I was reading the Monthly Moosletter and saw a blurb about a Food Raid on Quail Hollow Farm in Nevada. It sounds like it was a case of a Nevada State Health Inspector that got a little eager on the enforcement issues. It just so happened that it came when the Farm was having a “Dinner on the Farm” as part of their CSA.
Much can be said that the food was not inspected. There has been a lot of good that the USDA meat inspection has done for the safety of meat in general. I would question whether it is the guarantee of safe meat as I have heard numerous stories of enough corporate money being able to get around some of the regulations.
I think the golden rule applies here. If you know your farmer and have a relationship with them I think that any government inspection is going to be at a lower satisfaction level than the farmer himself. Many small family farmers that are making it today do it in spite of the Federal government and the inspection process.
The federal government is enforcing regulations that is clearly written for the large corporate farms. The small family farm that has natural production methods and is selling retail has a much higher level of decency than a large corporate farm. A lot of times the customers actually come to the farm and can see the practices used.
The other big reason for farm problems that prevent innovation on the farm is the state regulations. Depending on the zoning or the rules to sell farm products it can be impossible to establish a farm business. If one wants to sell the canned products than they may have to take classes or get licenses to do that.
I would say that in most cases people are selling to neighbors and friends and the reputation proceeds themselves. The state should not be involved in the transaction if I want to sell some of my extra farm products.
I think a lot of states are fair like North Carolina that has a small egg exemption as well as small poultry sales. I think there is room to go. I look forward to the day of being able to go to the local farmer and buy some raw milk if I want to. In the meanwhile I will have to look at how to get that Dairy cow. I need a milker twice a day if anyone is interested!