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Definition of agriculture

Soybean field

Under Minnesota rule "agriculture" means farming in all its branches and includes but is not limited to: 

  • dairying;

  • the field production, cultivation, growing and harvesting of any agricultural or horticultural commodity; and

  • the raising of livestock, bees, fur-bearing animals and poultry.

Agriculture also includes cleaning, processing, preserving, loading and transporting to market or storage of a farmers' own agriculture products, as well as repair, maintenance and construction work that is connected to or incidental to agriculture operations.

Recruited migrant agricultural workers in Minnesota

Recruited migrant agricultural workers are individuals at least 17 years of age who travel more than 100 miles to Minnesota from another state to work in agriculture based on an offer or the possibility of employment.

Required employment statement:  English, Spanish

Under Minnesota law, at the time a migrant agricultural worker is recruited, the employer must provide a written employment statement in English and Spanish, or English and the worker’s preferred language. In the past, this employment statement was only required for migrant cannery workers, but now it is required for all recruited migrant agricultural workers.

Note:  An employee wage notice, which is required for all employees in the state of Minnesota, must also be provided at the time of hire. In addition, it's illegal for any business in Minnesota to lie to or pressure people to move or change jobs, using false information about the work, pay and conditions.

Seventy hour-pay guarantee:  Recruited migrant agricultural workers’ rights

Under Minnesota law, employers are required to pay recruited migrant agricultural workers at least every two weeks, except upon termination, when the employer must pay within three days. Recruited migrant agricultural workers are also guaranteed a minimum of 70 hours pay for work in any two successive weeks.

Overtime for agricultural workers

Text, "Overtime over 48 hours"

Under Minnesota law, agricultural workers are entitled to overtime pay except in limited circumstances. Agricultural employees in Minnesota must be paid overtime at the rate of time-and-a-half the employee's regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 48 hours in a workweek. Generally, cannery workers have the right to overtime wages after 40 hours in a workweek under federal law.

Agricultural workers are exempt from Minnesota overtime requirements if they are paid a salary greater than a certain minimum amount each week (see below). "Salary" is defined as a guaranteed predetermined wage for each workweek.

Provision Current law
Large-employer salary $797.48 a week
Small-employer salary $650.48 a week

Minimum wage for agricultural workers

Agricultural workers are entitled to the Minnesota minimum wage, which is higher than the federal minimum wage.

Youth in agriculture

Minor agricultural workers ages 12 to 15 years old may work:

  • in agriculture if they have parental or guardian consent; and

  • more than eight hours in a day and more than 40 hours in a week only if they have parental or guardian consent.

These minors may not work during school hours on school days without an employment certificate.

Minor agricultural workers ages 16 and 17 years old  are allowed to work in agriculture during school hours on school days.

More information