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Cottage Food Legislation will aid rural communities

MADISON – Rural legislators Ed Brooks (R-Reedsburg) and Janis Ringhand (D-Evansville) have teamed up to author bi-partisan legislation which would allow individuals to sell home baked goods such as cookies and muffins.
This legislation builds on the success of the “Pickle Bill” – legislation passed in 2009 which allows individuals to sell up to $5,000 worth of home canned goods at community events like farmers’ markets.  Wisconsin is one of a couple states in the upper Midwest that currently does not allow the sale of home baked goods.  The Brooks-Ringhand legislation would alter the list of saleable items to include non-hazardous baked goods, should the participant meet the necessary food safety labeling and signage requirements.  Furthermore it would allow for face-to-face sales of both these canned and baked goods and increase the $5,000 income cap to $10,000.
“This is a common sense bill for rural communities,” said Rep. Ringhand. “Not only does this bill allow farmers to earn additional income, but it also encourages potential entrepreneurs by removing some initial barriers to starting a home business.  As a former small business owner, I know this bill is good for business.”
“I received a lot of constituent calls supporting this type of legislation,” added Rep. Brooks. “It makes sense for people in the 50th district, and all of Wisconsin’s rural communities.”
Reps. Brooks and Ringhand are currently circulating the bill for co-sponsorship. They hope to get the bill passed in a timely fashion.