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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of February 19, 2020

Title 29Subtitle BChapter VSubchapter BPart 780Subpart B → Subject Group


Title 29: Labor
PART 780—EXEMPTIONS APPLICABLE TO AGRICULTURE, PROCESSING OF AGRICULTURAL COMMODITIES, AND RELATED SUBJECTS UNDER THE FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT
Subpart B—General Scope of Agriculture


Practices Performed “On a Farm”

§780.134   Performance “on a farm” generally.

If a practice is not performed by a farmer, it must, among other things, be performed “on a farm” to come within the secondary meaning of “agriculture” in section 3(f). Any practice which cannot be performed on a farm, such as “delivery to market,” is necessarily excluded, therefore, when performed by someone other than a farmer (see Farmers Reservoir Co. v. McComb, 337 U.S. 755; Chapman v. Durkin, 214 F. 2d 360, cert. denied 348 U.S. 897; Fort Mason Fruit Co. v. Durkin, 214 F. 2d 363, cert. denied 348 U.S. 897). Thus, employees of an alfalfa dehydrator engaged in hauling chopped or unchopped alfalfa away from the farms to the dehydrating plant are not employed in a practice performed “on a farm.”

§780.135   Meaning of “farm.”

A “farm” is a tract of land devoted to the actual farming activities included in the first part of section 3(f). Thus, the gathering of wild plants in the woods for transplantation in a nursery is not an operation performed “on a farm.” (For a further discussion, see §780.207.) The total area of a tract operated as a unit for farming purposes is included in the “farm,” irrespective of the fact that some of this area may not be utilized for actual farming operations (see NLRB v. Olaa Sugar Co., 242 F. 2d 714; In re Princeville Canning Co., 14 WH Cases 641 and 762). It is immaterial whether a farm is situated in the city or in the country. However, a place in a city where no primary farming operations are performed is not a farm even if operated by a farmer (Mitchell v. Huntsville Nurseries, 267 F. 2d 286).

§780.136   Employment in practices on a farm.

Employees engaged in building terraces or threshing wheat and other grain, employees engaged in the erection of silos and granaries, employees engaged in digging wells or building dams for farm ponds, employees engaged in inspecting and culling flocks of poultry, and pilots and flagmen engaged in the aerial dusting and spraying of crops are examples of the types of employees of independent contractors who may be considered employed in practices performed “on a farm.” Whether such employees are engaged in “agriculture” depends, of course, on whether the practices are performed as an incident to or in conjunction with the farming operations on the particular farm, as discussed in §§780.141 through 780.147; that is, whether they are carried on as a part of the agricultural function or as a separately organized productive activity (§§780.104 through 780.144). Even though an employee may work on several farms during a workweek, he is regarded as employed “on a farm” for the entire workweek if his work on each farm pertains solely to farming operations on that farm. The fact that a minor and incidental part of the work of such an employee occurs off the farm will not affect this conclusion. Thus, an employee may spend a small amount of time within the workweek in transporting necessary equipment for work to be done on farms. Field employees of a canner or processor of farm products who work on farms during the planting and growing season where they supervise the planting operations and consult with the grower on problems of cultivation are employed in practices performed “on a farm” so long as such work is done entirely on farms save for an incidental amount of reporting to their employer's plant. Other employees of the above employers employed away from the farm would not come within section 3(f). For example, airport employees such as mechanics, loaders, and office workers employed by a crop dusting firm would not be agriculture employees (Wirtz v. Boyls dba Boyls Dusting and Spraying Service 230 F. Supp. 246, aff'd per curiam 352 F. 2d 63; Tobin v. Wenatchee Air Service, 10 WH Cases 680, 21 CCH Lab Cas. Paragraph 67,019 (E.D. Wash.)).

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