Licensing, Permits and Regulations
Getting your products to market may require special regulations, permits, certification or even inspection. Listed below are some links to some requirements:
- Food Processing
- General Permit Information
- Fruits and Vegetables
Selling meats at farmers markets-MDA licenses
Maryland Department of Agriculture
Non-USDA-regulated meats like bison and rabbits can be sold on farm without inspection, and have voluntary inspection by the USDA or MDA to sell off the farm. To sell at a farmers market, you need a Producer Mobile Farmer's Market License.
Regulated Meat and Poultry
For USDA-regulated meats like poultry, cattle, swine, sheep, goat you may need USDA inspection for slaughtering, processing, packaging and labeling. You can sell meat on farm if it is slaughtered, packaged and labeled at a USDA-inspected facility. To sell at a farmers market, you need a Producer Mobile Farmer's Market License.
Selling eggs at farmers markets and roadside stands
MDA's Egg Quality Assurance program
Food processing guidelines for specific foods like dairy, eggs, meats, baked goods, fruits and vegetables and others.
General Permit Information
Permits and licenses from the Maryland Department of Agriculture on beekeeping, organic certification, pesticides, eggs, grain, weights and measures and others.
Howard County Code of Ordinances
Subtitle 5 - Public Recreation on Private Lands
Section 19.505 - Special Permits
Section 12.107 - Food handling
A food service facility does not include a farmers market, as specified in the Code of Maryland Regulations, section 10.15.03.27 or eggs sold only on a farm in compliance with the code, section 10.15.03.05A(8).
Fruits and Vegetables
Good Agriculture Practices certification from the Maryland Department of Agriculture is not mandatory, but recommended if you want to provide products to grocery store chains, schools, hospitals, penal institutions and some restaurants.
A resource to find out more information on State, Regional, and National loans and grants for farms.
Don't put all of your eggs in one basket. Diversifying your farm's production is a great way to grow your business - and meet increasing consumer demand for fresh foods.