Fall 2020

Northwest Farm Credit: Rural, Real Estate, Operating Loans; Farm Loans; Country Home Loans; Lot Loans; Equipment Financing; Young and Beginning Producers; Crop Insurance; Business Management Education; Property Appraisals

Issue link: http://digital.nexsitepublishing.com/i/1310698

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Page 5 of 15

feature story Farmers markets pivot quickly "Most of our small farmers supply local restaurants, schools, hotels, and all those distribution channels came to a halt this year," says Lisette Alent, Executive Director of the Inland Northwest Farmers Market Association. INWFMA is a non-profit coalition of neighborhood-based farmers markets serving the greater Spokane area. "When COVID-19 hit we didn't know what the market season would be or if we would even be able to open." Lisette and her team worked quickly with the Washington State Farmers Market Association, Washington Department of Health and the Governor's office to deem farmers markets essential businesses. However, this required strict modifications. Washington markets could only offer products available at grocery stores. No crafters, artisans or food trucks. This, combined with social distancing measures, cut vendor counts by half. Many feared the impact on overall sales. Yet, with restrictions in place (and new handwashing stations from Northwest Farm Credit) Spokane area farmers markets opened the season to an appreciative and supportive public. Local Food Producers Adapt to Feed Hungry Families 5 Northwest Farm Credit Services U.S. consumer spending at restaurants and hotels is down 47.3% from January to September 2020. School closures and furloughed venues are impacting farmers, ranchers and food service companies across the country. Yet, the reports aren't all negative. Federal assistance from USDA has helped lessen the burden for many Northwest producers including small, local food producers who, by working so closely with consumers, face unique challenges and opportunities. Play Video

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