Hi everybody! What a great day to be a Wisconsin Cottage Food Producer! Huge congratulations to them on the passing of their bill. You can click this link to read one of the press releases: Wisconsin Cookie Bill Info. However I’m sure you can find much more information on their Wisconsin Cottage Food page.
According to the Cottage Food information on Forrager.com there are actually 7 states that are still not allowed to sell from home, or if they can it is very limited. They are Illinois, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York and West Virginia.
Today I went to the first day opening of our Big Lake Farmer’s Market. It was so nice to see that the vendors selling baked and pickled items had their cottage food registrations proudly displayed. A big shout out to Stephanie of Cat Tail Farm and Grace owner of Grace’s Goodies. I bought a beautiful apron from Grace that I can’t wait to wear. I met Corrie Scott, the market coordinator, and I was happy to hear that she makes sure all of the pickle and baked goods vendors are registered and following the Cottage Food Law. I even got to meet our city mayor, Raeanne Danielowski. In short, I am very proud of our Big Lake Farmer’s Market.
Last month saw the end of our 2017 Legislature. During this time we made a valiant effort to get the cap raised, be allowed to become LLC’s, and to make it legal for us to donate cottage foods to fund raisers, silent auctions and similar events. Unfortunately we were not able to come to an agreement with the MDA concerning the cap or the LLC’s. However, Rep. Newberger was able to introduce a bill that made it legal for us to donate, which was passed along with the Agriculture bill at the last session. Gov. Dayton has signed this bill. At the moment we are waiting to hear when that law will go into effect, and I will let you know as soon as I find out.
We all really owe Rep. Newberger a huge thank you for continuing to fight for us.
Finally, I’m sure many of you saw the article in the Twin Cities Pioneer Press titled “A new state law has led to a boom in “Cottage Food” startups”. A lot of people are wondering what’s going on as some of the information is not accurate. To make a long story short, the rules have not changed, and no, we as Cottage Food Producers can not sell to grocery stores, restaurants or any other place like that. All sales must be from producer direct to consumer; we can not deliver anything through the mail. I have been in contact with the journalist who wrote the article to let him know about the inaccuracies in his article. He was very courteous and will contact us in the future if he decides to do any follow up articles about the Cottage Food Law.
Susan Driessen from the University of Minnesota Extension continues her great work with the Food Safety classes and is currently working with her team to provide an online Tier 2 class. This is very exciting and I’ll let you know as soon as it’s up and running.
Have a great summer!