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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: 4/9/20
Special Directives from the State Of Kentucky
- 3/17/20: Executive Order for Public Facing Businesses: Farmers markets should adhere to the order issued by the Department of Public Health regarding public-facing businesses.
- 4/9/20: Executive Order limiting shoppers to one adult per household with the exception of dependents who are otherwise unable to be left at home unattended.
- 5/11/20: Executive Order: Healthy at Work: Minimum Requirements for all public facing businesses. See below guidance “Minimum Requirements for Kentucky’s Direct Farm Marketing Operations” for requirements specifically for farmers markets.
Kentucky Department Of Agriculture (KDA)
- 3/19/20 Commissioner Quarles Letter to Farmers Markets Regarding COVID-19
- 4/6/20 KDA issued additional directives pertaining to farmers markets. Read more HERE.
- 4/28/20 KDA Supporting Farmers’ Markets As Essential Business
KDA: Farmers’ Market
- COVID-19 Resources for Farmers Markets This page contains various resources compiled by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture for Kentucky Proud Farmers’ Market operations.
- KDA Suggestions for a Successful and Safe Start for Your Farmers Market Season in 2020
- COVID-19 Guidance Document for Kentucky Home-Based Processors
- 5/20/20 Minimum Requirements for Kentucky’s Direct Farm Marketing Operations Guidelines for implementing a “Healthy at Work” plan at your farmers market.
- 5/22/20: Temporary food vendors may operate at the Farmer’s Market under these Healthy at Work Restaurant Guidelines.
Updates to Farmers Market Nutrition Program:
- WIC FMNP Trainings: All scheduled trainings for the WIC FMNP have been cancelled. HERE’S a link to the recorded training presentation for the WIC FMNP market managers to view. View the recorded training, and complete your training checklist. Once you have completed your training, you can schedule training(s) with your farmers. For applications and checklists, please contact email@example.com.
- Senior FMNP Trainings: For two options for training your farmers, click here. Contact Tina.Garland@ky.gov. for more information.
Pre-Order and On-line Sales Options:
- On-line Sales Platforms for Farmers Markets. This chart was created in 2018 so click on the links to websites to get the most current information.
- List of Farm Direct Sales Software Platforms
- On-line Ordering options from the KCARD website.
- Setting up a simple on-line store : Brett Wolf from UK’s Center for Crop Diversification hosted this webinar on how to use Square to set up an on-line store.
- “Low-Tech Preorder” webinar: For your farmers who don’t have good access to internet, cell service and/or the capacity to use more complex technology. From the University of Kentucky Center for Crop Diversification.
- Pickup, Delivery & Shipping for Direct Marketers Kentucky Center for Ag. & Rural Development (KCARD) and UK’s Center for Crop Diversification partnered on this webinar comparing the pros and cons of farm-to-consumer distribution methods including On-Farm Pickup, Off-Farm Pickup, Home Delivery, and Shipping.
- Liability and Risk When Adding Pick-up and Order Options at Farmers Markets This webinar from Farm Commons covers issues including increased liability risk, shifting insurance needs, potential licensing obligations, and concerns under site agreements.
Safely Setting up your Farmers Market
Guidance and Handbooks:
- GUIDE FOR FARMERS MARKET OPERATIONS IN THE TIME OF COVID-19 (see above for a link to an editable copy that you can customize for your farmers market)
- CDC Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- Physical redesign of farmers markets during COVID-19 This webinar from the Farmers Market Coalition has some great examples of how markets have integrated pre-ordering and curbside pick-ups into their markets or how they have reconfigured the market to accommodate new safety regulations.
- Social Distancing at Farmers Markets: Practical Tips for Managers and Vendors: This is a Center for Crop Diversification Fact Sheet from the UK College of Ag. Cooperative Extension Service
- Public Order issued by the Department of Public Health on 3/17/2020 regarding public-facing businesses, including posting the required signs at each entrance to the market.DO NOT ENTER (English) NO ENTRE (Spanish)
- COVID-19 and Farmers Markets This webinar from the UK Center for Crop Diversification features best practices recommendations from a multi-organization team including The Food Connection, the UK Center for Crop Diversification, Community Farm Alliance, and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.
Cleaning and Disinfection:
- CDC Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfection for COVID-19
- Hands-free wash station Here’s a DIY video on how to make a simple hands-free wash station with foot pump.
- The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
- Instructions for DIY face masks.
- Bulk purchases of face masks are available through the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.
- How to Shop Safely at Our Farmers Market
- How to be a Good Farmers Market Citizen
- Quick Tips for Safely Shopping at Your Farmers Market
- DO NOT ENTER (English) NO ENTRE (Spanish)
- Free graphics to create visual aids to promote COVID-19 safety at your farmers market.
- Entry Signage:
Examples of social distancing at your farmers market:
Shop on-site, one-touch
Emergency Funding for Farmers Markets
- Click here for an overview of CARES Act Funding as it pertains to farmers markets.
- COVID-19 Funding for Ag. Producers: Q & A from the Kentucky Center for Ag. & Rural Development (KCARD)
- CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE FUND: Charitable grants will fund organizations and programs that have deep roots in Central and Appalachia Kentucky and strong experience working to provide residents with access to food, prescriptions/healthcare, and other childcare and basic needs.
- Small Business Grants from Facebook – Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries.
- Federal Resources in Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)from the Kentucky Farm Bureau
Other Resources for Farmers Markets & COVID-19
- The Farmers Market Coalition is posting regular updates to their blog.
- The Center for Crop Diversification has recorded several webinars that will help your farmers markets and farmers shift to low contact sales.
- For Kentucky-specific health info, visit Kentucky’s COVID-19 page.
- Kentucky Center for Ag. & Rural Development (KCARD) has many resources to help your market adapt your market in the light of COVID-19.
- Kentucky Department of Agriculture COVID-19 Updates This page is a collection of the actions and recommended practices that Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) are taking to contain the spread of COVID-19 (corona virus).
- “Local Farmers’ Markets Do Their Part to Flatten the Curve on Coronavirus” shares some good information about how to promote your farmers market as a vital part of your community.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a wealth of information and resources on COVID-19.
- Kentucky Chamber of Commerce COVID-19 Resources