Farmworkers weeding sugar beets near Fort Collins CO

Farm Labor

Minimum Wage

Farmers hiring employees have to comply with NYS Department of Labor regulations and US Federal Labor law regulations. The Minimum Wage Order for Farm Workers Including Occupations in Agriculture Particularly Hazardous for Employees Below the Age of 16, Part 190 of Title 12 of Official Compilation of Codes Rules and Regulations effective July 24, 2009 provides comprehensive information about hiring farm workers in NYS.


Farmers employing people outside of the immediate family need to comply with labor rules and regulations which include displaying posters in a language understood by the employee. These posters are free. To access NYS Labor posters click here. To access U. S. Department of Labor posters click here.

Terms of Employment and Record Keeping

Proper labor records are critical to provide necessary documentation for federal and state labor laws compliance. To see sample terms of employment, sample work agreements, daily record of crew reports, picker and delivery sheets click here.

Worker Protective Standards and Worker Safety

The Worker Protection Standard is a federal regulation designed to protect employees on farms, forests, nurseries, and greenhouses from occupational exposures to agricultural pesticides.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) must be provided and maintained for handlers and early-entry workers.

Pesticide handlers and agricultural workers are covered under the law.

Employers are responsible for providing Worker Protective Safety (WPS) Training for employees on the basic concepts of pesticide safety.

Warning signs must be posted to warn agricultural workers in advance about pesticide applications.

Farm Family & Worker Safety

The NY Center for Agriculture Medicine and Health (NYCAMH) enhances agricultural and rural health by raising awareness to prevent occupational injury and illness. Outreach and education activities include on-farm safety training and surveys and farm emergency response training in the areas of first aid and CPR.


Workers should wear protective equipment to prevent hearing loss. How Do I Know If Farm Noise Is Too Loud? provides understanding of farm equipment, noise level and hours of exposure before hearing is damaged.

Human Resource Management

Human Resource Management is critical to the success of a farm business. Standard operating procedures build consistency into farm operations. Good communication skills and conflict resolution are necessary labor management skills.

The Cornell Fruit Program has extensive resources on Labor Management and Worker Training.

Last updated August 14, 2020