U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., says the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) finally listened to America’s farmers about the value of growing up on the farm. Thursday, the DOL withdrew its proposal to regulate labor activities of young people on the nation’s farms.
Moran says the DOL received 18,000 comments on the proposed regulations. The fact that this is an election year may have played a role in the DOL’s decision, according to Moran.“These (regulation) issues never go away and you always have to be vigilant.” Moran made the comments Friday in an interview with Mike Adams, host of AgriTalk.
Moran issued the following statement in response to the DOL announcement:
"American farmers and ranchers received welcome news (Thursday): the Department of Labor finally listened to them and withdrew its proposed youth farm labor rule, which would have fundamentally altered the future of agriculture in our country. If the Department would have moved forward with regulating the relationship between parents and children on their own farm, a dangerous precedent would have been set; virtually nothing would be off limits when it comes to government intrusion into our lives.
“Out of respect for the rural way of life, the Administration has agreed to not pursue this regulation further. Instead it will work with rural stakeholders – such as the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Farmers Union, FFA, and 4-H – to promote safety among youth workers in agriculture. This is exactly what we have been asking for all along – those who know agriculture best should have been consulted from the start.
"For generations, the contributions of young people have helped family farm and ranch operations survive and prosper. If this proposal had gone into effect, not only would the shrinking rural workforce have been further reduced, and our nation’s youth deprived of valuable career training opportunities, but a way of life would have begun to disappear. This is a tremendous victory for farmers and ranchers across the country."
In March of this year, Moran and U.S. Senator John Thune, R-S.D., introduced legislation, the Preserving America’s Family Farm Act, to prevent the Department of Labor (DOL) from enacting its controversial proposed restrictions on youth working on family farms.