Launched in 1996 to help farmers sell their produce directly to consumers throughout the state, the Kentucky Farm Bureau Certified Farm Market program has certified nearly 100 markets for 2020, a year during which an unforeseen pandemic has driven consumers’ interest in where their food comes from higher than ever.
“The KFB Certified Farm Market program is another fantastic way Kentucky Farm Bureau supports farmers and agriculture in our state. We are thrilled that the program has been so valuable to farm families across the Commonwealth and are excited to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the program with updates and new benefits for participating members,” said Kentucky Farm Bureau President Mark Haney.
The program is open to Kentucky Farm Bureau members who have a permanent farm market structure. To be accepted into the program, the farmer must offer quality products at fair market prices, provide a clean market and safe environment, be farm-oriented and sell a majority of items that are grown, produced or raised by the owner. The program includes farmers who offer farm-fresh products from April into December.
“The KFB Certified Farm Market program began as an initiative to help farmers market their fruits and vegetables directly to consumers across the Commonwealth. Today, the program has expanded to include farm enterprises such as greenhouses, landscape nurseries and agritourism operations,” said Cloyce Hinkle, chair of the KFB Certified Farm Marketing Advisory Committee.
Farmers enrolled in the program display a Certified Farm Market sign and logo that, according to KYFB, shows customers their market provides local, fresh and quality products while meeting high safety and facility standards.
In addition, Kentucky Farm Bureau provides program participants supplier discounts, access to a businessowner’s policy designed to help meet the unique needs of certified farm market members, networking opportunities via a private Facebook group and access to related tours, conferences and training events throughout the year.
Exclusive marketing templates, educational resources and more, along with increased exposure through Kentucky Farm Bureau’s many platforms, like its publications, website, directories and social media accounts, make the program an invaluable asset to participants.
Consumers can find a Certified Farm Market via kyfb.com/certified or the Kentucky Farm Bureau app. In addition, Kentucky welcome centers, state resort parks, local chambers of commerce/tourism centers and county Farm Bureau offices display that information.