Youth labor laws have existed at both the state and federal levels for more than a century now. The laws themselves have changed over the years, but their intent largely remains the same: to protect youth from potential hazards and risks that may arise while working, ensure that they attend school, and prevent exploitation of child labor.
Early on, agriculture was largely exempt from the restrictions imposed by labor laws for minors in recognition that youth are important to the workings of a family farm. While that remains true to an extent, there are a number of laws that do apply to employing youth on the farm. It’s important for the farm community to know these laws and understand the parameters of using minors to assist with farm work.