Food Freedom Act Gets Updates

Mar 16, 2017

Raw milk at the E-Z Rocking Ranch farm stand in Gillette.
Credit Melodie Edwards

The Wyoming legislature passed two bills this session to expand the Food Freedom Act. The act was first passed in 2015 to allow local food producers to more easily sell otherwise home grown foods, like raw milk and poultry, directly to consumers.

The act is a unique piece of legislation in the U.S., and Sundance Representative Tyler Lindholm said many states have started to model bills after it.

“It’s turned into a model act where Wyoming has proven that this is a viable way to go to kind turn your local food economy free, and it’s become popular with other states,” said Lindholm.

Recent changes to Wyoming’s act include adding rabbit and fish as products consumers can buy directly from the producer, and a thousand bird exemption, that’s modeled after a federal regulation that says producers can butcher and sell up to one thousand of their own chickens to consumers. 

Lindholm said the changes could encourage more producers to enter the market.

“It really has proven to be a homerun,” said Lindholm. “I mean we haven’t had any major outbreaks, or anything like that, where individuals are getting sick from homemade foods. It’s quite the opposite. People are actually becoming more dependent on these local food hubs and food sources.”

Under the new regulations, commercial sellers will also be able to sell uninspected products, as long as there is a separate cash register and a barrier between inspected and uninspected foods. The changes will go into effect July 1.