FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Kentuckians are urged to celebrate Kentucky Farmers’ Markets Week by getting out and supporting Kentucky farm families who bring fresh farm products to the public each week.
Many markets saw a boon in the last year as families sought fresh products outside stores during the pandemic and even with the economy reopened some this year, have continued to support the markets and their producers.
“2020 was a struggle for just about everyone,” state Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles said. “Despite the hardships of the pandemic and its economic effects, our farmers kept producing and bringing locally-grown produce, meat, eggs, dairy products, and more to Kentucky’s farmers’ markets. We advocated early on for farmers’ markets to be treated essential, just like grocery stores. This year, as we come out from under the COVID-19 pandemic, we celebrate the fact that our farmers and producers never gave in and never gave up. Purchasing your food from a Kentucky Proud farmers’ market not only supports your local farmers, but gives them the much needed thanks and praise for a job well done.”
This year’s Farmers’ Markets Week is August 1-7 and salutes the 173 farmers’ markets in 115 of Kentucky’s 120 counties. In those 173 markets, more than 2,900 vendors are offering products for sale.
With reported sales of nearly $13.5 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 a return to normalcy after the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Even through the COVID-19 pandemic, farmers’ markets remained a vital resource, providing fresh and nutritious food direct from Kentucky’s farms,” Commissioner Quarles said. “This crisis put a magnifying glass on the reasons we need our agriculture producers. Be sure to stop by a local farmers’ market to say thanks during farmers’ markets week.”
Next week, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and Community Farm Alliance (CFA) will have a series of events across the state to celebrate Kentucky Farmers’ Markets Week and the Kentucky Double Dollars program.
Kentucky Double Dollars allows low-income Kentuckians on federal SNAP, WIC, and senior nutrition benefits to double up their buying power at 43 participating farmers’ markets in the commonwealth. This program is a collective effort of the CFA, Bluegrass Farm to Table, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund, Passport Health Plans, and WellCare Health Plans.