Farmers Market COVID-19: Best Practices

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Across the Commonwealth, farmers markets are an essential service within many communities like grocery stores and other food retail outlets. They provide direct access to food for community members and a substantial part of the incomes of thousands of Kentucky farmers. As Commissioner Quarles has stated :

Now, more than ever, we need to empower Kentucky’s consumers to choose food produced by Kentucky’s farm families… Because farmers’ markets are retail enterprises that provide agriculturally-produced food products that consumers need, the Governor’s Order does not require you to shut down your farmers’ market.

Kentucky department of agriculture, Commissioner quarles’s letter to farmers markets regarding covid-19. March 19, 2020

GUIDE FOR FARMERS MARKET OPERATIONS IN THE TIME OF COVID-19: This comprehensive guide was created by CFA’s Farmers Market Support Program team to offer guidance to your market for keeping everyone safe and healthy within your market space. This will be regularly updating this manual so please check back to this resource page for the latest information. Also available in a word document. Last update: 6/3/20

Special Directive from the Center for Disease Control

Considerations for Outdoor Farmers Markets from the CDC: National guidelines for outdoor farmers markets.

Special Directives from the State Of Kentucky

  • 5/11/20: Executive Order: Healthy at Work: Minimum Requirements for all public-facing businesses. Also see below guidance “Minimum Requirements for Kentucky’s Direct Farm Marketing Operations” for requirements specifically for farmers markets.
  • 6/02/20: The “one person per household” rule is rescinded: The Cabinet For Health and Family Services, Department for Public Health has now lifted the “one person per household” rule. There is no longer a legal limit to how many people per household can shop at the farmers market. Other social distancing and health protection measures required by the “Healthy at Work” executive order as detailed in the “KDA guidance Minimum Requirements for Kentucky’s Direct Farm Marketing Operations” remain in place.
  • 7/9/20: Executive Order: Face Coverings. “People in Kentucky must cover their nose and mouth with a face-covering…while in outdoor spaces in which the person cannot maintain a physical distance of 6th feet from all individuals who are not members of the person’s household and is not otherwise covered by previously issued guidance.” Business owners should continue to uphold the minimum requirements set forth in the “KY Healthy at Work” order.

Kentucky Department Of Agriculture (KDA)

Pre-Order and On-line Sales Options:

Safely Setting up your Farmers Market

Guidance and Handbooks:

Cleaning and Disinfection:



Examples of social distancing at your farmers market:

Shop on-site, one-touch

Emergency Funding for Farmers Markets

Other Resources for Farmers Markets & COVID-19