[Market-farming] Patterns in direct market sales of meat

Rick Williams mrfarm at frontiernet.net
Fri Jan 3 18:42:19 EST 2003

Robert Farr wrote:
> Can you see meat butchered at a state facility on the farm and at
> farmers' markets?

Yes, provided we have a retail food establishment license to sell from the
farm. All meat that is sold to a customer needs to be processed by a state
or federally licensed processing establishment. The license is also good for
selling at Farmer's Markets as well.

> If yes to either of the above, why can't you ship out of state???

Athough the federal and state government have been at odds over this for
years and years, nothing has moved. We here in Wisconsin, as probably most
states, have supposedly the same basic regulations. But we still don't have
reciprocity for interstate sales. A bit over a year ago, when I was with our
State Sec of Ag, among the many questions I asked him when we were traveling
on our tour of value-added farms, was why is this not changing. His response
was that the state officials were extremely frustrated with the feds because
the informal understanding they had some time in the past was that once we
we had the same regs and HACCP rules in place there would be reciprocity.

As it happened one day, I was introduced to a local USDA meat inspector who
works at one of the large food distributors in our area. He dismissed the
Wisconsin inspection as far beneath the superior federal system. As you can
guess, being direct marketer farmers in the middle of all this, how would we
know what is or is not true? I suspect things are not going to change for a
long time.

> Can you butcher your own meat on your farm in MN?

Yes, but of course we can not sell it. We also are specifically not allowed
to "rent" a portion of our land for someone else to use it for the purpose
of killing and processing their own animal. If we did rent land, say for a
seasonal garden, and the people just happened to process the animal on that
land, it would be legal.


Rick Williams
Misty Ridge Farm
Direct marketed dairy beef and produce
(also dairy heifers and beef stockers)
Viroqua, WI

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