NMPF Statement on House Child Labor Legislation Vote

Release date: July 25,2012
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From Jerry Kozak, President and CEO of NMPF:

ARLINGTON, VA – "We are heartened by the vote in the House of Representatives yesterday to pass the Preserving America's Family Farms Act. This legislation, sponsored by Rep. Tom Latham (R-IA), and cosponsored by more than 90 other members, prohibits the Secretary of Labor from finalizing or enforcing such regulations in the future. This includes any effort, similar to what was made this year, to change the definition of the 'parental exemption,’ change the student learner exemption, and significantly redefine what practices would be acceptable for youth under the age of 16 in which to participate.

"Even though the Department of Labor earlier this year withdrew its contentious proposed rule restricting the work that children could do on farms, NMPF remains concerned that the issue could surface again at some point in the future.

"Although the Obama Administration has said it won’t go down this path again, we want to be certain that subsequent administrations don’t attempt something similar, which is why this bill is needed. We continue to encourage the Labor Department to work with rural stakeholders to develop education programs to reduce accidents to young workers and promote safer agricultural working practices."

(Before the vote, NMPF and a coalition of other agriculture organizations sent a letter to the House of Representatives, urging them to preserve the ability of youth to gain training and education by working on the farm.)

The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), based in Arlington, VA, develops and carries out policies that advance the well being of dairy producers and the cooperatives they own. The members of NMPF’s 30 cooperatives produce the majority of the U.S. milk supply, making NMPF the voice of more than 32,000 dairy producers on Capitol Hill and with government agencies.