• Mary Delicate

Webinars for Farms & Farmers Markets: COVID-19



This spring I've been coordinating webinars for farmers market managers, vendors and farmers for the Virginia Farmers Market Association (VAFMA). The webinars address selling local food despite the restrictions COVID-19. Read on for information about four webinars. If you missed one, watch the recording.



Farmers Selling Online - Choosing a Platform


The next webinar is Tuesday, June 2, 2020 for farmers who want to add an online store or pre-ordering system to their operations. We keep hearing that during the coronavirus restrictions, the market vendors who offer online sales are outselling vendors who don't. We'll walk through using simple order forms, online stores and more advanced farm-focused platforms.


Michael Carter and Theresa Nartea of Virginia State University, French Price of Virginia Cooperative Extension and Molly Harris of Lulus Local Food will join Kim Hutchinson of VAFMA and myself to tackle this topic.


Watch Recording




Farmers Market Success During COVID-19


At a time when demand for healthy local food is skyrocketing, farmers markets face incredible hurdles due to COVID-19. VAFMA hosted two online training classes in April 2020 that detailed how 9 different markets are navigating this obstacle course.


In the recordings of the trainings, you’ll hear from market managers at rural, urban and suburban markets; government run, private and non-profit markets. They share their successes and lessons learned along with their communication strategies, signage, market rules, physical structure, social distancing practices, use of volunteers, payment methods and more.


I provide a summary of the recommendations and resources at the end of each session.


Cost is $15 per person, per training. In your receipt you will receive links to the recording, presentations and other resources mentioned during the training. More details



Vendor-Managed Pre-Orders

At each of the markets featured, vendors take their own pre-orders and online sales. However, the markets have all responded with varying set-ups and processes that adapt to their available space and location restrictions. There are drive thru markets, curbside pickups and walk through shopping as well as markets that combine those options.

  • Amy Jordan, We Dig Tidewater markets (private, urban) – Pre-Pay Only, Drive Thru Pickup

  • Leslie Vanover, Marion Regional Farmers Market (government, rural) – Curbside & Walk Up Pickup

  • Jennifer Brady, Leesburg Farmers Market (cooperative, suburban) – Walk Up Pickup

  • Ricky Kowalewski, Lynchburg Community Market (government, urban) – Curbside Pickup + Walk Up/Call-In Orders

  • Chelsea Roseberry, FreshFarm (non-profit, urban & suburban) – Walk Up at Multiple Markets


Market-Managed Online Sales

Online markets are experiencing major increases in sales and the market managers in this training have jumped in. We will hear about four markets – each one uses a different ordering platform – Locally Grown, Lulus Local Food, Woso by Roro. They also use different distribution methods — home delivery, curbside pickup and multiple pickup locations. One market has been online since 2013, the others are new since COVID-19.

  • Justin McKenzie, Charlottesville City Market (government, urban) – Lulus Local Food, Drive Thru Pickup

  • Michelle Pridgen, Independence Farmers Market (non-profit, rural) – Locally Grown, Curbside Pickup

  • Tracy Frey, Williamsburg Farmers Market (government, urban) – Wosomoso, Home Delivery

  • Bailey Mennona, Disappearing Deserts & Healthy Chesapeake (non-profit, urban) – Multi-Partner Market with Multiple Pickup Locations




Getting Your Market Open and Keeping It Open During COVID-19

In this April 2020 webinar, VAFMA’s Kim Hutchinson provides an update of the latest state operation requirements for Virginia’s farmers markets. (Changes have occurred since the recording)


Meredith Ledlie Johnson of Virginia Cooperative Extension discusses using SNAP at markets during COVID-19.


Howard Herman of Falls Church Farmers Market shares his experience navigating the challenges he faced getting his market open.


Riko Metzroth of Farmers Insurance Financial Services discusses general liability and Small Business Administration Loans of interest to markets and vendors.


Watch the Recording (free)


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