29 CFR 780.710 - A country elevator may sell products and services to farmers.
Section 13(b)(14) expressly provides that an establishment commonly recognized as a country elevator, within the meaning of the exemption, includes “such an establishment which sells products and services used in the operation of a farm.” This language makes it plain that if the establishment is “such an establishment,” that is, if its functions and attributes are such that it is “commonly recognized as a country elevator” but not otherwise, exemption of its employees under this section will not be lost solely by reason of the fact that it sells products and services used in the operation of a farm. Establishments commonly recognized as country elevators, especially the smaller ones, not only engage in the storing of grain but also conduct various merchandising or “sideline” operations as well. They may distribute feed grains to feeders and other farmers, sell fuels for farm use, sell and treat seeds, and sell other farm supplies such as fertilizers, farm chemicals, mixed concentrates, twine, lumber, and farm hardware supplies and machinery. (See Tobin v. Flour Mills, 185 F. 2d 596; Holt v. Barnesville Elevator Co., 145 F. 2d 250). Services performed for farmers by country elevators may include grinding of feeds, cleaning and fumigating seeds, supplying bottled gas, and gasoline station services. As conducted by establishments commonly recognized as country elevators, the selling of goods and services used in the operation of a farm is a minor and incidental secondary activity and not a main business of the elevator (see Tobin v. Flour Mills, supra; Holt v. Barnesville Elevator Co., supra).