Poultry Processing Exemptions Webinar




Please Note: This webinar is no longer available in video form, however, the presentation materials remain active.

Confusion abounds around poultry processing exemptions, by producers, processors, and regulators. Recognizing that states have the ability to individually modify these regulations, this webinar attempts to clear up some confusion by offering both an FSIS and a state perspective. Additionally, three exempt processors overview their operations.

We revisited this topic in 2010 with different FSIS/state speakers: click here for the 2010 webinar recording and presentation slides.

Date: March 10, 2009

Duration: 90 Minutes


  • Dr. Robert Ragland, Senior Staff Officer, Office of Policy and Program Development, USDA-FSIS
    robert.ragland@fsis.usda.gov (301) 504-0849
  • Clarence Davis, Supervising Food Inspector, Division of Food Safety and Inspection, New York State Dept. of Agriculture and Markets
    Clarence.davis@agmkt.state.ny.us (518) 457-8835
  • Farmer Russell,” Midwest, Turkey producer and processor operating under the Producer/Grower 20,000 Bird Exemption
  • Karen Black, Oregon, chicken producer and processor operating under the Producer/Grower 20,000 Bird Exemption.
    karen@plamondon.com (541) 453-5841
  • Hermann Weber, upstate New York, chicken producer and processor operating under the Small Enterprise Exemption.
    (585) 591-0795

eXtension Page Explaining Poultry Processing Exemptions

Dr. Robert Ragland’s Presentation Slides

Clarence Davis’ Presentation Slides

Requesting to Use an Exempt Facility to Process Poultry from more than one Producer/Grower

As discussed in detail on the webinar, a person may process poultry for other producers under the “Small Enterprise” exemption, if the processor first buys the live poultry and then, after slaughter and processing, sells the processed poultry back to the producer, who then operates as a distributor selling the poultry (other details apply).

There is another option: exempt processors can request an “exemption to the exemption” from the USDA FSIS Administrator – or their state’s Administrator in states that offer state poultry inspection – to processor poultry under exemption for another producer. Clarence Davis, with the New York State Dept. of Agriculture and Markets, has created a template letter that exempt processors can use to request such an exemption. Below is the template letter, addressed to the USDA FSIS Administrator.

To use this letter, you will need to put your own info into the underlined sections of text. You can change the letter in other ways, but it would be a good idea to leave the first paragraph as written, with reference to the specific regulatory code.


Slaughterhouse Owner’s Name
Slaughterhouse Street AddressSlaughterhouse City, State, Zip Code


Mr. Alfred V. Almanza, Administrator


33-E Jaime Whitten Building

1400 Independence Ave SW

Washington, DC 20250

RE: Exemption to Process Another Person’s Poultry

Dear Mr. Almanza,

In accordance with Section 464(c)(3), Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA), and Title 9 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 381.10(b)(2), I request that Name and Address of the facility be granted an exemption to process another person’s poultry. The slaughterhouse is licensed by state licensing authority and is in compliance with Rules and Regulations Relating to the Licensing of Slaughterhouses.

Due to a shortage of USDA inspected slaughtering and processing facilities in State farm communities, this exemption will provide a venue for producer/growers to have their poultry slaughtered and processed for marketing. The economic climate restricts small farms and producer/growers from investing in a facility in order to pursue a Slaughterhouse License.

Granting this exemption will not thwart the intention of the PPIA in that poultry will be slaughtered and processed under sanitary conditions and practices, sound, clean and fit for human consumption.




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