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KDA to support farmers’ markets as essential business with Kentucky Proud ad campaign


After holding a digital roundtable with Kentucky farmers’ markets managers, Commissioner Ryan Quarles has announced a new Kentucky Proud social media advertising campaign that will support farmers’ markets during the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s the time of year when Kentucky’s farmers’ markets are opening up around the state,” said Quarles. “After speaking with many farmers’ markets managers last week, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture is launching a new Kentucky Proud advertising campaign to make sure consumers know our markets are open and following the latest CDC guidelines.

“I want to applaud our producers and our market managers for adapting to these new realities to safely provide local food for Kentuckians.”

The advertising campaign sends two messages: farmers’ markets are open and are following current guidelines. As the promoted social media posts shows consumers, Kentucky farmers’ markets are allowing only one shopper at a time per family, encouraging customers to look but don’t touch items, and, when available, to go cashless by using cards for payment or even pre-ordering online. The campaign is funded as part of the Kentucky Proud grant provided to the Department from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund (KADF).

“It is time that we begin to reopen our economy in a responsible way,” Quarles said. “The way our farmers’ markets have adapted to this crisis represents a template of sorts for how other businesses could consider operating during the pandemic.

“I hope consumers will show up to buy local. We have to adapt quickly so that businesses and workers do not suffer long-term economic damage from what economists are calling ‘The Great Pause.’”

The advertising push dovetails with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s efforts to provide resources with local food partners to maintain a critical market for Kentucky farm families during the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier this year, the Department released “Suggestions For A Successful And Safe Start For Your Farmers’ Market Season in 2020,” and a comprehensive list of resources from the University of Kentucky, the Kentucky Department of Public Health, Community Farm Alliance (CFA), the Kentucky Horticulture Council, and the Kentucky Center for Agriculture and Rural Development (KCARD).

Kentucky has more than 160 farmers’ markets in 113 counties. To find a farmers’ market, go to kyproud.com/farmersmarkets.

From Kentucky Department of Agriculture

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