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"Egg Police" Visit



Colonel’s Blog, Earthdate 21 September 2023…

Hey Y’all!


Good afternoon and happy Thursday from Air2Ground Farms! The weather is warm today, mid 80s after a rainy Tuesday and cool Wednesday. There is more rain in the forecast for this weekend. The grass is happy! The animals are all doing well on the farm today with a couple of highlights. We received our final shipment of beef chicks for the year. We received 80 day-old broilers yesterday and they are happily growing in the brooder. We restricted feed on the last batch during their time in the brooder and had much better results, so we will continue that practice. We give them food first thing in the morning, ensuring they have food throughout the day, and then 12 hours after putting the food in, we remove it for 12 hours. We hope it continues to work well. The other highlight is that the piglets graduated from training! They moved into a poly-wire paddock this afternoon, hesitantly at first (pics) but then were very excited for all of the greenery. The rest of the animals are doing very well. Tuesday we gave the new sheep group a bigger paddock and then went to town to pick up a couple tons of GMO-Free feed. After getting feed, we moved our RV off of the hill and parked it down here near the house. We’re going to wash it and take some time to complete a few repairs. Wednesday, we recorded the next episode of the Dust’er Mud podcast (we anguished over this one because we had to make decisions regarding if and how we were going to raise sheep on the farm…) after morning rounds and then prepared the brooder for chicks. After completing that, we went to town to get the baby chicks and pick up a few things for getting Rebekah’s new camper set. We got it set in place and hooked up before dark so she was able to move in last night. Today, we built the piglets’ new paddock and did some computer work.


There really is an “Egg Police.” Well, they’re not exactly called that, their official title is “Missouri Department of Agriculture Division of Weights, Measures & Consumer Protection.” In order to “legally” sell eggs at a farmers market in Missouri, we have to have a Retailer Egg License. In order to “legally” sell eggs to a retail store (like the local health food store) we have to have a Dealer Egg License. We have to renew the licenses annually. They cost $5.00 each when we renew them...not much money, but with the license comes the permission for government officials to inspect. Yesterday, we received a visit from the Egg Police in order to inspect our operation and products. It’s always one of those reactions when you see the Department of Agriculture seal on the door of a vehicle pulling into the drive. So, we went out to find out what inspection we were about to receive. Turned out that he was directed to inspect us because of our Dealer License. Farms with a dealer license can be huge 30,000 bird operations and when we told him we had 30 birds he wasn’t interested in even getting out of his vehicle. We didn’t have any eggs for sale so there wasn’t even a product for him to inspect. That said, he dutifully filled out the Egg/Milk Products Inspection Report and highlighted that we were out of eggs and only have 30 chickens. Had we had eggs for sale, he would have inspected that we had cleaned, packaged, and labeled them correctly and then graded and sized the eggs to determine their “true grade” to compare to what we had labeled. The bottom line would have resulted in a yes/no determination to direct us to stop sale and indicate if we had violated any statutes. I signed the inspection report indicating that I understood that "supplying false information herein is a Class B Misdemeanor." We knew this was possible when we made the decision to get the licenses. Over the past few months, we haven’t even had enough eggs to sell at the market and we’ve never had enough to even attempt to sell any to a store, but we want to have the option, so we put up with these intrusions.


Local Farm Report for 19 & 20 September 2023

Harvest:

36 Chicken eggs

24 Duck eggs

5 1/4 Gallons of milk


Farm Addition:

80 Beef chicks


Cheers!


Psycho & Shelley

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