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Rental trends draw interest

There’s high interest in who owns farmland in Iowa, and in particular, the topic of absentee ownership and its impact on rural areas. That’s one reason Iowa State University Extension sociologist J. Gordon Arbuckle decided to study what’s going on with rented land.

Firing employees is never easy

As an employer, deciding whether or not to terminate an employee can be agonizing. The employee likely has a family to support; or the terminated employee may speak badly about you to your friends, neighbors or other employees. However, the most important concern you should have, besides the success of your farm business, is to make sure the employee is legally terminated, as the employer-employee relationship is filled with legal pitfalls.

State adopts new heat safety rules

California continues to be a national leader in taking measures to keep employees safe while working outdoors in the heat. In mid-August, the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board approved revisions to the Heat Illness Prevention Standard.

Add labor experts to team

Any farm that has foreign-born employees ought to consider outsourcing payroll services and retaining a immigration attorney, says David Skaggs, South Dakota Department of Agriculture’s dairy development director.

Proposal tightens rules for child labor on farm

Are changes on the way for family farms employing young people? For the first time since the 1970s, the U.S. Department of Labor is proposing to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA, in an attempt to increase safety requirements for young workers employed in agriculture.

Child labor law on hold

Parents of children who work on a family farm or are in ag education programs should review proposed changes to child labor laws to understand how the new rules could affect them.

Does he really work for you?

Farmers who hire workers are well-advised to take time to understand the applicable state and federal labor laws in order to protect their operations from fines, penalties or lawsuits.

Farm builds cropping strategy around workforce of immigrants

Finding labor for a big, diverse North Carolina farm is always problematic, says Kendall Hill of Hugo, N.C. “In my life, we have done it many different ways, and there were good points and bad points to each.”

Fighting for status

Immigration draws to mind many images in American history: the British colonists of Jamestown, the Pilgrims, Irish potato farmers fleeing famine and disease, German and Russian Mennonites with hard red winter wheat seed sewn into the hems of their dresses, land-seeking Swedes, Chinese and Mexican railroad workers pushing toward the Golden Spike that united the country coast to coast.

Becoming American

Doreen Vargas helps immigrants to western Kansas with everything from car insurance, to filing taxes, to doing the paperwork to start a business.

Immigrant workforce is lifeblood of industry in western Kansas

David Rebein is a personal injury attorney in Dodge City. He considers himself conservative. But when it comes to the issue of immigration, he is 180 degrees from today’s conservative stance. Rebein says western Kansas survives on immigrant labor.

Path to legal immigration long, steep

There is perhaps no one topic in today’s political climate that generates a more immediate response than immigration.

Myth and reality: an immigration quiz

Try this true-false quiz and see how much you know about immigration.

Many problems with status verification

One of the touchiest hot buttons of the immigration debate centers on employment, with anti-immigration forces insisting that there should be stiff penalties on employers who hire undocumented workers.

Employers deal daily with the broken immigration system

It’s hard to find employers willing to talk on the record about the problems they have finding workers to keep Kansas dairies, feedlots, packing plants, large grain farms and even the rare vegetable grower operating.

No hope and no chance for success for nation’s undocumented children

Immigration attorney Michael Feltman calls them “undocumented American citizens.”

Sound decisions ease harvest load

One used combine was all Jim Facemire figured he needed to harvest 2,000 acres, plus some custom work. He still felt that way on Labor Day. But by Oct. 1, everything had changed.

Families: It’s time to communicate

Whether you have a business with 25 employees or own a small ranch or farm with just family working together, one factor is essential to the success of the business.

Specialty crops bring income opportunities

In 1972, Levi and Norma Huffman operated a 1,800-acre family farm near Lafayette. Nearly 40 years later the farm has grown to 3,000 acres, and the couple raises specialty and row crops. Today, the farm is run by Levi, son Aaron, son-in-law Jim Hawbaker, and their families.

Sharing the load

In an age where a new combine can cost more than a nice house, many farmers are exploring options they would never have considered 20 or even 10 years ago. They are seriously considering leasing vs. owning, sharing equipment or having crops custom harvested rather than to continue on their own.