To: WI State Legislators and Gov. Tony Evers 1/16/2024
Family Farm Defenders strongly opposes AB 897. Sale of home-made baked goods should be promoted – not hindered- by the state.
As a national family farm organization with over 500 members alone across Wisconsin, Family Farm Defenders wishes to express its strong opposition to AB 897 and other efforts to curtail and restrict the ability of small scale rural producers to sell their home baked goods. In particular, we are against AB 897’s proposed gross sales threshold of $20,000. While many WI home bakers do not have that level of sales, others do – and this seems to be a crude attempt to marginalize small-scale rural entrepreneurs in favor of much larger and more profitable agribusiness operations.
Rural farm families are continuing to struggle to make ends meet across our state, and the ability to produce and market value-added baked goods is one critical survival option for households who are on edge as to whether they can remain on the land, serving their community, or have to go bankrupt.
We have hundreds of farmer members in WI who are now able to supplement their often quite humble income with sales of high quality home-made baked goods, many of which rely on fresh ingredients from their very own farms. We have heard from many folks that this economic opportunity is not only a financial benefit for their own family, but also helps to build a more vibrant local food/farm system with consumer dollars remaining and multiplying in our regional economy – rather than being exported out of state or even abroad. Furthermore, the ability of home bakers to persist and thrive in WI is an integral part of our culinary tradition and agro-tourism appeal.
Once again, we urge our elected officials to oppose AB 897. Instead, the legislature and the governor should be providing more support for expanded cottage production of baked goods and other home-made value-added products through the Buy Local Buy Wisconsin program and other DATCP efforts.
Here are links to contact your WI Legislators and the WI Governor:
Family Farm Defenders is a member of the WI Cottage Food Association. For more info, visit https://www.wisconsincottagefood.com/