Despite the lack of clarity and challenges of the new national Affordable Care Act, farm employers must prepare to set up the appropriate health care options for their employees (or make the accurate determination that no plans will be offered).
Farm Credit East just posted a detailed webinar: (click below to link to webinar)
The Affordable Care Act:What Farmers Need to Know
Farm owners and farm business advisers should review this material and plan to keep up with current news to determine if and how they need to provide coverage for employees. * It is important to research the specific policies in each state. For example, the State of Vermont law only provides an exemption for 4 or less employees. That is very different than the federal exemption of 50 or less employees. Farms in VT whose employee base meets the criteria of 5 or more full time employees may be required to provide health care or to pay a penalty if care is not provided.
Vermont farm owners can research their particular situation at VT Health Connect: Small Business Resources
We have just posted a Farm Employer Fact Sheet to our Resource Library.
[We have just updated the sheet. We found an error relating to the VT laws related to the new Affordable Care Act]
Are you in compliance with labor laws? Do you know who to contact if you have questions? This general overview explains the basic steps to getting a employee set up, basic workers compensation issues, Affordable Care Act updates and key agency resources to contact for more information.
Check it out the, click here: Farm Employer Overview
What do we think will happen to beef markets? Traditionally we have had smaller producers in VT that often have higher costs of production, processing and distribution. But we have also seen a good deal of innovation in rotational grazing and grass-based beef producers that are able to target customers seeking the various attributes of a grass-based meat. But we can’t lose sight of our competition. Ireland has excelled at all forms of grass based farming, including dairy and beef.Grass-finished beef is the commodity beef in Ireland, it’s the norm.
Check out this article about Irish beef setting their sights on US markets