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House Passes Bills to Protect Children’s’ Right to Work on Farms

August 6, 2012

NMPF was heartened by the vote in the House of Representatives late last month 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 regulations in the future that would 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 still 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, NMPF wants to be certain that subsequent administrations don’t attempt something similar, which is why this bill was needed,” said Jerry Kozak, President and CEO of NMPF. “We will 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.”