“We have chickens and raised beds to grow vegetables,” she said.

The Jiuntas have a daughter who is in first grade at Sisters High School and a son in fifth grade at Sisters Middle School.

“It’s a bit far from Terrebonne. We originally wanted to move to Sisters, but with housing prices rising during the pandemic, we had to wait. Even though we weren’t able to buy a house in Sisters, we wanted to bring our kids to the Sisters School District because it’s so unique. My husband and I took a leap of faith and signed them up,” she said.

Jiunta’s husband is a contractor working on construction projects in Sisters. With her children in the Sisters’ schools, Jiunta already feels woven into the fabric of the Sisters.

Community building and awareness are Jiunta’s two main focus areas.

“I love working with and engaging nonprofits and community partners to build a strong market and reach as many people as possible,” she said. “With the Sisters Market, I don’t have to reinvent the wheel. I will honor past relationships and seek out new opportunities that are available to build.

Having worked with many Central Oregon vendors and musicians, Jiunta already knows many SFM vendors and musicians. With many vendor relationships established outside of SFM as well, she looks forward to inviting new vendors, musicians and customers.

“It will be fun to add them to the mix,” she said.

Jiunta started working at the Sisters Farmers Market in February.

“We are already preparing,” she said. “There have been some changes, including new software. We are preparing to implement this, then I will contact sellers in the next week to let them know what the process is to join the market for the 2022 season.

For Jiunta, taking on the position of SFM leader is one more step towards her family’s intention to become even more integrated into the community of the Sisters.

“I am a local. I have lived in Central Oregon since 2005. We love the outdoors and raising a family in Central Oregon. I am thrilled to be part of the Sisters Farmers Market, the Seed to Table family and the community as a whole,” she said.

Barring unforeseen circumstances, the Sisters Farmers Market will take place every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. from June 5 to October 2, at Fir Street Park, at the corner of Main Avenue and Fir Street in Sisters. Jiunta invites all interested participants to contact her at [email protected]

gmail.com or through the website at www.sisters