Texas says NO to Shady Grove Eggs - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Texas says NO to Shady Grove Eggs

JEFFERSON, Tx. (KTBS) - The Shady Grove Ranch in Jefferson, Texas has made it's name selling quality pasture raised meat and eggs in the Ark-La-Tex. But, now they're facing a new challenge when it comes to selling their eggs in the state of Texas.

"It was really disappointing to me to know that Texas the 'come and take it' state is going to regulate where you can sell ungraded eggs", said Matthew Cadman of the Shady Grove Ranch.

"When they called us and told us we weren't allowed to sell ungraded eggs we were pretty shocked."

Jerica and Matthew Cadman got some bad news recently. The Texas Department of Agriculture said, not so fast, on selling those grass fed, pasture raised chicken eggs in Texas stores. 

"In order to sell to a retailer in Texas I must be licensed, and if I'm licensed by definition of what Texas calls an ungraded egg, then it cannot be packed by a licensee", said Jerica Cadman.

Sounds like a bit of a catch 22 for the Shady Grove Ranch in Jefferson, Texas and anybody else who wants to sell their farm fresh pasture raised eggs in stores across the Lone Star State.

"It's frustrating because grading has nothing to do with quality or safety. It's strictly a market access issue. It's just a technicality. We're allowed to sell as many eggs as we want to directly to consumers, but whenever a store is going to sell for us, does that make the egg all of sudden dangerous? No, in fact it's a much superior product to a confined animal operation. The frustrating part is that this is not about food safety, this is about market access."

So after dumping close to fifteen thousand dollars into their egg producing operation recently the Cadman's are now trying to figure out how to make this work in the short term. Matthew also has some thoughts for the bureaucrats who he believes created this problem.

" They have no real world experience. They don't know what it's like to come out here and work. I would love for them to come out for an internship period maybe. We'll show them what real work looks like and what are some of the real life hurdles that real people have to go through.

We contacted the Texas Department of Agriculture for comment, so far we have gotten no response.

As for the folks at Shady Grove Ranch, they plan on trying to work to change the egg laws in Texas when they get some time in the fall.

For now you can buy their eggs at several stores in the Shreveport area, at farmers markets in Texas and Louisiana or directly from the ranch in Jefferson, Texas.
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