It’s hard to believe, but local farmers markets will be opening up in a couple weeks. In addition to local farmers markets I am seeing an increase in the number of niche markets that many local farmers have entered into. I hope you will get out and support our local farmers and producers.
Or maybe you are thinking of selling agricultural products yourself. One common question I get relates to selling eggs and meat from the farm or home. Emily Buxton Adams, Coshocton County Educator, recently shared some of these rules.
Eggs: In Ohio, we can sell eggs from our farms without an inspection or license as long as we maintain 500 or fewer birds. If you decide to sell eggs off your farm, at a farmers market, restaurant or retail store, then requirements are different. The Ohio Department of Agriculture will need to inspect your farm. They will make sure that water quality is acceptable for washing eggs, that the refrigerator is in working order, and that egg cartons are labeled properly. The only time that a license is required to sell eggs is when selling off farm at a farmers market. This Mobile Retail Food Establishment license can be obtained from our local county health department for $147.00.
Poultry Meat: If a farmer raises fewer than 1,000 birds, they may slaughter and process these birds on farm to sell directly to the consumer. This can be done without an inspection or license. There is a state-inspected poultry facility North of Gettysburg called Kings Poultry Farm. If your birds are processed in this facility, you may sell them on farm as well as off farm.
Red Meat: There is only one way red meat can be sold to the public: It has been processed in a federal/state inspected processing facility. The meat package will bear the Ohio inspection identification mark. There are 227 fully inspected operators in Ohio. If you are interested in selling freezer beef, pork or lamb, you can work with a processor to have customers pick up meat directly from the processor. In this case, there is no license required by the farmer. If you desire to sell cuts out of your farm or home freezer, you are required to have a MRFE license from the County Health Department.
For more information about OSU Extension, Darke County, visit the Darke County OSU Extension web site at www.darke.osu.edu or the OSU Extension Darke County Facebook page.
Sam Custer is the Extension Educator, Agriculture & Natural Resources at OSU Extension, Darke County. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org