The Kentucky Department of Agriculture's (KDA) powerful Kentucky Proud brand is once again co-hosting the Kentucky Proud Virtual Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Fair from Feb. 22-28, Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles has announced. Kentucky Proud is partnering with Bluegrass Farm To Table, the Organic Association of Kentucky, the Kentucky Horticulture Council and Edible Kentucky & Southern Indiana magazine to host the event online.

"When the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancelation of many CSA sign-up fairs last year, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and local food partners stepped up to the plate to create a virtual event to support farmers," Commissioner Quarles said. "We're doing the same this year, with the same goal: making sure KDA and our local food partners can connect Kentuckians directly with local farms and farm families. Thank you to all of our partners for this year's Kentucky Proud Virtual CSA fair."

Purchasing a CSA share is a way for consumers to subscribe to local farms and farmers on a weekly, biweekly or monthly basis. CSAs offer a variety of delivery and pickup options. In a time when consumers are advised to practice social distancing, a CSA share is an additional option for them to locate local produce, proteins, and other products.

CSA in-person sign-up events are typically held during the spring months. Due to the ongoing pandemic, consumers are once again invited to participate in the Kentucky Proud Virtual CSA Fair event on Facebook. Last year's Facebook event reached more than 123,000 people with more than 4,000 responses highlighting nearly 60 farms. This year's event is expected to have 80 participating farms.

"Kentucky values its farmers and its agricultural economy," Mayor Linda Gorton said. "This fair is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on our local farms, and connect consumers with a wide variety of fresh, healthy, local food options."

"Buying a share of Community Supported Agriculture from a Kentucky farmer is an excellent way to eat healthy, support local farmers and build a stronger local economy," said Ann Curtis, Edible Kentucky & Southern Indiana magazine editor.

"KHC is excited to be a partner on this year's virtual fair. Be sure to register for and participate in one of the live farmer events for a chance to win a $100 credit toward a local CSA share," said Cindy Finneseth, Kentucky Horticulture Council executive director.

"By choosing CSA you get to know your farmer and know how your food is grown. Many of the participating farms offer certified organic produce and animal proteins, so look for the USDA Organic seal," said Brooke Gentile, Organic Association of Kentucky executive director.

Through Feb. 28, Kentucky Proud will promote the virtual fair though digital advertising funded by the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund.

To attend the virtual fair and find additional resources as well as an agenda for the week, visit the Facebook event by going to https:fb.me/e/1U0upbWQc.

Additional information as well as a listing of all KYP CSA farms and an interactive county map to easily locate regional CSAs may be found at kyproud.com/CSA.

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