Comment: So sorry to hear about your struggle

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So sorry to hear about your struggle

Although, to be honest, I'm not surprised! Here in Iowa, we cannot sell directly to retailers or restaurants either (we wouldn't want to challenge the big producers, now would we?). I don't farm, but I do raise a good portion of our food. Chickens are included on our property and I can totally relate how attached a person can get. I mean, for crying out loud, I have 2 hens that are nearing 7 years old and should have been put in the stew pot 5 years ago! But, no, they will remain here as pets, and they seem grateful by giving me a couple eggs a week :) They eat out of my hand and are the first to remind me if I'm a few minutes late for chores.

I'm so sorry that you had to get rid of your flock and your story is just another example of a small farm being shut down by regulations. Is there any chance that you could start a base of new customers and sell directly to families? I know that here in Iowa the egg market is fairly saturated and didn't know if it applied in your state as well?

I've read of similar battles and triumphs over the USDA, mostly in Joel Salatin books, if you haven't already read them, I'd recommend: "Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal" and "Pastured Poultry Profits". There might be a few ideas in there that would help you set up a direct market for your eggs, while avoiding the farmers' market. I just hate it when the bureaucrats crush dreams. And to think that our taxes pay their salary, it just makes me want to vomit.

I wish you the best.