Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version



Published in Cornhusker Economics, 10/22/2003. Produced by the Cooperative Extension, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.


The purpose of the Nebraska worker compensation program is to provide no-fault compensation to employees injured on the job. Traditionally farm and ranch workers have been exempted from Nebraska worker compensation statutes, despite the fact that agriculture is one of Nebraska’s most dangerous industries. For many years the Supreme Court has interpreted the farm and ranch worker exemption narrowly in order to provide worker compensation protection to as many injured agricultural workers as possible. This attitude was reflected in a 2002 opinion (Larsen v D B Feedyards, 264 Neb 483) in which the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled that a cattle feedlot was not entitled to the farm and ranch laborer exemption where 50-75 percent of the cattle in the feedlot were being custom-fed.