Small farm enterprises are often found exploring alternative marketing strategies and new prospects for diversification that will enlighten customers as to the multitude of goods that can be traced back to the farm and increase sales. In the world of market farming, items such textiles, soaps and lotions, fresh flowers, jams and jellies and baked goods are among the many products that fall under the heading of “value added”. These goods increase farmers’ customer base and the apparent value of existing agricultural products, adding to income and farm profitability.
Iowa has for some time had a Cottage Law which allows its people to operate a home based bakery or food processing business, this however has only recently blossomed in its neighbor state of Illinois. In Illinois Senate Bill 840, the Illinois Local Food Entrepreneur and Cottage Food Operation Act, or better known as the Cottage Food Bill was passed as an effort to support the growing local food movement that has taken root across the nation.
On January 1, 2012 the law officially went into effect, opening doors of opportunity to small farm entrepreneurs for ways to grow their business.
For this late bloomer the passing of the Cottage Food Bill felt like a gift from Illinois state officials. With Wild Hare Farm still in the stages of infancy I knew that our goal to test the farm market scene this season would find us scrambling for enough crops to make our efforts profitable. Now there will be delightful Corey cakes, yummy cookies, and tasty treats that make use of local farm ingredients in their creation.
Pumpkin Farmer Corey has delightedly added head baker to his titles.
For more information about on farm enterprises and value added products visit the USDA Alternative Farming Systems Information Center at: