Gold Star Farm
The Gold Star Grower Housing Program recognizes growers who provide farmworker housing that meets and exceeds all of the requirements of the Migrant Housing Act of N.C. Randall Patterson, president of Patterson Farm Inc. of China Grove, has again been awarded a Double Gold Star on February 2, 2017 for the 2016 year in recognition of providing safe, healthy, farm-worker housing. In addition to this award, Patterson Farm Inc received “The Agricultural Safety and Health Bureau’s Best New Migrant Housing, West award” for 2016.
The double Gold Star Award recognizes businesses that have met two consecutive years of Gold Star farming. Gold Star farming requirements include local health department inspections to approve water and septic systems prior to occupancy, housing that is 100 percent in compliance at the time of preoccupancy, and farms that go beyond the requirements to ensure that housing is a Gold Star site. This involves providing additional showers, toilets, living space, refrigerators, stoves, air conditioning, washing machines, clothes dryers, a dining table large enough for all, partitions between toilets in bathrooms, telephones and recreation areas such as soccer fields.
Once a farm earns Gold Star status, owners have the option to conduct their own housing inspections, with a state inspection scheduled every other year.
How to be a Gold Star Grower:
- Register farmworker housing with the N.C. Department of Labor, Agricultural Safety and Health Bureau, at least 45 days prior to occupancy.
- Have the local health department inspect and approve the water and septic systems at least 45 days prior to occupancy.
- Have your housing 100 percent in compliance at the time of the preoccupancy inspection. Take steps to improve your housing—go beyond the requirements—to ensure that your housing is a Star site.
- Ways to exceed the requirements include additional showers, toilets, living space; additional refrigerators; additional stoves; air conditioning; washing machines; clothes dryers; a dining table large enough for all; partitions between toilets in bathrooms; telephones; recreation areas such as soccer fields. Maintain the housing throughout the season. Each grower determines the best way to provide Gold Star housing.
For more information about the Gold Star Program visit www.nclabor.com/ash/goldstar.htm.