NC State Extension

Definition of a Farm

Farm means:

(1) Primary production farm. A primary production farm is an operation under one management in one general (but not necessarily contiguous) physical location devoted to the growing of crops, the harvesting of crops, the raising of animals (including seafood), or any combination of these activities. The term “farm” includes operations that, in addition to these activities:

(i) Pack or hold raw agricultural commodities;

(ii) Pack or hold processed food, provided that all processed food used in such activities is either consumed on that farm or another farm under the same management, or is processed food identified in paragraph (1)(iii)(B)(1) of this definition; and

(iii) Manufacture/process food, provided that:

(A) All food used in such activities is consumed on that farm or another farm under the same management; or

(B) Any manufacturing/processing of food that is not consumed on that farm or another farm under the same management consists only of:

(1) Drying/dehydrating raw agricultural commodities to create a distinct commodity (such as drying/dehydrating grapes to produce raisins), and packaging and labeling such commodities, without additional manufacturing/processing (an example of additional manufacturing/processing is slicing);

(2) Treatment to manipulate the ripening of raw agricultural commodities (such as by treating produce with ethylene gas), and packaging and labeling treated raw agricultural commodities, without additional manufacturing/processing; and

(3) Packaging and labeling raw agricultural commodities, when these activities do not involve additional manufacturing/processing (an example of additional manufacturing/processing is irradiation); or

(2) Secondary activities farm. A secondary activities farm is an operation, not located on a primary production farm, devoted to harvesting (such as hulling or shelling), packing, and/or holding of raw agricultural commodities, provided that the primary production farm(s) that grows, harvests, and/or raises the majority of the raw agricultural commodities harvested, packed, and/or held by the secondary activities farm owns, or jointly owns, a majority interest in the secondary activities farm. A secondary activities farm may also conduct those additional activities allowed on a primary production farm as described in paragraph (1)(ii) and (iii) of this definition.

Mixed-type facility means an establishment that engages in both activities that are exempt from registration under section 415 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and activities that require the establishment to be registered. An example of such a facility is a “farm mixed-type facility,” which is an establishment that is a farm, but also conducts activities outside the farm definition that require the establishment to be registered.

The following definitions of “farm” and “mixed-type facility” are excerpts from our updated regulation for Registration of Food Facilities as published in the Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations, part 1, subpart H (21 CFR 1.227).

Written By

Photo of Elena Rogers, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionElena RogersArea Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Food Safety - Fresh Produce Western NC Serves 49 Counties and EBCIBased out of Horticultural Science(828) 352-2519 elena_rogers@ncsu.eduHorticultural Science - NC State University
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