Staff Gallery 2
Debbie Cunday, Warehouse & Bagging Line Coordinator
Debbie grew up in Lemberg, Saskatchewan, and has been with Farmer Direct since 2013. Growing up on a farm, Debbie finds working for FDC rewarding, as she can truly appreciate how hard the cooperative’s growers work. “Just knowing that the farmers have control of what happens with their crops makes me proud to be part of it all.”
Debbie has learned much of what she does on the job. She continues to learn all she can through taking various courses in order to help her department to be more efficient.
Liuming Fan, Logistics Coordinator
Liuming immigrated to Canada in 2013 and began with Farmer Direct almost immediately. Although she's not a fan of Canada’s cold weather, she says, "I feel very blessed every day to be surrounded by so many wonderful people."
"I love the work I am doing. It’s not just because I enjoy healthy food; I also think that we are making a difference. People that choose to be part of the organic industry believe we can make this world a better place. If we work together and are conscious of things that affect our habitat, we can find solutions to reduce these environmental and social impacts and bring greater fairness in our world."
Katherine Gee, Retail Sales & Marketing Coordinator
Katherine has been involved with Farmer Direct for since 2011. When she had her daughter, she became much more conscious of how food choices impact not only her family’s health, but the health of the planet.
“I believe in the cooperative model, I feel it’s the best economic model to grow and sustain grassroots, mission and community based business initiatives,” says Katherine. “Working with FDC in the retail marketplace, I am thrilled to be able to communicate the social, economic, and environmental benefits of buying organic food from a farmer-owned cooperative.”
Shirley Giesen, Controller
Shirley has been in the accounting field for 40 years. Prior to joining Farmer Direct, Shirley worked for Percy H. Davis Limited in North Portal, SK, for 26 years, rising to financial manager before taking early retirement in January 2015 and moving to Regina. After a few months of not working, Shirley decided she wasn't quite ready for retirement and came to work for Farmer Direct in August 2015.
Shirley grew up farming with her family. “We had a 100-acre market garden and a large grain and cattle operation in Cochin, Saskatchewan." At Farmer Direct, she says, “I am getting back to my roots.”
Marion McBride, Agricultural Justice Project & Member Services Consultant
Marion farms with her husband, Ray, at Moosomin, where they have an organic grain farm. Certified organic since 1995, she is one of the pioneers of the organic industry.
During her years in the organic industry, Marion has served on local chapter boards, the Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA) International Board, various committees of OCIA and the OCIA Research and Education Board. Marion has been the president and chair of TCO Cert (formerly OCIA Canada) since 2013.
She is a member of the Organic Round Table and the Grains Round Table, and she is the representative for her municipality to the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan. Marion was the event coordinator for the non-profit Organic Connections from 2011 to 2015. In 2009, Marion worked as the media coordinator for the Food Miles Committee of the Saskatchewan Organic Directorate, where she helped to create the television series, Dining with the Stars.
Deb Tuchelt, Certifications & Governance Coordinator
Deb gained an appreciation for organic food growing up on fresh produce, meat, dairy and eggs that her family’s acreage produced. She went on to work for local organic grocers as well as vegetable and fruit farms across Canada, Mexico, and Belize as part of the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) volunteer exchange program.
She graduated with a Specialization in Organic Agriculture certificate from Nova Scotia Agricultural College, and started with FDC in 2013. "I am grateful that Farmer Direct Cooperative promotes organic, fairly traded foods. It’s good to be a part of a company making positive changes in our food system."
Geoffrey Ward, Samples & Quality Assurance Coordinator
Geoffrey has been with Farmer Direct since 2009. He became aware of organic agriculture by chance after meeting people involved with the industry, and soon became a believer in the importance of wholesome, organic food.
Working for a co-op makes sense to Geoffrey. “It's the best vehicle for organic farmers to market their products,” he says. He likes that the additional revenue created through sales stays within the co-op, benefitting the growers. “The opportunity to participate in an organization that is driven to change the food system and make it sustainable for future generations is a great challenge.”
Luke Zigovits, Organic Commodity Sales Manager
Luke first worked with Farmer Direct in the early days as the cooperative’s member services manager before moving to Wisconsin to work for CROPP Cooperative, maker of the Organic Valley brand. There, he developed his specialization in the organic grain and feed sector. In August 2014, he rejoined Farmer Direct as organic commodity sales manager.
Luke's personal values align with the mission of FDC. “I love working for FDC because I enjoy working with organic producers, and I feel that through the co-op, I am making a difference in changing the food system.”