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Agricultural Employer refers to a person or corporation, association, or other legal entity which employs one or more persons for performing services or operations involved in the production of food, fiber or other agricultural products.
According to State of Washington, Department of Labor and Industries an agricultural employer could refer to any person engaged in agricultural activity including growing, producing, harvesting of farm/nursery products, or engaged in forestation or reforestation of lands, which includes but is not limited to planting, transplanting, tubing, pre commercial thinning, thinning of trees and seedlings, clearing, piling and disposal of brush and slash, harvest of Christmas trees, and other related activities.
There are state specific laws governing agricultural employment.
Example of a state statute ( Michigan) defining Agricultural Employer.
MCLS § 418.155 [Michigan Compiled Law Service; Chapter 418 Worker's Disability Compensation Worker’s Disability Compensation Act of 1969; Chapter 1. Coverage and liability] defines agricultural employer as follows.
§ 418.155. Agricultural employer; definition.
Sec. 155. (1) An agricultural employer means one who hires a person performing services:
(a) On a farm, in connection with cultivating the soil, or in connection with raising or harvesting any agricultural or horticultural commodity, including the raising, shearing, feeding, caring for, training and management of livestock, bees, poultry and fur-bearing animals and wildlife.
(b) In the employ of the owner or tenant or other operator of a farm, in connection with the operation, management, conservation, improvement or maintenance of such farm and its tools and equipment or in salvaging timber or clearing land of brush and other debris left by a hurricane, if the major part of such service is performed on a farm.
(c) In connection with the production or harvesting of maple syrup or maple sugar or any commodity defined as an agricultural commodity or in connection with the raising or harvesting of mushrooms or in connection with the hatching of poultry or in connection with the operation or maintenance of ditches, canals, reservoirs or waterways used exclusively for supplying and storing water for farming purposes.
(d) In handling, planting, drying, packing, packaging, processing, freezing, grading, storing or delivering to storage or to market or to a carrier for transportation to market, any agricultural or horticultural commodity but only if such service is performed as an incident to ordinary farming operations or in the case of fruits and vegetables as an incident to the preparation of such fruits or vegetables for market. The provisions of this subdivision shall not be deemed to be applicable with respect to service performed in connection with commercial canning or commercial freezing or in connection with any agricultural or horticultural commodity after its delivery to a terminal market for distribution for consumption.
(2) As used in this section, farm includes stock, dairy, poultry, fruit, fur-bearing animals and truck farms, plantations, ranches, nurseries, ranges, greenhouses or other similar structures used primarily for the raising of agricultural or horticultural commodities and orchards.