KCD, other agencies and community-based organizations from across our county, region, and state are working in coordination to quickly adapt resources so that farmers are supported in this unprecedented time. This landscape is evolving rapidly, so please check back on our blog and at the resources below regularly for the best information.
Recently, I have had few folks ask me what we can do to support local farmers and agriculture since farmers markets in the City of Seattle have been shut down.
Washington State Farmers Market Association had multiple webinars last week on how current policies are affecting Farmers Markets and local producers. Those recordings can be found online on their COVID-19 Resource Page.
For other farmers markets around King County and the rest of the state, you will need to reach out to those organizations or follow their social media.
Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) has multiple resources for farmers, ranchers and consumers.
American Farmland Trust launched The Farmer Relief Fund to help farmers. Eligible farmers have access to cash grants of up to $1,000 each to help them weather the current storm of market disruptions caused by the COVID-19 crisis. Initial focus is on farms that sell at farmers markets or to restaurants, caterers, schools, stores, or makers who use farm products, but could change over time as the negative impacts of the crisis become more widespread. Initially, eligible applicants include small and mid-size direct-market producers (annual gross revenue of between $10,000 and $1 million) from sales at the above mentioned outlets.
Cornell Small Farms Online Courses are now free between now and 9am PT on March 27. Go to www.smallfarmcourses.com and choose up to two courses in which you would like to enroll. Select a course, proceed to checkout enter COVID19 in the “Add Coupon” field. They ask that you limit your use of this coupon to two courses. The recorded lectures and other content is there for your self-directed study. Complete the course(s) before April 30 as you will lose access to the course materials.
And lastly, Food Insight Group (FIG) is collecting video footage to document how all kinds of districts are procuring, preparing, and distributing food to kids, and they need your help to see what’s working, where the gaps remain, and how they can better prepare to keep our communities nourished now and in the future. If you work in or volunteer with school foodservice, or if you or your family member(s) are currently receiving school meals, FIG needs your help. Visit FIG’s COVID-19 information page. Schools are likely to remain closed for the next few weeks and beyond. Help FIG document what’s happening across the country.