Streaming Media

Publication Date


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1 hour


Farmers' Markets -- Oregon -- Portland, Non profit, Sustainability -- Agriculture


Interview of Dianne Stefani-Ruff by Jennifer Bennett on July 31st, 2007.

The interview index is available for download.


Dianne Stefani-Ruff had been a volunteer master food preserver with the Portland Farmers Market, when in 1999 she was hired as market manager. She held that position four years, before being promoted to the newly created position of executive director, a job she held until 2007. Her role involved coordinating vendors, acting as a liaison to the city, and managing daily operations.


Dianne Ruff, of the Portland Farmer’s Market, graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in business and worked for various agricultural and food vending companies to gain organizational knowledge and sound business practices. Ruff was the first fulltime employee of the market (in 1992) and provided operational insight as well as direction to the market. Having a strong organizational background, Ruff coordinated the implementation of an employee training guide and operational handbook to ensure high quality, consistent employee training, and improved the application and registration process for vendors at the Portland Farmers Market. Ruff speaks on the evolution of the market’s organization, staffing, siting, and compromises that the organization has made over the years to increase business and to foster the growing social movement spurred on by local farmers markets. She discusses the beneficial tactics she and the board of directors have taken to foster the economic climate of the markets, as well as the methods they have used to navigate feedback from the vendors and customers alike. Ruff ends the interview with comments on the legal climate regarding the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s interest in food-handling safety standards and what avenues the Portland Farmer’s Markets has chosen to navigate the evolving climate and ensure social as well as economic benefits to those who purchase and sell at the markets.

This interview is part of “The Sustainability History Project: Documenting Sustainable Development and Practice in the Pacific Northwest” at Portland State University.


This digital access copy is made available as streaming media for personal, educational, and non-commercial use within the parameters of “fair use” as defined under U.S. Copyright law. It cannot be reproduced, distributed, or broadcasted for commercial purposes. For more information, please contact Special Collections at Portland State University Library at: or (503) 725-9883.

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