Farm Labor

Best Resource

Farm Commons "From exploring wage and insurance obligations, to establishing an internship program, to providing workers housing, and more, find tipsheets, flowcharts, checklists, guides and multimedia material for navigating employment laws here."

Managing Risks of Interns and Volunteers for minimum wage, overtime, and workers’ compensation insurance considerations. 

Check out 5 Tips for California Agricultural Employers (Sept 2018).

California FarmLink has a number of case studies and individual fact sheets (2013).

Internships: NCAT hosts ATTRA List of Internships.

The following is from National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service, a program of National Center for Appropriate Technology and California FarmLinkand is provided as a resource for you:

Farm Labor Housing Direct Loans & Grants

This program assists qualified applicants that cannot obtain commercial credit on terms that will allow them to charge rents that are affordable to low-income tenants. Borrowers must have sufficient qualifications and experience to develop and operate the project. 

Housing may be constructed in urban or rural areas, as long as there is a demonstrated need. Funds may be used for construction, improvement, repair and purchase of housing for domestic farm laborers is the primary objective of this program.

Learn more and apply at USDA Rural Development

Coordinating Farm Labor Across Farms

Farm Commons has released Coordinating Farm Labor Across FarmsThis online toolbox helps farmers explore coordinated farm labor as an option for meeting their diverse and fluctuating labor needs. The toolbox divides the process of assessing feasibility into four steps, addressing operations, ownership, structure, and financial viability.

This publication was developed through a collaboration between NCAT, the non-profit which manages the ATTRA project, and California FarmLink. This is the first guide that brings together both the innovative ways that farmers in California have created legal apprenticeships and lays out the terms of basic federal and state employee laws and guidelines.

This guide is in response to some small farms in California and Oregon having been fined for running apprenticeship and internship programs that ignored federal and state minimum wage, workers’ compensation, and other labor laws. Recognizing that on-farm learning opportunities are scarce, and, at a time when more farmers are needed to replace the ageing farmer population, farmers that are willing to take the time and energy to provide learning opportunities must be supported in that endeavor.

That is why NCAT and California FarmLink worked with many individual farmers and organizations to discuss options for farmers to support on-farm apprenticeships, brainstorm ways to increase farmer knowledge of labor laws and encourage farmers to offer high quality apprenticeships while minimizing legal risks. During that time, several more established farms have begun to pilot the models illustrated in the guide.

Of Additional Interest

World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF US) - linking visitors with organic farmers for educational exchange.