Hello Rutland Region Farmers! Many farmers across the country depend on Interns and Apprentices each year. Often, these mutually beneficial relationships exchange educational opportunity and farmer mentoring for some or all monetary wages. Of late, and in many states, these working relationships are being scrutinized by state agencies like the Department of Labor.
Here are some helpful resources and articles I've come across discussing this matter. I hope they help you to structure internships to protect you and your interns and ensure this essential part of "becoming a farmer" continues to be available to young prospects.
- Legal Guide to Farming in Vermont: Chapter 5 and box on page 125 - short of it: In Vermont, interns are considered to be employees, and minimum wage and workman's comp regulations apply (overall, this is a great guide to many questions regarding regulation, insurance, employees, and more)
- On-Farm Workstays article: Vermont specific regs related to wages/workmans comp/employee housing
- Civil Eats article: The Farm Intern Conundrum