Meet the NCGA Board and Staff
Board of Directors
NCGA Board of Directors meets monthly and represents the interests of the membership in guiding the work of the staff. NCGA Board members and staff facilitate member working groups to develop specific areas of our operations and markets. Member participation in working groups is vital to the success of the organization!
Contact the board directly by emailing: email@example.com
Contact the board directly by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
Melanie Cunningham, Board President
Melanie is a partner at Shakefork Community Farm: a highly diversified, oxen-powered farm using regenerative practices to produce beef, chicken, eggs, turkey, strawberries and vegetables for the Humboldt foodshed. She has been farming in Humboldt County since 2004, a member of the NCGA since 2008 and a Board member since 2018.
Facebook: Shakefork Community Farm
Lauren Ballard-Riley, Board Member
Growing up in the middle of monoculture farms and feedlots, Lauren was not interested in becoming a future farmer. That was until she met her husband Ino, who grew up farming organically in Humboldt and has been a member of the NCGA since 2001. And so together for the past 15 years, they have grown their farm and family. Raising four boys and now a baby girl not only on a farm but alongside selling produce at the many farmers markets throughout Humboldt, has truly been a great blessing. Getting to know the community through the abundance of farmers markets is akin to sharing meals with family. That is why Lauren decided to accept a board position, to continue to foster the growth and access of ALL NCGA farmers markets, so farmers can continue to provide farm fresh produce to ALL walks of our amazing community.
Jessica Lovelady | Crazy River Ranch
Jessica is an orchardist, cidermaker, sale manager, and beekeeper for Crazy River Ranch and Cider co. In her work as co-owner/ manager of the 3 Foods Cafe (closed 2014) she got a glimpse into the importance of food as culture and the heart of this community. Jessica sees our local food culture and the work towards food security as being vital to a healthy Humboldt county and is honored to be part of this organization's work toward fulfilling these needs. She believes that farmers have one of the most important roles in society and is grateful to the NCGA for its work in uplifting the farmers of Humboldt county.
Instagram/Facebook : @crazyriverranch
Portia Bramble | Executive Director
Portia oversees all NCGA markets, programs and staff. Contact Portia to talk about any NCGA business including our budget, rules, regulations and bylaws. Portia is the primary representative for NCGA on local, state and national policy issues. Portia is a Steering Committee Member of the California Alliance of Farmers' Markets and a member of the California Department of Food and Agriculture Certified Farmers' Market Advisory Committee.
Director of Operations, Arcata Plaza Farmers' Market Manager
Laura has been with NCGA since 2010. In addition to managing the Arcata Plaza farmers' market, she oversees NCGA's staff and operations. Laura is the main point of contact for our market vendors and handles vendor membership in the association. She also manages our bookkeeping and facilitates a number of member committees.
Director of Cooperative Distribution
As the director of NCGA's food hub, Harvest Hub, Megan seeks to increase the access our community has to food infrastructure like cold storage and distribution systems. This includes the coordination of the Harvest Box program (a multi farm CSA style produce box), Farm-to-Freezer project (a freezer for use by NCGA members), and oversees the operations of Harvest Hub. Megan is honored to have been awarded the Community Alliance with Family Farmers 2022 Farmers' Market Champion of the Year and a graduate of the Food Systems Leadership Cohort in 2023.
Ivy North | Agricultural Programs Director
Ivy has been with NCGA for over a decade. As the Ag Programs Director, Ivy partners with various offices, organizations and funding sources to develop localized training programs and connect critical services & funding opportunities to local small scale and socially disadvantaged farmers including the Climate Resilient Farmer Training Program. Partnering with the North Coast SBDC, Ivy provides a farm business program and farm business advising. In 2023 Ivy began partnering with HCRCD and NRCS to provide workshops, events, and outreach materials related to NRCS climate-smart agriculture programs to reach historically underserved farmers and is in the process of establishing the North Coast Land Match program. Ivy is the founder of the North Coast Agricultural Collaborative, is a voting member of the Humboldt Food Policy Council representing NCGA and is on the board for the Humboldt Permaculture Guild.
Katherine Nunes-Siciliani | Farmers' Market Coordinator
Katherine is the on-site manager at the Arcata Plaza Farmers' Market. She also manages our Old Town and Henderson Center markets in Eureka, and helps with many of the behind the scenes shenanigans of farmers' market operations! She has been with NCGA since 2018. Contact her at email@example.com
Hailee Nolte | Harvest Hub Coordinator
Hailee assists with all things Harvest Hub related. You can find her packing Harvest boxes, making deliveries or lending a helping hand at the Hub. When she is not working at NCGA she is usually slinging drinks from her refurbished horse trailer bar, the Pony Keg Mobile Bar. Or probably hanging next to a body of water with her dog, Bleu.
Arcata Plaza Peacekeeper, Henderson Center Assistant
Oscar graduated HSU 2019 with a major in Psychology and minors in Communication and Business Administration. After graduation he has been involved in our community working with local non-profits, utilizing human centered design to build social equity programs. His interests include Climbing, Dog training, and socializing with new friends and community members. His passions include transformative social justice work through Mediation and sociocratic collaboration, local Transportation reform, and up and coming agriculture development in Humboldt County. Oscar sits on two boards, Coalition for Responsible Transportation Priorities (CRTP) and Humboldt's County Behavioral Health Board.
Breauna DeMatto | Assistant Market Manager
Breauna is excited to support the work of NCGA through assisting at the Arcata Plaza Farmers' Market. After moving to Humboldt County in 2017, Breauna became able to pursue her passion for sustainable agriculture and has worked on local organic vegetable farms, community gardens, and CR's horticulture greenhouse. She is also an instructor at College of the Redwoods and Cal Poly Humboldt, where she teaches courses in horticulture and sustainable agriculture.
Friday Night Market Manager
James joined the NCGA team in 2022 and is excited to be assisting in community food sustainability. James is an avid gardener and enjoys all things outdoors! You can often find him kayaking Big Lagoon on sunny days. Originally from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, James has spent most of his adult career as a Sous chef for various restaurants and resorts along the East Coast before moving to the West Coast to explore and create in a new community. James and his partner, Charlene, also own a business they operate in Humboldt County, Fringe & Clay.
Sheryl Cummines | Garberville and Miranda Market Manager
Sheryl started her journey with NCGA in 2019. She is an avid outdoors woman; from mushroom hunting to surfing, you’ll always find her outside. She is extremely excited to be apart of NCGA and continue her work with the Garberville and Miranda Farmers' Markets.
David MacCuish | Back Up Staff Member
David previously managed all 3 farmers' markets in Eureka: Henderson Center, Old Town, and the farmers' market portion of the Friday Night Market, but has stepped back to focus on his bean to bar chocolate business, Chocolate Tàngara. He still assists with the Arcata Plaza Farmers' Market when he returns to Arcata from time to time. David enjoys being a part of the farmers' market community and is known for his flair and great sense of humor.