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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of February 21, 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


“Such Farming Operations”—On the Farm

§780.141   Practices must relate to farming operations on the particular farm.

“Practices *  *  * performed *  *  * on a farm” must be performed as an incident to or in conjunction with “such farming operations” in order to constitute “agriculture” within the secondary meaning of the term. No practice performed with respect to farm commodities is within the language under discussion by reason of its performance on a farm unless all of such commodities are the products of that farm. Thus, the performance on a farm of any practice, such as packing or storing, which may be incidental to farming operations cannot constitute a basis for considering the employees engaged in agriculture if the practice is performed upon any commodities that have been produced elsewhere than on such farm (see Mitchell v. Hunt, 263 F. 2d 913). The construction by an independent contractor of granary on a farm is not connected with “such” farming operations if the farmer for whom it is built intends to use the structure for storing grain produced on other farms. Nor is the requirement met with respect to employees engaged in any other practices performed on a farm, but not by a farmer, in connection with farming operations that are not conducted on that particular farm. The fact that such a practice pertains to farming operations generally or to those performed on a number of farms, rather than to those performed on the same farm only, is sufficient to take it outside the scope of the statutory language. Area soil surveys and genetics research activities, results of which are made available to a number of farmers, are typical of the practices to which this principle applies and which are not within section 3(f) under this provision.

§780.142   Practices on a farm not related to farming operations.

Practices performed on a farm in connection with nonfarming operations performed on or off such farm do not meet the requirement stated in §780.141. For example, if a farmer operates a gravel pit on his farm, none of the practices performed in connection with the operation of such gravel pit would be within section 3(f). Whether or not some practices are performed in connection with farming operations conducted on the farm where they are performed must be determined with reference to the purpose of the farmer for whom the practice is performed. Thus, land clearing operations may or may not be connected with such farming operations depending on whether or not the farmer intends to devote the cleared land to farm use.

§780.143   Practices on a farm not performed for the farmer.

The fact that a practice performed on a farm is not performed by or for the farmer is a strong indication that it is not performed in connection with the farming operations there conducted. Thus, where such an employer other than the farmer performs certain work on a farm solely for himself in furtherance of his own enterprise, the practice cannot ordinarily be regarded as performed in connection with farming operations conducted on the farm. For example, it is clear that the work of employees of a utility company in trimming and cutting trees for power and communications lines is part of a nonfarming enterprise outside the scope of agriculture. When a packer of vegetables or dehydrator of alfalfa buys the standing crop from the farmer, harvests it with his own crew of employees, and transports the harvested crop to his off-the-farm packing or dehydrating plant, the transporting and plant employees, who are not engaged in “primary” agriculture as are the harvesting employees (see NLRB v. Olaa Sugar Co., 242 F. 2d 714), are clearly not agricultural employees. Such an employer cannot automatically become an agricultural employer by merely transferring the plant operations to the farm so as to meet the “on a farm” requirement. His employees will continue outside the scope of agriculture if the packing or dehydrating is not in reality done for the farmer. The question of for whom the practices are performed is one of fact. In determining the question, however, the fact that prior to the performance of the packing or dehydrating operations, the farmer has relinquished title and divested himself of further responsibility with respect to the product, is highly significant.

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