Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Agricultural Hot Potato

This news item won't likey impact prices for agricultural land, but the story is resonating from Coast to Coast as farmers wrestle with a proposed Department of Labor rule:

Child labor laws will be applied to children working on family farms, prohibiting them from performing a list of jobs on their own families' land. Under the rules, children under 18 could no longer work "in the storing, marketing and transporting of farm product raw materials." Prohibited places of employment, according to a Department of Labor news release, "would include country grain elevators, grain bins, silos, feed lots, stockyards, livestock exchanges and livestock auctions."

The new regs were first proposed last August by Labor Secretary Hilda Solis. Interesting. I spent many a summer working at my dad's stockyards. I can't even begin to imagine what this will do to 4-H and Future Farmer of America projects.

Oh wait! Here it is! The rule would also revoke the U.S. government's previous approval of safety training and certification taught by 4-H and FFA, replacing them instead with a 90-hour federal government training course.


Some urbanite/suburbanite dreamed this one up! Hoping that cooler -- aka "thinking" -- heads prevail on this one.

1 comment:

Brent Greer said...

The feds announced at the end of last week that they were dropping their proposal. Apparently, the groundwell of opposition across the U.S. from people of all walks of life struck a nerve. Thankfully, people weren't apathetic on this issue. They recognized it as one of those naked power grabs by bureaucrats hell-bent on solving problems that don't exist. Feeble attempt at HATS OFF to all those who wrote or called to complain about the Department of Labor farm proposal!