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Department Of Labor Withdraws Youth Agriculture Restrictions

Thursday evening the U.S. Department of Labor announced that proposed rules to restrict youth from working in agriculture would be withdrawn by the Administration. The new restrictions would have banned teenagers from certain livestock work and eliminated 4-H and FFA training certifications, limiting vocational agriculture training for youth and impairing the inter generational transfer of agriculture skills and knowledge.

U.S. Representative Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo), a Member of the House Appropriations Committee and outspoken opponent of the measure, had been working with U.S. Representative Denny Rehberg (R-MT) to cut off funding for the proposal in the Department of Labor’s annual appropriations bill.

Rep. Lummis said.

“This proposal was a clear intrusion on the family farm by the government, I’d like to thank the families across the country that took the time to voice their opposition to this proposed government intrusion and firmly drew a line in the sand. This is truly a victory for the family farm and the dedicated, time-tested student organizations like 4-H and FFA that were targeted by this proposal.  I will see to it that this proposal or anything like it moving forward, does not receive one dime from the taxpayer.”

Last year, DOL Secretary Hilda Solis proposed rules that would have restricted family farm operations by prohibiting youth under the age of 18 from being near certain age animals without adult supervision, participating in common livestock practices such as vaccinating and hoof trimming, or handling most animals more than six months old, which would severely limit participation in 4-H and FFA activities and restrict their youth farm safety classes.  The rules would have prohibited youth from operating farm machinery over 20 PTO horsepower,  completing tasks at elevations over six feet high,  and working at stockyards and grain and feed facilities.  The language of the proposed rule was so specific it would even ban youth from operating a battery powered screwdriver or a pressurized garden hose.


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