Farm Internship Project


How to apply:

  1. Complete the Application for Farm Internship (F700-158-000).
  2. Provide a copy of an IRS Schedule F or similar IRS tax form stating the farm's gross sales of the business with your application.
  3. Attach the educational curriculum the farm will use to provide interns training to your application.
  4. Send the application and associated materials to the address provided on the application.

The 2014 Legislature authorized L&I to establish the Farm Internship Project to allow interns to safely work on small farms to learn about farming practices and obtain hands-on experience in farming activities.

Counties included in this project are Chelan, Grant, Island, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Kittitas, Lincoln, Pierce, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, Spokane, Thurston, Whatcom, and Yakima. Farms in these counties with annual sales of less than $250,000 per year are eligible to enroll in this program.

The information below explains how farms and individuals can participate.

Important information you should know about the Farm Internship Project

Expand/collapse all

  • Expand/collapse What is the purpose of the Farm Internship Project?

    The purpose of this project is for small farms to hire individuals who are interested in learning about farming practices. Participating farms are exempt from the wage requirements under the Minimum Wage Act (Chapter 49.46 RCW) (www.leg.wa.gov), and interns are not required to receive pay or any other type of compensation.

  • Expand/collapse Which employers are eligible to participate in the project?
    • Farms located in eligible counties: Chelan, Grant, Island, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Kittitas, Lincoln, Pierce, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, Spokane, Thurston, Whatcom, or Yakima counties.
    • Annual sales of less than $250,000 per year are eligible to enroll in this program.
    • All owners or partners provide regular labor to the farm.
  • Expand/collapse How many interns may a small farm enrolled in this project hire?

    Farms participating in this project may hire up to 3 interns per year.

  • Expand/collapse How will the certificates be approved and issued?

    Upon receipt of the application and necessary documentation L&I will review it for completeness. Once L&I has received all required information, a determination to approve the certificate will be made within 15 days, if the following criteria is met:

    • The farm has annual sales less than $250,000.
    • All of the owners or partners of the farm provide regular labor to, and participate in, the management of the farm.
    • The farm has no serious violations of the Minimum Wage Act (Chapter 49.46 RCW) (www.leg.wa.gov) or the Industrial Insurance Act (Chapter 51 RCW) (www.leg.wa.gov).
    • The approval certificate will not create unfair competition due to lowered labor costs or affect working standards established for experienced workers.
    • The intern will not displace an experienced worker.
    • The farm demonstrates that interns will perform work that fulfills the training requirements of the project. The work must include:
      • Curriculum modules and supervised training work activities:
        1. Based on an approved curriculum of an educational or vocational institution.
        2. Designed to provide vocational knowledge and skills about farming.
        3. Sample curriculum (Weed Management and Transplanting)
  • Expand/collapse What will be included as part of the approved certificate?

    The approved certificate will include the following:

    • Name of the farm.
    • Duration of the certificate.
    • Duration of the internship.
    • Number of interns authorized.
    • Authorized wage rate or stipends (if any).
    • Room and board (if any).
    • Other compensations (if any).
  • Expand/collapse When will the certificate expire?

    The certificate is effective for the time period designated by L&I, but no more than 12 months from the date of approval.

  • Expand/collapse What are the other requirements for hiring a farm intern?

    Before hiring an intern, farms that have an approved certificate must complete a Farm Internship Agreement form with each intern.

  • Expand/collapse May a farm appeal if an application is denied?

    Yes. If a farm is denied, notification will be sent by mail. The farm may appeal within 15 days. If reasonable grounds exist, the Employment Standards Program representative may grant a review of the appeal.

  • Expand/collapse Can a certificate be revoked?

    Yes. The certificate may be revoked if the farm fails to meet the requirements of the Farm Internship Project, Workers' Compensation, or Safety and Health.

  • Expand/collapse When does this project end?

    This project ends on December 31, 2017.

L&I resources

Farm Internship Project Coordinator

Agricultural Employment Standards Specialist

Workers' compensation

Workplace safety and health

  • 1-800-423-7233

Wage and hour questions

Workplace injury claims

  • 1-800-831-5227

Curriculum resources

For other internships, outside of the Farm Internship Project, refer to Unpaid Interns 101 Fact Sheet (49 KB PDF).

For more information: Farm Internship Pilot Project RCW 49-12-470 (www.leg.wa.gov)

 

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