The process of running a store like the Wild Ramp involves inspections by many government entities. In order to open in the first place we needed to have the local Huntington inspectors for the renovations we had made to the space. When we finally earned our Certificate of Occupancy, we moved all the activity inside and it sure was nice for the people and the produce to be in the air conditioning.
Yesterday we were visited by the State of West Virginia and the Federal Meat Inspectors. They verified that the meat we have for sale in the Wild Ramp has been processed the way deemed legal here in West Virginia and that it is stored in a safe manner for you to purchase.
The rules are interesting. If the animal is in West Virginia and will be sold in West Virginia (in the Wild Ramp Market, for example or in a grocery store) the meat can be processed with a West Virginia inspection. If the animal is in Kentucky or Ohio and the meat will be coming to West Virginia, the processing is required to be done at a USDA (federal) facility. Poultry can be processed at the farm, but if it is being brought over state lines, it also needs to have the USDA emblem on the label. There are a myriad of exceptions. The farmers know them and the inspectors will keep us all in line.