We went to Annapolis because the regulations in Maryland say that we are not allowed to sell on-farm processed poultry or rabbit at farmers markets. We are allowed to sell here on the farm, but not at a table at the market. The state recognizes farmers markets as an extension of on-farm sales for ALL OTHER PRODUCTS, but not poultry or rabbit. The state requires all meats that are sold to have been processed at a USDA inspected facility. However, the USDA specifically exempts small poultry processors from being inspected. So, the state says we need to be inspected, but the USDA says we dont. And the State doesnt care if we sell on farm, just not at a farmers market. Does that make any sense?
So, we went to Annapolis and our representatives agreed. The links are below. If you live in Maryland and are passionate about local food and supporting small farms and pastured poultry, please contact your representatives and urge them to support this legislation!!!
House Bill 1070
Senate Bill 912