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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. CFA FMSP 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: 5/10/21
Special Directives for Farmers Markets 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
- 5/13/21: Masks for Vaccinated Adults Lifted: The commonwealth will immediately follow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation that fully vaccinated Kentuckians no longer need to wear a mask in most places.
- 4/26/21: Masks No Longer Mandated for Outside Events of 1000 people or fewer Based on recent studies and Kentucky’s increasing number of vaccinations, the statewide mask mandate will no longer be in effect when Kentuckians are outside at events or venues with 1,000 people or fewer. Masks are still recommended (just not mandated) at outdoor events with 1,000 people or fewer, and the mask mandate is still in effect when Kentuckians are indoors or at any outdoor event with more than 1,000 people.
- 4/19/21: Healthy at Work Minimum Requirements for All Entities Update
- 1/11/21: Vaccine Rollout and Kentucky Farmers Markets as Front Line Essential Workers: According to the definition from the Department of Kentucky Public Health, those who work in agriculture are considered front line essential workers and have priority in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine in phase 1-C of the vaccine rollout. Click here for more information about how you can receive a vaccine in your area.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Kentucky Department Of Agriculture (KDA)
- 5/5/21 Suggestions for a Successful and Safe Start for Your Farmers Market Season in 2021: Commissioner Ryan Quarles and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) have developed these recommendations to assist you in planning for a successful and safe season in 2021.
- COVID-19 Resources for Farmers Markets This page contains various resources compiled by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture for Kentucky Proud Farmers’ Market operations.
- 5/20/20 Minimum Requirements for Kentucky’s Direct Farm Marketing Operations Guidelines for implementing a “Healthy at Work” plan at your farmers market.
- 4/28/20 KDA Supporting Farmers’ Markets As Essential Business
- 4/6/20 KDA issued additional directives pertaining to farmers’ markets. Read more HERE.
- 3/19/20 Commissioner Quarles Letter to Farmers Markets Regarding COVID-19
- KDA Suggestions for a Successful and Safe Start for Your Farmers Market Season in 2020
- COVID-19 Guidance Document for Kentucky Home-Based Processors
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
- 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 a foot pump.
- The CDC recommends wearing face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
- Face Mask Requirements and the Americans with Disabilities Act: This new Farmers Market Legal Toolkit factsheet from the Center for Ag & Food Systems at Vermont Law School, helps market operators create face mask policies in the context of state and local mask mandates and the Americans with Disabilities Act. And it outlines what to do—and what not to do—if someone approaches your market without a mask.
- 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