Summer Farm Employment Program

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Program Information


Ag Info Centre
Alberta Agriculture and Forestry

For Further Information Contact:

Tel: 310-FARM-3276 Fax: 403-742-7527
Employees must be between 15 and 24 years of age; employers must be full-time farmers
Downloadable Forms
2016 Application 36K

Program Details
  Overview | Program information and guidelines | How to apply for the program | Application form | Important Summer Farm Dates and Timelines | Who do I contact with questions | Summer Farm Forms Online


The Summer Farm Employment Program is funded and administered by Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. Employees and employers must apply together for the program, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry does not do any matching.

The Summer Farm Employment Program's primary objective is to provide opportunities for full-time farm work experience for young people. Employers must be full-time farmers; employees must between 15 and 24 years of age and cannot be a direct relative of the employer. Wage support is provided to farmers to a maximum of $400 per month based on a full time basis. Applications are accepted on a first- come, first-served basis. The program runs from July 1 to August 31.

2016 Program Information and Guidelines

Employer eligibility

  • Employers must own or rent a farming operation, located in Alberta; must produce farm commodities valued at a minimum of $25,000 annually; and must be available to supervise their employee full-time.
  • Employers may only appoint another person to supervise the employee if that person will be working with the employee for at least 60% of the time. All program information will then be sent to the supervisor listed. An eligible supervisor must be at least 18 years old, cannot be a direct relative of the employee, and must be directly involved in the employer's farming operation on a daily basis so that appropriate training and direction regarding farm tasks and safety concerns may be given.
  • Employers will be limited to one employee.
  • Employers may not exchange (swap) employees or "job share" on this program (employers may not assign, subcontract, or transfer their employee to another employer or organization).
  • Employers must not receive other provincial or federal funding for hiring the employee.
Employer (or supervisor) responsibilities
  • Comply with the Program Guidelines, the Employment Standards Act, and all other applicable legislation, regulations, and by-laws.
  • Recruit their employee.
  • Provide daily supervision of the employee and ensure safe working conditions for the employee.
  • Ensure appropriate safety training for the employee. This includes reviewing the safety reference materials, watching the safety DVD provided and completing the safety quiz.
  • Notify program staff immediately in the event of an injury or accident.
  • Maintain responsibility for any damage to the farming operation or farm equipment incurred during the employee's period of employment.
  • Maintain responsibility for all claims, demands, actions, and costs that may arise out of the employer's performance of this agreement, or by the actions of the employer, his agents or employees, whether through negligence or otherwise.
  • Pay the employee at a pre-contracted hourly rate that is not less than the provincial minimum.
  • Ensure that the Record of Hours form is completed on a daily basis.
  • Complete a Monthly Timesheet and submit both the Monthly Timesheet and the Record of Hours form at the end of each month.
  • Pay his/her share of the wages to the employee on the last day of each month and retain proof of payment for audit purposes.
  • Ensure that their employee receives a copy of the completed Application form and Program Guidelines.
  • It is the employer's responsibility to notify program staff immediately if the contract is cancelled for any reason.
Employee eligibility
  • Employees must be Alberta residents; legally entitled to work in Canada; and between 15 and 24 years of age by July 1, 2016.
  • Employees must not be a direct relative of the employer or related to any person directly involved in the farming operation (e.g. another employee or shareholder). "Direct relative" includes child, step-child, foster child, brother, sister and son-or-daughter-in-law. Direct relative also includes a niece, nephew or grandchild permanently residing on the employers farm.
  • Employees must be unemployed. Existing part-time employees are eligible if total hours worked over the previous three months averaged less than 20 per week.
  • Employees working for the employer full-time prior to July 1 are not eligible under the program.
  • Employees must not be working full-time anywhere else or attending school while participating in this program.
Employee responsibilities
  • Agree to participate in the program and work for only one specified employer.
  • Have a Social Insurance number by July 31, 2016. See application guidelines for more information.
  • Read the safety reference materials, watch the safety DVD and complete the safety quiz with their supervisor by July 8, 2016.
  • Keep a record of hours worked and perform all tasks in a responsible and conscientious manner.
Conditions for employment
  • Employment must be between July 1, 2016 and August 31, 2016, and must not eliminate, amend or affect the job security of any person who would otherwise have been employed.
  • The employer must provide at least four weeks of full-time employment within the program period. Full-time is a minimum of 30 hours per week.
  • The employee's duties must be directly related to the employer's farming operation. Tasks performed must increase the employee's knowledge of farming as related to the employer's farming operation.
  • Where possible, indoor farm activities should be planned for the employee in the event of poor weather.
  • Farm beautification activities (e.g. mowing grass, painting, gardening, etc.) are appropriate only if they constitute less than 25% of the employee's hours. Beautification-type activities that are directly related to the employer's farming operation (e.g. Ag-Tourism, Farm Direct Marketing) are eligible without restriction.
  • Domestic work (e.g. babysitting, housework, cooking, etc.) is ineligible under the program.
Responsibilities of the Government of Alberta
  • Subsidize half of the employee's monthly wage to a maximum of $400 per month, based on full time employment.
  • Issue a cheque directly to the employee at the end of each month and take off all required deductions (according to Revenue Canada).
  • Provide Workers Compensation Board (WCB) coverage and Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance at no charge to the employee; coverage is in force only when the employee is performing the duties of their job during the employment period.
  • Submit an electronic Record of Employment to Employment Insurance (EI).
  • Issue a T4 slip (indicating the employee's GROSS wages) to the employee for income tax purposes.
  • Provide all required forms as well as safety training materials to the employer.
Review and audit
  • If the eligibility of the work situation is in question at any time during the program period, employers and/or employees must comply with a request to provide Summer Farm Employment Program staff with a detailed record of tasks completed each month, including the time spent on each task.
  • If requested, employers must allow Summer Farm Employment Program staff access to all receipts, record of hours forms, income tax forms or other documents and information relating to the eligibility of the employer and/or the payment of the employee by the employer.
  • Summer Farm Employment Program staff may interview participants on the job site, by phone, or in writing at any time during the program.
Violated contracts
  • The Program Administrator may cancel the contract, retroactive to the start date, at any time if participants violate their contract and/or the Program Guidelines. Funds may need to be repaid and employers may not be allowed to participate in the Summer Farm Employment Program again.
  • If a refund is requested, the employer must repay the funds to the Provincial Treasurer within 30 days of the billing letter. If repayment is late, interest will be charged at a rate of 1% per month, compounded annually.
  • Contracts of employers and employees who have been negligent in the area of safety will be automatically cancelled, retroactive to the start date.
How to apply for the program
  • Interested employers should complete and submit an application as early as possible. Applications will be accepted at the Summer Farm Employment Program office in Stettler until all program funds are committed or May 31, 2016, whichever comes first. Applications received after May 31 will not be processed unless funding is available.
  • Faxed copies will be accepted as the original application (there is no need to mail an original copy if a fax copy has been sent.) Only current year applications will be accepted.
  • Applications must be completed in full, including both the employer's and the employee's signatures. Applications with missing information will not be processed.
  • The employer and employee must apply together. Summer Farm Employment Program staff are not responsible for matching employers and employees. Any application that does not list both an employer and an employee will not be processed.
  • Applications for a second employee will be reviewed after May 31 and will only be considered if funding is available.
  • Completed application forms must be submitted to:
Summer Farm Employment Program
Alberta Ag-Info Centre
Postal Bag 600
Stettler, AB T0C 2L0
Phone No: 310-FARM
Fax No: 403-742-7527
  • The Program staff have final authority for the approval or rejection of any application. Approval is based on the date the application is received (first come, first served), evidence of both an employer's and an employee's compliance with the Program Guidelines, and the availability of funding.
  • Acceptance letters will be mailed to approved employers and employees by mid June.
  • Those applications that are not accepted immediately will be placed on a waiting list. Applicants on the list will be contacted if previously accepted applications are cancelled and additional funding becomes available.
Please ensure you have also read the supplement to this form: Application Form
Important Summer Farm Dates and Timelines
Who Do I Contact with Questions?

For further information, please contact:

Mary Ann Nelson
Alberta Agriculture and Forestry
Phone: 310-FARM (3276) - Toll free
Fax: (403) 742-7527

For more information about the content of this document, contact Ag-Info Centre.

Last Reviewed/Revised on September 12, 2016.