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Food partners host virtual CSA fair during pandemic 

 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) will hold the first-ever Kentucky Virtual Community Supported Agriculture Fair. Consumers will be invited to participate beginning April 16, running through April 30. 

Dr. Ryan Quarles, commissioner of agriculture, said CSA businesses typically hold in-person sign-up events during the spring months. But due to the social restriction guidelines, KDA’s brand, Kentucky Proud, partnered with Bluegrass Farm to Table, the Organic Association of Kentucky and the Kentucky Horticulture Council, teamed up to offer the virtual fair. 

It’s all a part of teaming up to “support Kentucky families who have lost access to markets due to restaurant and business closures …” Quarles said. 

“One way we are doing that is to encourage Kentuckians to sign up for CSA delivery or pick-up of Kentucky produce, proteins, and more. I would like to thank all of our partners for hosting this virtual CSA sign-up fair so that Kentuckians can continue accessing fresh farm products.”

Kentucky Proud will promote the fair through digital advertising, funded by the KDA’s Development Fund. 

Quarles explains that community supported agriculture is a way for consumers to subscribe to local farms and farmers on a regular basis during seasons. 

In a release from KDA, Brooke Gentile of the Organic Association of Kentucky said, “Participating in CSA is an easy and nutritious way to ensure consumers have access to locally grown, seasonal foods. An increasing number of Kentucky farms offer certified organic produce or animal protein CSAs and consumers can find one by looking for the familiar United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic seal.

“Know your farmer, enjoy regular shares of the farm’s harvest, and have access to convenient CSA pickup locations all season long by signing up to be a CSA member.”

“Consumers will be impressed by the diversity of high quality vegetables, fruits, and other farm products our Kentucky growers can provide,” said Cindy Finneseth, executive director for the Kentucky Horticulture Council. “Purchasing a CSA share is a great way to directly engage with and support local farms.”

To participate in the virtual fair, consumers should visit www.kyproud.com/CSA.