In this issue:

Local Foods Open Space Community Discussion

Produce Safety Spotlight

Creating Food Processing Businesses in Arkansas

Meat Processing Regulations

Clinton School Speaker Series

Other COVID-19 Resources
Local Foods Open Space Community Discussion

Join us for a bi-weekly open space discussion with the local foods community. We invite farms, food stands, farmers markets, CSA's, small grocers, cottage food businesses, farm-to-school programs, restaurants, pop-up food shops, and other food businesses to attend. Registration is free!
Farmers Market Response During COVID-19
May 11 | 2:30-4:30

Dr. Ron Rainey, Extension Economist & Center Director, will share results from a survey conducted by Extension and the Arkansas Farmers Market Association on how farmers markets and their managers are responding to COVID-19.

Teresa Maurer, Fayetteville Farmers Market Co-manager and Vendor Coordinator, will share her experiences managing the market during the COVID-19 pandemic, including success, challenges and how they have adapted to social distancing requirements. A Q&A discussion will follow.
Produce Safety Spotlight

Harvest season is right around the corner. For a lot of farms that means bringing in a larger labor force. In light of COVID-19, we've been asked what farm workers are required to do. While there aren't any federal regulations or requirements from the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) in place because of COVID-19, farms are encouraged to implement social distancing and other practices to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. While there is little concern of COVID-19 being spread by food, we should all do our due diligence in our attempts to limit the spread. Cloth face coverings and a 6 foot distance are recommended when interacting with others. Be sure to check out the COVID-19 Guidance for Migrant Farm Workers and their Employers provided by ADH. Don't forget that farms need to still implement worker health and hygiene practices required by the FSMA Produce Safety Rule .
Are you interested in starting your own food business? Join Dr. Amanda Philyaw Perez, Dr. Renee Threlfall, Angela Gardner and Julia Fryer to learn more about processing value-added foods, markets for selling your product, business planning and a unique opportunity to launch your company at the Share Grounds. After attending this webinar, you will be eligible to apply for our new program where you will receive one-on-one business start-up assistance! Unable to attend the webinar but interested in the program? Contact Julia Fryer at or 501-671-2181 for more information.
Meat Processing Laws in the United States

We get a lot of questions about meat processing regulations. Elizabeth R. Rumley and James Wilkerson at the National Agricultural Law Center created a resource to provide contact information to offices both with the United States Department of Agriculture, specifically the Food Safety and Inspection Service (“USDA-FSIS”) and with appropriate state authorities on a state-by-state basis. Additionally, it provides the relevant statutes in those states that have a state meat inspection program in place.

In Arkansas, meat processing facilities are subject to Federal inspection. For more information, contact Liz Simmons at the USDA FSIS office in Springdale.
Clinton School Speaker Series

The Clinton School Speaker Series welcomes a diverse array of programs ranging from senators, congressman, cabinet officials, and ambassadors to renowned academics, corporate CEOs, philanthropists, authors, and journalists. Anthony Flaccavento , Lucie Amundsen , Barry Estabrook , Marion Nestle and Danielle Nierenberg are each featured speakers on the topic of sustainable food systems. Watch these programs at the link below, or click the speakers name above to go directly to their session.
Other COVID-19 Resources
UAEX Agriculture and COVID-19

COVID-19 isn't selective about where it makes its impacts. Learn how the pandemic is affecting agriculture, businesses, local governments and consumers and what actions may be needed to protect yourself, your family and your employees. 
AR Department of Agriculture COVID-19 Resources

The ADA has responded to COVID-19 and Gov. Hutchinson's Executive order with a list of resources for agriculture, farm-to-school, forestry, farm managers and more. Visit their page for more information.
Food Systems Leadership Network

The Wallace Center's Food Systems Leadership Team provides resources for and reflections on these unprecedented times and upcoming opportunities available to you from the FSLN. Join their listserv here and checkout their resources below.
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