Hi folks! I hope everyone is doing well this busy month of December. I have a few updates for you.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has informed me that the re-registration forms will be mailed out on December 15th. I know that some of you have concerns about the timing but I wouldn’t worry about it. Just fill out the forms as soon as you receive them.
Suzanne Driessen told me that the University of Minnesota Extension has sent out a survey to learn more about what class participants have done since taking the Tier 2 online course. If you receive the link in your email inbox, please fill it out. Suzanne will summarize the results and share them with us.
The U of M Extension is working on the 2018 class schedule. Here are the confirmed dates and locations. When I get a few minutes I’ll also list them in the events section of our Facebook page. You can register for the classes here: Cottage Food Safety Courses
• January 4, 1pm – 5pm, Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Robert J. Jones Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center
• February 6, 9am-1pm, Buffalo, Wright County Government Center
• February 27, 1pm-5pm, Marshall, SW/WC Service Coop
• March 1, 9am-1pm, Brainerd, Land Services Building
• March 13, 1pm-5pm, Jordan, Scott County Extension Center
• March 27, 1pm-5pm, Alexandria, Douglas County Extension Office
• April 21, 1pm-5pm, St. Cloud, Extension Regional Office
• May 2, 1pm-5pm, Bemidji, Beltrami Electric Cooperative
• June 27, 1pm-5pm, Willmar, MCROC Extension Regional Office
• July 10, 1pm-5pm, Mankato, Extension Regional Office
• November 7, 1pm-5pm, Worthington, Extension Regional Office
• December 8, 9am-1pm, St. Cloud, Extension Regional Office
If you need more information about becoming a registered Minnesota cottage food producer the information is available here: Cottage Food Producer Registration
One more thing, we have now been legally able to operate as cottage food producers for 2 ½ years. We have seen many people begin businesses and many people register as is required. However, there are still a lot of people operating without registering and there are people who have registered but do not follow the basic guidelines.
We know that the MDA does the best it can to enforce and follow up on this issue. It is understandably frustrating when you are doing everything you can to follow the letter of the law while others do not, especially after working so hard for so many years to amend this law in the first place.
I think it’s important for us all to get the word out to others about registering, but the loudest way to inform others is by deed. If you are following the rules, if you are displaying your signs, if you are being the example of the proper way to conduct yourself as a registered cottage food producer, the consumer will take notice.
In summary: We worked VERY hard to get this law passed. Do your best to always follow the law. Food safety is everyone’s responsibility.
Have a fantastic December!