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U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

January 31, 2024 - <>

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is the U.S. federal department responsible for enforcing laws and regulations for raw agricultural products, as well as their production and distribution. The USDA supports farmers and food producers through its work with: 

  • Agricultural trade and production 
  • Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) - meat, poultry, and eggs 
  • Natural resources protection 
  • Community development 
  • Food Security 

Some Michigan made food products and/or businesses are regulated by the USDA, except those which require MDARD, FDA, or local health department licensing.  

Important Note

All food and beverage products (even similar items) may have different regulations depending on what ingredients are used, the location or facility in which it is being produced, the packaging materials used, the distribution or shipping methods, as well as a variety of others. Licensing and regulation for food and beverage production in Michigan is administered by Local Health Departments, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), local zoning regulations, and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE). 

To guide you through the process of launching your food or beverage business, Michigan State University (MSU) Extension’s Product Center is an organization that brings together on-campus expertise in the sectors of food, agriculture, and natural resources to help entrepreneurs define and launch innovative products. Field-based innovation counselors advise entrepreneurs on a variety of services, including business planning, packaging and labeling rules, licensing and regulatory requirements, marketing, branding, distribution, product testing, and other product development needs.  

To access business development assistance from the MSU Product Center staff, select the “Become a Client” button on the MSU Product Center website. There is a $100 application fee to join, which grants clients access to unlimited counseling hours. We also ask that clients sign a confidentiality agreement to protect their information. 

If you have specific questions about how your product will be regulated, you may reach out to your Local Health Department or the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD). 


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