Published Apr 21, 2016
Farm Employment Resources
By Steve Carlson
Thinking about hiring an employee for your farm? Here are some resources to get you started.
Navigating the complex legal requirements for hiring a farm employee is a daunting task to tackle on your own. We’ve been lucky to have Farm Commons develop some resources specific to Iowa that help guide you through the necessary considerations before taking on employees, volunteers, interns or other agricultural workers.
Visit our Employment FAQ page to find detailed information for 2016 on:
- General wage questions
- Interns, trainees or youth workers
- Work crews, migrant workers or independent contractors
- Insurance, injuries and workers’ compensation
- Paperwork, taxes and wage withholding
After you’ve read through the frequently asked questions, delve deeper with:
- Farm Commons’ Tax and Paperwork Checklist for Hiring a Farm Employee in Iowa
Note that to access this 13-page document you’ll need to create an account and download the pdf, but it is free and worth the effort.
- An Iowa-specific tutorial, Make Employment Law Work for Your Farm
- Chris Blanchard’s Farmer-to-Farmer Podcast featuring Rachel Armstrong of Farm Commons: The Legal Side of Employees and Other Workers on the Farm.
For examples from PFI member farms:
- Watch this 2013 farminar titled How to Hire Farm Laborers, By the Books. In it, Ben Saunders of Wabi Sabi Farm and Jeanne and Jay Hansen of Hansen’s Dairy talk about the type of farm labor they use, and ask questions to experts of the US Department of Labor, Iowa Workforce Development, and the Iowa Division of Labor. Note that some details may be out of date, but the examples and questions are still very useful.
- Hansen’s Farm Fresh Dairy Employee Handbook
- Chris Blanchard’s Rock Spring Farm Employee Agreement, and Employee Handbook.