Farming is a seasonal industry and requires various needs at different times of the year. A farm labor contractor helps a farm with its varied staffing needs throughout the year. This also requires the labor contractor to recruit and advertise positions so they have people readily available that want to work at any notice.
Watch a video to learn what a farm labor contractor does:
How to Become a Farm Labor Contractor
A degree or other formal training is not necessary to be a farm labor contractor. However, having farm experience and being able to staff a farm with quality workers at any given time can get your foot in the door. You may need to speak a foreign language if those you employ speak little to no English. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the state of California as employing most of the farm labor contractors.
Job Description of a Farm Labor Contractor
Farm labor contractors hire the right workers to help a farm with their seasonal staffing needs. They should ensure the farm laborers are paid on a timely basis and have a safe work environment, including ensuring there is food and water for the workers. They must advertise the positions that are available and then must recruit candidates to work. They may also then supervise these workers.
Along with ensuring the workers have a safe work environment, they may also need to assist in finding temporary housing and transportation to and from the farm. Keeping a good relationship with these workers after employment is over is also key to retaining good workers for future employment opportunities.
Farm Contractor Career Video Transcript
Farm labor contractors do a lot of the leg work when it comes to making sure that a farm has all the hands it needs. They conduct the employment process on behalf of farm owners to ensure it complies with immigration and labor safety laws. These contractors work for companies ranging from small, individually-owned farms to large-scale conglomerate operations. They hire agricultural workers for seasonal contracts and make sure they are paid accurately for their time.
Working in the fields can be hot, tiring, and dehydrating, so farm labor contractors must make sure food and water is available to workers when they need it. They may also coordinate seasonal housing and transportation to worksites. Some contractors retain long-term teams of workers experienced with specific crops, so the perfect crew can be ready to go when needed, a win-win factor for all.
No formal training or degree is required to become a farm labor contractor, but they must pass a license test in their state before performing the work. Foreign language ability is helpful, in cases where workers speak little English. As farm labor management becomes more complicated, the work of farm labor contractors is more essential than ever.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Farm Labor Contractor.
National Center for O*NET Development. 13-1074.00. O*NET OnLine.
The career video is in the public domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.