The Community Food & Agriculture Coalition serves on the steering committee for the Grow Montana Food Policy Coalition.   The coalition has prioritized the need for a cottage food law to truly expand economic opportunities for home-based producers.

The result of Grow Montana’s efforts is House Bill 478, which was introduced this week at the Montana Legislature.  It creates standards for cottage food in Montana, in addition to cleaning up sections of current code that have led to confusion and uneven enforcement.  The bill ensures safety with clear regulation, while also establishing the basis for cottage food in Montana.

WE NEED YOUR HELP!  Please contact your representative and urge him/her to support this bill.

Feb. 18 Update: This bill is about to be voted on by the House Ag Committee so if you can contact one or several of the committee members, that would be great.  Our wonderful local rep in Missoula, Willis Curdy, is cosponsoring the bill, and it’s sponsored by Kathleen Williams of Bozeman so thank them for their support too!

House Agriculture Committee Members Assignment
Alan Redfield  (R) HD 59 Chair
Christy Clark  (R) HD 17 Vice Chair
Margaret (Margie) MacDonald  (D) HD 51 Vice Chair
Seth Berglee  (R) HD 58 Member
Willis Curdy  (D) HD 98 Member
Bill Harris  (R) HD 29 Member
Greg Hertz  (R) HD 12 Member
Jessica Karjala  (D) HD 48 Member
Mike Lang  (R) HD 33 Member
Theresa Manzella  (R) HD 85 Member
Wendy McKamey  (R) HD 23 Member
Matthew Monforton  (R) HD 69 Member
Dale Mortensen  (R) HD 44 Member
Andrea Olsen  (D) HD 100 Member
Albert Olszewski  (R) HD 11 Member
Carolyn Pease-Lopez  (D) HD 42 Member
Zac Perry  (D) HD 3 Member
Gordon Pierson  (D) HD 78 Member
Daniel R Salomon  (R) HD 93 Member
Scott Staffanson  (R) HD 35 Member
Susan Webber  (D) HD 16 Member
Kathleen Williams  (D) HD 61 Member

Reasons to Support HB 478

  • The products considered cottage food under this bill are low-risk and non-potentially hazardous.  They include such things as baked goods, jams and jellies, dried fruit and dry mixes, granolas, and the like.  They require minimum regulation, which is accomplished by HB 478.
  • HB 478 allows cottage food products to be made in relatively small quantities in a home kitchen and be sold directly by the cottage food operator to consumers within Montana.
  • Our state’s entrepreneurs benefit by being able to test their business idea prior to making large investments, and consumers benefit by having increased access to a variety of locally-produced food.
  • This bill will spur growth in Montana’s increasingly important food manufacturing sector, which currently ranks third in manufacturing employment in Montana.
  • HB 478 cleans up current code and ensures safety with clear regulation.

Please contact the House Agriculture Committee today and urge them to pass HB 478.