In the last decade or so, farm internships have been called into the legal limelight as a host of lawsuits on this very issue have surfaced around the country. This has led to a lot of confusion for farmers, and a lot of panic about how to manage farm intern programs effectively. Fortunately, we here at Farm Commons have helpful resources for you to calm the overwhelm. Check out our free Hiring Farm Workers Basics, an FAQ-style resource that answers questions about the legalities of volunteers and interns.
For more detailed information about intern and volunteer programs on the farm, read our 32pg. guide, Farmers’ Legal Guide to Intern and Volunteer Programs, which breaks all this down for you and give you support on how to get work done on your farm while managing legal risk appropriately. If listening or watching is more your learning style, check out our tutorial, Building a Legally Sound Intern and Volunteer Program for Farm Work (1 hour 50 minutes) to help you get ahead of the curve and learn ways to build a legally compliant intern or volunteer program for your farm.
If you aren’t sure whether your farmworkers are interns or some other type of worker (e.g. an employee), check out our resources within the topic Employees, independent contractors, interns or something else… How do I classify workers?
State-specific rules matter when it comes to internships. As we work towards comprehensive materials for all 50 states specific to internship classification, we currently have state-specific details for the states as follows.
Wisconsin Checklist of selected legal obligations When Hiring a Farm Employee (11pgs.)
Wisconsin Farmers’ Guide to Classifying Workers (19 pages)
Wisconsin: Make Employment Law Work for Your Farm (1 hour)