A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

It’s Farmers’ Markets Week — support farm families by purchasing fresh produce, following guidelines

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

It’s Kentucky Farmers’ Markets Week Aug. 2-8, and Kentuckians are being urged to support the farm families who bring fresh products to the public each week.

Farmers’ Markets Week salutes the 167 farmers’ markets in 115 of Kentucky’s 120 counties. At those 167 markets, more than 2,768 vendors are offering products for sale. 

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles says farmers’ markets feature locally grown produce, meat, eggs, dairy products and more, at the peak of freshness, but that’s not the only advantage to shopping there.

“Purchasing your food from a Kentucky Proud farmers’ market not only supports your local farmers, but also keeps the money you spend in your community,” he said.

“During the coronavirus pandemic, our farmers’ markets have adapted to protect themselves and Kentucky consumers. I encourage all Kentuckians to consider visiting their local farmers’ market during Farmers’ Markets Week.”

With reported sales of nearly $13 million last year, farmers’ markets are an economic engine that celebrates the state’s agricultural roots and brings the farm to Kentucky’s consumers.  This year’s Farmers’ Markets Week takes on special meaning as the state celebrates the importance of agricultural producers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Farmers’ markets continue to follow the latest Centers for Disease Control guidelines. For many, that includes days when they only take advance orders online or by telephone for fast pick-up at their site.

Other guidelines include:

• Practice good hygiene by washing your hands frequently and thoroughly.  Each market must have handwashing stations in high traffic areas.

• Browse with your eyes, not your hands. Allow your vendor to gather your products for you, pointing from a safe distance.

• Go cashless if you can. Many vendors are integrating pre-payment or virtual payments like Venmo or PayPal to minimize cash and cards changing hands.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact all of our lives, farmers’ markets remain a vital resource, providing fresh and nutritious food direct from Kentucky’s farms,” Quarles said.

“This crisis has put a magnifying glass on the reasons we need our agriculture producers. Be sure to be respectful of CDC guidelines while visiting the market during Farmers’ Markets Week.”

To find a farmers’ market near you, visit this website.

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