Meeting with USDA and county reps.


My Patronus is a Chicken
11 Years
Apr 22, 2008
We have a meeting set up next week to talk with a county rep and a USDA rep. We are going into business to raise and sell pastured meat chickens and want to sell at some farmers markets. In order to sell at the markets, the market organizers want us to have approval from the county who wants approval from the USDA. I have no idea how things are going to go. My biggest worry is that they will say we need an indoor place to process that meets all the federal requirements. That would be cost prohibitive for us. We would still be able to sell direct from the farm, just not at farmers markets. Here's hoping the meeting goes well!
What county are you in?

Did you happen to see that news article yesterday about the SPCA protesting a processing plant that was trying to get permitted in Sacramento? Probably not a factor for you, just an interesting read.

Followup note added a few minutes later: They denied the permits! go to and search for articles with SPCA in them.
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We had a similar problem with our FM. Wanted us to use a refrigerated trailer, also not cost effective. We solved it by just taking orders at the market and doing the actual sale at the farm. No money passed at the market.

Good luck.
The meeting went pretty well actually. We knew we qualified under a USDA exemption, but the state is allowed to make their own rules, our state is pretty ambiguous and leaves it to the county to decide some things. We will have someone from the USDA come to the property and make sure that we aren't doing anything horribly unsanitary but it won't be an official inspection. There are guidelines as to how to do the processing but no actual "rules" that say we have to do our processing indoors or anything like that. The county said that as long as the USDA has looked at our facility, they will give us approved status to sell at farmers markets. Hurray! We will hopefully get our first batch of chicks for this new business in May and be in the farmers markets by July!
Thanks for the article link. It's great to see more people supporting locally grown food! The federal exemption we fall under allows us to sell up to 20,000 birds a year. That is far beyond what we think we can handle anyway so that limit is fine for us.

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