CDA Begins Rulemaking Process for Agricultural Worker Variance for Hand Weeding

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On June 25, Governor Polis signed into law the Agricultural Workers’ Rights bill (SB 21-087), which requires the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) to set up new rules and regulations for workers in the ag industry. Additionally, the law requires the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) to promulgate the specific rules related to the allowance of hand weeding and hand thinning crops by workers.

CDA’s responsibility is to first establish a procedure for agricultural employers to seek a certificate of variance to allow for more than occasional or intermittent hand weeding of agricultural or horticultural products. Next, CDA must promulgate a rule to establish an allowance on limitations of hand weeding and hand thinning for an agricultural employer actively engaged in the transition to certified organic agriculture. These rules must be proposed by Oct. 31, 2021 and promulgated by Jan 31, 2022. 

CDA will hold three virtual meetings to gather feedback and input from stakeholders to develop the rules required by SB 21-087. Public input and participation are encouraged. Those who cannot attend any of the meetings are encouraged to submit their feedback through the online form below.


SB 21-087 Stakeholder Meetings

Meeting 1: Thursday, July 22, 9:00-10:30 a.m. MST (Register)
Purpose: to discuss the bill and draft a basic outline of the rule

Meeting 2: Thursday, August 12, 9:00-10:30 a.m. MST (Register)
Purpose: To review draft of the rule and provide feedback

Meeting 3: Thursday, August 26, 9:00-10:30 a.m. MST (Register)
Purpose: Review near final version of the rule


SB 21-087 Online Feedback Form

Members of the public can submit their general feedback through this online form. The information gathered through this form will inform the first draft of the rule. Other feedback forms will be created to give specific feedback once the rule has been drafted. 


Update (8/10/21): View the latest draft of the rule here


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