UACES Facebook Local foods webinar to address how farmers’ markets are faring amid COVID-19
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May 7, 2020

Local foods webinar to address how farmers’ markets are faring amid COVID-19

By Tracy Courage
U of A System Division of Agriculture 

Fast Facts

  • Extension, Farmers’ Market Association surveyed farmers’ market operators on their response to pandemic
  • Results to be discussed in May 11 webinar. Sign up at https://bit.ly/35x9ZUW
  • Farmers’ markets play crucial role in providing Arkansans with healthy food options

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LITTLE ROCK — Farmers’ markets play a key role in ensuring Arkansans have access to healthy food options. But farmers’ markets, too, have felt the strain of the pandemic. 

STILL ON THE JOB — Ron Rainey, extension economist and director of the Southern Risk Management Education Center, will discuss how farmers' markets in Arkansas have fared during the time of COVID-19 in a May 11 webinar. (Division of Agriculture photo.)

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service and the Arkansas Farmers’ Market Association recently surveyed farmers’ markets and their managers to find out how they are responding to the pandemic. 

Ron Rainey, extension economist and director of the Southern Risk Management Education Center, will share the survey results during a webinar on May 11, beginning at 2:30 p.m. 

Teresa Maurer with the Fayetteville Farmers’ Market will also share her experiences managing the market during the pandemic, including success, challenges, and how they have adapted to social distancing requirements. 

The webinar will be broadcast live via Zoom. The webinar is free, and participants can register at https://bit.ly/35x9ZUW

“Farmers’ markets continue to serve as valuable outlets for local farmers and ranchers, even during the crisis,” Rainey said. 

According to the 2017 Census of Agriculture, 4 percent of the state’s 42,625 farmers engage in direct-to-consumer markets, with annual sales estimated at $9.2 million. About 250 Arkansas farms provide local or regionally branded products directly to retail, institutions or food hubs, accounting for $22.5 million in sales.

The webinar is part of extension’s Local Foods Open Space Community Discussion, a bi-weekly discussion among owners of farms, food stands, farmers’ markets, community-supported agriculture stands, small grocers, cottage food businesses, farm-to-school programs, restaurants, food shops and others in the local foods community. 

The recording will later be made available at www.uaex.edu/localfoods

Extension also created a question-and-answer document, with answers to commonly asked questions about farmers’ markets, available at https://bit.ly/2YAV1f4

To learn about extension programs in Arkansas, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service agent or visit www.uaex.edu. Follow us on Twitter at @UAEX_edu.

 

About the Division of Agriculture

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system.

The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

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Media contact:
Tracy Courage
Director, Communications Services
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
(501) 671-2126
tcourage@uaex.edu  

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