Permits. I know. Not the fun side of farming. But, if you are having an on-farm event and serving food, you just might need one. If your starting point is, “What can I do without getting any additional permits or licenses?” we have a resource for you. Browse our tip sheet on no-permit-needed activities titled Value-Added and Agritourism Without a License Basics. Although the latter has information specific to Minnesota and Wisconsin, the framework is similar to what farmers in any state may find. You can also check out pages 11-12 of Farmers’ Legal Guide to On-Farm Events, which is the right resource for a thorough understanding of agritourism’s broader legal risks as well.
If audio-visual learning is more your style, you can learn about permits (and a lot of other information!) in our 2 hour, 8 min. recorded webinar, Hosting Safe, Legally Secure Farm Events.
We also have a couple of very thorough guides to the legal mechanics behind pizza night, fancy farm dinners, potlucks, and more. If you are in Wisconsin, Come & Get It WI: On-Farm Food Service Overview (34pg. print guide) is for you, and if you are in Minnesota, you’ll want to read Come & Get It MN: On-Farm Food Service Overview (41pg. print guide.). Note that although these resources were created for two specific states, they provide helpful guidance on what types of food safety regulations and permits you can expect to find in any state. Both of these guides were created in partnership with Renewing the Countryside, the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture (MISA), and ecopreneurs Lisa Kivirist and John Ivanko.