Before 2014, farmers who wanted to sell eggs and poultry to the public were required to meet certain standards for facilities and pay much higher fees. In 2014, the rules changed for small farmers selling their eggs and poultry. This rule was meant to provide regulatory and economic relief to small farmers; it relaxes those standards and fees.
The definition of a limited poultry and egg operation is a farm-based food establishment that directly produces and offers dressed poultry or whole-shell eggs for sale. Dressed poultry would refer to slaughtered and minimally processed chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, guineas, fowl and quail.
Here are the rules for these operations:
Poultry producers are limited to no more than 20,000 birds processed per year (with less than 384 dressed poultry sold in any given week.)
Shell egg producers are limited to no more than 1,000 laying hens per year (with less than 30 dozen eggs sold in any given week.)
Products can only be offered for sale at permitted farm locations, roadside stands, farmers markets, similar open-air type markets or direct delivery.
Products can only be sold in Florida. No mail order or wholesale sales are allowed.
Internet orders must be picked up at the farm, farmers market, roadside stand or direct delivery.
The permitted farm owner, direct family members or employees must deliver the products to the consumer.
The fee for this annual permit is $100, although this first year will be prorated since the permit expires Dec. 31. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will issue the permit after an opening visit.
To request an initial visit, fill out the form at http://www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Food-Safety/Request-Opening-Inspection-for-Permit.http://forms.freshfromflorida.com/14306.pdf
Our office will have a Poultry Production 101 class to teach the basics necessary to become a Limited Poultry and Egg Farm Operation. This class will be held 6-8 p.m. Oct. 27 from at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Okaloosa County Extension Office at 3098 Airport Road, Crestview.
The class costs $10 per participant and registration is required. You can register by calling 689-5850 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about limited poultry and egg operations, give me a call at 689-5850 or email email@example.com
Also: The University of Florida IFAS Okaloosa County Extension Office is currently collecting unopened jars of peanut butter for our annual peanut butter drive! Help us “Take a Bite Out of Hunger” by donating jars at 3098 Airport Road, Crestview.
Jennifer Bearden is an agent at the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension office in Crestview.