In this issue:

Farmers Market Sales Restrictions Lifted

Last Chance to Register for Food Business Webinar

Welcome Dr. Natacha Cureau

Local Foods Open Space Community Discussion

Webinar Opportunities

The Risks - Know Them -Avoid Them
Farmers Market Guidance Update

The Arkansas Department of Health has lifted restrictions on the types of products that may be sold at Farmers Markets. Markets may operate under Directive for Large Indoor Venues or Directive for Large Outdoor Venues.

Specific requirements include:

  • Maximum of 50 customers allowed in the market at one time. Plans are required for any market that wants to increase capacity above 50 persons.
  • Lines or cues for entrance, exit, making purchases, or for other reasons must be marked or monitored for maintaining a distance of 6 feet between people.
  • Face coverings are required for all persons present, except for children under 10 years of age, who are exempt.
  • Signs are required at all entrances advising the public not to enter if they have symptoms or have been exposed to Covid-19 in the past 14 days.
  • Signs must be posted at all entrances advising the public that they may wish to refrain from entering if:
  • They are 65 years of age or older.
  • They have underlying health conditions including high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, diabetes, severe obesity, asthma, or weakened immunity
  • Hand sanitizer/Hand washing stations must be available at all entrances and exits.
Last chance to register!
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.
Welcome Dr. Natacha Cureau!

Join us in welcoming our newest team member, Natacha Cureau!

Natacha recently started a Postdoctoral Associate position focusing on produce safety. Originally from Paris, France, Dr. Cureau received her B.S. degree in Biology and her M.S. degree in Cell Molecular Biology, Microbiology related to Health and Environment from the University Pierre and Marie Curie in Paris, France. She then came to Arkansas to earn a Ph.D. in Food Science from the University of Arkansas in May 2020. She studied vineyard (grape, leaf, and soil) indigenous microorganisms and their impact on wine flavor.

We are thrilled to have Dr. Cureau join our team!
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!

SNAP Benefits Expansion
May 26 | 2:30-4:30 pm
*Please note this meeting will be on Tuesday due to Memorial Day*

Melissa Terry, Food Policy Researcher and MS AgEd Candidate in the Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food & Life Sciences at the University of Arkansas , will discuss the online expansion of SNAP benefits at both the national and state level in reaction to increased demand from COVID-19.

Jeremy Adams, Double-Up Food Books Program Manager with the Arkansas Coalition for Obesity Prevention, will share about the DUFB program and information from the local foods community around SNAP, DUFB and other food assistance programs.

Local Food Access and School Nutrition
June 8 | 2:30-4:30 pm

Sarah Lane, Farm to School & Early Childhood Education Program Coordinator with the Arkansas Department of Agriculture, will provide updates on the Arkansas COVID-19 Food Access Map, school meals, and farm to school programming for Arkansas.

Ally Mrachek, Child Nutrition Director for Fayetteville Public Schools, will discuss how they have adapted and continued to serve meals to students amid COVID-19.
Webinar Opportunities
Pickup and Order Options at Farmers Market: Create resilience, not legal vulnerability

May 21 | 3 pm

As Farmers Market operations shift due to COVID-19, new legal risks can arise. We’ll cover issues including increased liability risk, shifting insurance needs, potential licensing obligations, and concerns under site agreements.
Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Introductory Webinar


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has posted a recording of the webinar for farmers, ranchers and other producers interested in applying for direct payments through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) held Thursday, May 14.
Launching a CSA During COVID-19


Learn legal tips for launching a legally resilient community supported agriculture (CSA) program during COVID-19 that lasts into the future. We cover the 4 big areas of legal risk (aka opportunity points!), being payment, proximity, procurement, and pick-up, and also unpack COVID transmission liability and what that means for farmers and ranchers.
The Risks - Know Them - Avoid Them

Erin Bromage, Comparative Immunologist and Professor of Biology, provides insight on the risks and how to avoid them as states begin to reopen. In this post, Dr. Bromage discusses where exposure to COVID-19 is most likely to occur, how the virus is spread and how much virus exposure it takes to contract it, and risks to consider as we transition back into "normalcy". Visit her blog to read more.
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