When Eric and Joanna ReuterÂ of Chert Hollow Farm, 12 miles north of Columbia, decided they wanted to raise and sell pigs this spring, they checked out Missouri laws on feeding.
What they discovered surprised them:Â It is illegal to feed vegetables to pigs if the animals are going to be sold to consumers in Missouri.
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The Reuters didn't want to risk penalties that would hit them hard as owners of a small farm. But they thought feeding their pigs scraps such as organic vegetables grown on their farm and whey â€” a byproduct of cheese-making â€” from their goats or other dairies was something they should be able to do.
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The Reuters said State Veterinarian Taylor Woods told them they could get a free permit to exempt them from the law and allow them to be a garbage-feeding swine operation. The permit process would include several inspections of the farm each year. The Reuters said Woods told them he would send a government veterinarian to their farm to inspect the property and clear them for the permit.