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Ag and Extension Briefs

Cottage food producer food safety training is April 10 in Mankato

Do you make the best homemade bread, home canned pickles or cookies? Consider selling your product as a Minnesota Cottage Food producer. Join University of Minnesota Extension Food Safety Educator Kathy Brandt at the Keep it Legal! Keep it Safe Cottage Food Producer class in Mankato from 1-5 p.m. Wednesday, April 10, at the U of M Extension Regional Office. The class meets the Minnesota Department of Agriculture food safety training requirements to register as a Minnesota Cottage Food Producer to sell homemade baked goods, candy, home-canned peaches, pickles, salsa, jam and jellies and more.

The course focuses on food safety practices for all processes covered under the Cottage Food Law including drying, baking, confections, jams and jellies, acid and acidified fruit and vegetables, and fermentation. Participants learn how to produce, package, label, store, and transport a safe food product. Wonder if your product is an allowable non-potentially hazardous food? Bring it along to the class and have it tested to see if it meets exemption requirements under the Cottage Food Law.

Registration and $50/person class fee is required. To register go to https://extension.umn.edu/courses-and-events/cottage-food-producer-food-safety-training. For more information, contact Karla at 507-337-2808 or engel114@umn.edu.

Iowa lawmakers send new ag-gag bill to governor

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Legislature has sent to the governor a bill designed to prosecute people who get hired at a farm or puppy mill in order to record animal living conditions.

The bill approved by both the Senate and House on Tuesday would create a trespass charge for undercover investigators at such operations. The bill, approved by the Senate 41-8 and the House 65-32, now goes to Gov. Kim Reynolds. A spokesman says she wants to see its final form but intends to sign it.

The bill approval comes two months after a federal judge struck down an ag-gag law passed in 2012 because the court concluded it violated free-speech rights of undercover investigators. That ruling is on appeal.

The 2012 law was approved following high-profile undercover investigations by animal welfare groups who videotaped practices they claimed were abusive toward animals and then publicized the images.

Republican Sen. Ken Rozenboom said the new bill is more narrowly focused on those who use deception to intentionally cause harm to an operation.

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