University of Vermont

Vermont New Farmer Project Vermont New Farmer Project

Business & Financial Management Toolshed: Employment and Labor

This section of the New Farmer Project website contains links to articles, fact sheets, tools, and other resources related to employment, labor and health insurance on farms and agricultural businesses.


Classifying Workers on Vermont Farms, by Erin Hannum and Rachel Armstrong of Farm Commons. What’s the difference between an employee and an intern or volunteer under the law? What is an independent contractor? This guide helps farmer identify the kind of workers they have, and the legal implications of each.

Hiring a Farm Employee in Vermont, by Erin Hannum and Rachel Armstrong of Farm Commons. This publication and checklist guides farmers in the initial steps necessary to hire an employee. It illustrates selected, immediate paperwork responsibilities of the farmer at the time of hiring. It also identifies some of the ongoing record keeping, withholding, payment and other legal responsibilities of having employees, and where farmers can get help.

Managing Risks of Interns and Volunteers in Vermont, by Erin Hannum and Rachel Armstrong of Farm Commons. This guide explains the laws behind intern and volunteer work arrangements. It also provides insights and strategies to help farmers reduce liability risks related to interns and volunteers.

NOFA-VT Farm Labor Fact Sheet. Whether you can them an apprentice intern, farm worker or working member, anyone who labors on your farm and receives any kind of compensation (including farm products) is considered an employee. Find out more information and links to resources in this fact sheet developed by NOFA-VT.

US Department of Labor Fact Sheets. Here you'll find links covering labor regulation topics relevant to new and aspiring farmers. Last updated April 18, 2014.

UVM Farm Viability Farm Employer Overview. This 4-page sheet provides a quick overview the farm employer responsibilities regarding payroll taxes, wages and overtime, workers compensation, and health insurance. Additionally, it provides a listing agencies, including contact phone numbers, where you can obtain more detailed information relevant to your particular situation.

Vermont Health Connect Agricultural Producer Resource Packet. This 8-page publication provides information for farmers and food producers about obtaining health insurance for themselves and their families, as well as about offering it to employees.


Employment and Labor Law Considerations for Farm and Food Businesses. (March 2011)

This presentation will focus on hiring and managing employees, handling on-farm work stays, internships, and volunteer labor. Legal distinctions between interns and employees, as well as the fine line separating independent contractors from employees will be discussed. Other topics to be covered include worker's compensation, unemployment, H2A visas, wage & hours statutes, worker accommodations and workplace safety. Presented by Law for Food founder Kenneth Miller, who provides legal support specifically tailored to meet the business and legal needs of small-scale farmers and food entrepreneurs. Download the Employment and Labor Law Considerations for Farm Businesses Presentation.

US Department of Labor Fact Sheets




Last modified February 15 2018 02:27 PM