How to Become a Farm Labor Contractor

A farm labor contractor is a kind of intermediary between the farm owner and the seasonal or temporary farm laborers. Becoming a contractor for farm labor requires legal license registration and knowledge and contacts in the farm-labor industry.

First, there is little point in becoming an independent farm labor contractor unless you are familiar with farm owners that need seasonal farm workers. Otherwise, you will not have jobs for migrant workers. The first thing you will need to do is start building your contacts. You could also advertise your business, but most farm owners or companies that need workers will go with someone they know and trust instead of seeking out a farm labor contractor from advertisements.

You really need to be a people person to do this job, as you will have to close deals with farm owners plus deal with the migrant workers. Contractors also sometimes provide housing for the workers. You can do this through people in the area that have extra housing or rooms for rent if you do not have your own facilities. However, farm labor contractors may provide a bunkhouse or dormitory-like facility for workers.

Because migrant workers also tend to have transportation issues, these contractors also often provide transportation to and from work. This could mean having a large vehicle like a suburban for smaller contractors, more vehicles for larger contractors, or even a bus in some cases.

One of the difficulties in becoming a farm labor contractor is the licensing and registration required. The Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA Act) requires federal registration for both contractors and employees of the contractors. This licensing and registration process is completed through the United States Department of Labor. You can see a link below to the application instructions.

Some state governments also require a license or registration procedure for farm labor contracting companies. You will have to check individually in the state where your business is located to see about requirements. Check with the labor agency in your state to see about license requirements and qualifications.

You must register at both the federal and state level if your state requires registration of farm-labor contractor businesses.

Once you have legally licensed or registered your business and have contacts with farm owners, you then need to find the farm workers. This can be done through advertisements in the initial stage. If and when the business does take off, you can fill your available slots through word of mouth as long as you have given fair treatment to the migrant workers that you house, transport, and employ through farm jobs.


United States Department of Labor: Farm Labor Contractor Registration Instructions

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