CoBank and Farm Credit Mid-America have joined forces to help the Community Farm Alliance of Kentucky (CFA-KY) bring seven new farmers markets into the Kentucky Double Dollars program (KDD). KDD helps reduce diet-related illness such as diabetes or heart disease, by providing greater access to fresh, healthy foods to low-income consumers.
To date, approximately 60 farmers markets, community markets and retail locations participate in KDD. CoBank and Farm Credit Mid-America’s investment in the program will increase that number and directly impact 100 farmers while benefiting an estimated 10,000 consumers in the Commonwealth.
“Kentucky Double Dollars is a win-win-win for all involved – it truly helps families, farmers and communities,” said Martin Richards, executive director of the Community Farm Alliance.
KDD has generated almost $2 million in revenue for farmers over the past six years and created more than $3.1 million in economic impact for Kentucky communities. As a result, farmers who participate in the program have been able to increase their workforce and expand both the quantity and variety of products offered at participating farmers markets.
99% of KDD participants have reported experiencing a positive change in at least one of the seven food-related behaviors – including increased physical activity, less consumption of processed foods, weight loss, better digestive health, better food preparation skills, greater nutritional awareness and greater awareness of food sources and farming. Nearly half of all participants reported positive changes in all seven categories.
“CoBank is proud to partner with Farm Credit Mid-America to support the Community Farm Alliance of Kentucky. Farmers are an integral part of healthy communities, and the Kentucky Double Dollars program enables farmers to not only reach more community members, but allows consumers to bring home greater amounts of fresh, nutritious foods to their kitchen tables,” said Wes Millard, CoBank’s Louisville regional vice president.
“For more than a century, we’ve been honored to be an important part of the rich history of supporting farmers and communities by not only providing financial products and services, but by investing in innovative programs that strengthen agriculture and local communities,” said Mark Barker, senior vice president of Farm Credit Mid-America. “Through the KDD, we’re pleased to partner with CoBank and CFA-KY to promote economic opportunities for area farmers, while increasing access and availability of locally grown and healthy food for all Kentucky families.”