[Market-farming] Federal Department of Labor stopped by to look around...

KAKerby at aol.com KAKerby at aol.com
Tue Jun 14 09:13:36 EDT 2011

I seem to recall reading something within the last year, where WA state has 
 decided that regular farm volunteering is a distinct no-no.  People  doing 
regular, scheduled work on farms must be either students participating in  
work/study, ie enrolled in a school AND the farm must show that their 
program is  an active part of their curriculum, or they are considered employees 
and  must be documented, paid and insured as such.  I remember thinking at 
the  time that such a decision would almost by definition sink any CSA's, 
WWOOFing or  other volunteer opportunities on WA farms.  But since then I 
haven't  heard of any farms getting busted or fined for violating that state  
decision.  I'm not sure I'd want to be out there testing it though.  
We've gone back and forth on having volunteers working here, and that state 
 decision was one of the things that we run up against every time.  So  far 
we've just had specific work parties, no more than once/month, and kept  it 
at that.  If we bring on anyone on a recurring basis, I think we're just  
about to the point of calling them employees and being done with it.
Kathryn Kerby
Snohomish, WA
Ruminations - essays on the farming life at  frogchorusfarm.com/weblog.html
In a message dated 6/14/2011 6:01:33 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time,  
artisanfarms at gmail.com writes:

Re the  CSA members working on the farm.  This can usually be treated as an 
 extension of a pick your own operation.  The members are paying for the  
opportunity to have an experience on the farm.  Just be sure to have a  PYO 
rider on your farm liability policy.


On Tue, Jun 14, 2011 at 6:54 AM, Richard Stewart <_rstewart at zoomtown.com_ 
(mailto:rstewart at zoomtown.com) >  wrote:

We received a visit from the Federal  Department of Labor twice the past 
week.  CSAs are a real grey area for  them.  While w do special single day 
events where we let children  participate we have a no children policy in terms 
of work for the adults  bring children with them.  They can accompany the 
adult so long as they  do not damage crops or prevent the volunteer from 
working and we have a play  area for them as well.

The fact that there were children even around sort of of freaked out  the 
Federal agents.  They were hammering down on child labor, those  that 
knowingly employee illegal immigrants, and those that abuse legal  documented visa 
holders.  While we do not sell across State lines we do  do a single once a 
year market in Kentucky AND we sell to companies whose  headquarters are not 
in the State of Ohio and as a result are subject to  interstate commerce.

Lots of this may be obvious to a lot of folks, but it came as a bit of  
surprise to me.  I felt that were fairly under the radar, but after  asking 
they told us that they were targeting farms close to border areas  (State 
boundaries) and we are mile from Kentucky and Indiana.

Just keep that in mind.  Super family friendly Workshare CSA  arrangements, 
especially if someone in the group is from out of State or you  receive ANY 
income from out of State sales or receive payment from out of  state can 
put you at risk.  Make sure you have clearly defined and  posted rules, that 
everyone knows these rules, and that your employees and  contractors.  Again 
many of you might be saying "duh, of course" but as  we have grown this is 
simply not something we have thought about.  We  just sort of do a 1099 and 
add someone, work it out tweak things and then  move them on as an employee 
once we get everything figured out.  Its  been family up till last 
year....even then they are telling us my 15 year  old cousin cannot operate a tractor 
over 20HP with a power take off or work  our Bobcat.

Just some things I thought I would share.


Richard  Stewart
Carriage House Farm
North Bend, Ohio

An Ohio Century Farm Est. 1855

_(513) 967-1106_ (tel:(513)%20967-1106) 
_rstewart at zoomtown.com_ (mailto:rstewart at zoomtown.com) 

Market-farming  mailing list
_Market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org_ 
(mailto:Market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org) 

Market  Farming List Archives may be found here:
Unsubscribe  from the list here (you will need to login in with your email
address and  password):

Market-farming  mailing  list
Market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org

Market  Farming List Archives may be found  here:
Unsubscribe  from the list here (you will need to login in with your email 
address and  password):
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/market-farming/attachments/20110614/6f74faf3/attachment.html 

More information about the Market-farming mailing list