The University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, Kentucky Department of Agriculture, and Kentucky Food Safety Branch are partnering to support farm friendly legislation.   New Farmers Market Legislation allows Kentucky residents to process some non-potentially hazardous foods and value-added products in their home kitchens.  There are two categories of processing: homebased processors and homebased microprocessors.

Know the Difference Homebased Processors and Homebased Microprocessors

Homebased Processors

Apple PieHomebased processors live in Kentucky but are not necessarily farmers.  They are allowed to make a variety of low risk products that do not require refrigeration.  Homebased processors do not have to grow anything in the products they make.  Products can be sold directly to consumers within this state including from the processor’s home by pick-up or delivery, a farmer’s market, a roadside stand, fairs, festivals, community events or online.  Products included in this category are listed below.

  • Dried or freeze dried fruits and vegetables
  • Mixed greens
  • Fruit jams, jellies, and preserves (this does not include low and/or no sugar varieties and pepper jellies)
  • Fruit butters
  • Sweet sorghum syrup
  • Maple syrup
  • Bread
  • Cookies
  • Cakes
  • Candy (no alcohol)
  • Fruit pies
  • Pecan pies
  • Dried herbs and spices
  • Dried grains
  • Nuts
  • Granola
  • Trail or snack mix
  • Popcorn with or without added seasonings

Homebased processors cannot have a gross annual income over 60,000 (sixty thousand dollars) from the sale of their products.  Homebased processors cannot sell products to restaurants, grocery stores, wholesale distributors, or any retail outlet for further sale.  Homebased processors are required to fill out an application and register with the Kentucky Department for Public Health, Food Safety Branch.  There is a $50.00 fee for this registration each year. No training or workshop required.  Questions should be directed to Lewis Ramsey at 502-564-7181 or

 Homebased Processors Application

Homebased Microprocessors

Homebased microprocessorHomebased microprocessors are farmers who grow and harvest produce to use in their value-added products.  Homebased microprocessors are required to grow a predominant ingredient in the products they make.  Homebased microprocessors are allowed to make higher risk products such as canned tomatoes, pickled fruits and vegetables, salsa, barbecue sauce, pepper or herb jellies, vinegars, low or no sugar jams and jellies, and pressure canned vegetables.   The first step to becoming certified as a homebased microprocessor is to attend a Homebased Microprocessor (HBM) workshop presented by the University of Kentucky.  The cost of the workshop is $50.00.  Next, recipes for all products to be sold under the program must be submitted to the University of Kentucky for approval, at a fee of $5.00 per recipe.  Proof of workshop completion, approved recipes, draft labels for all products, and verification of an approved water source are then attached to the application for HBM certification and sent to the Department for Public Health Food Safety Branch.  There is a $50.00 fee for this certification each year. 

Homebased microprocessors cannot have a gross annual income over 60,000 (sixty thousand dollars) from the sale of their products.  Homebased microprocessed products can only be sold from three locations within Kentucky: the processor’s farm, a Kentucky Registered farmer’s market, or a certified roadside stand.  Questions should be directed to Annhall Norris at 859-257-1812 or

Commercial Food Manufacturing Permit

If a homebased processor wants to make products not listed under the homebased processing category or if a microprocessor wants to sell products from additional locations such as grocery stores, gift shops, across state lines or over the internet, a commercial food manufacturing permit is required.  Products manufactured under this permit must be made in a permitted or certified kitchen that meets commercial food manufacturing requirements.  A home kitchen cannot be used.  For more information on obtaining a Commercial Food Manufacturing Permit, visit the Kentucky Food Safety Branch website or contact the Food Safety Branch, 502-564-7181.

Kentucky Food Permits Flow Chart

Upcoming HBM Workshops

There are no upcoming workshops scheduled at this time.