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Obama Admin. Backs Off On Child Labor Laws For Farms

Labor Backs off child laws
(Photo by Darren Hauck/Getty Images)

In an important move that could have affected numerous agricultural operations right here in the Mid-Columbia, the WH has backed off on child labor farm laws–for now.

The US Labor Department, thanks to the huge outcry and firestorm from farmers, politicians and citizens across the country, has pulled back a proposed change that essentially would have applied child labor laws from other industries to farming.

   We all know how kids 16 and over, or 16 and under are strictly controlled as to the amount of hours and type of work they can do, for example, at McDonalds or a sporting goods store or wherever they work.   Labor would have implemented a law that would have drastically changed the amount and scope of work performed by children on farms owned by family members.  An excerpt from The Daily Caller:

Prohibited places of employment would include country grain elevators, grain bins, silos, feed lots, stockyards, livestock exchanges and livestock auctions,” read a press release from last August.

“I am pleased to hear the Obama Administration is finally backing away from its absurd 85-page proposal to block youth from participating in family farm activities and ultimately undermine the very fabric of rural America, but I will continue working to ensure this overreaching proposal is completely and permanently put to rest,” said Sen. John Thune, Republican from South Dakota. “The Obama DOL’s youth farm labor rule is a perfect example of what happens when government gets too big.”

 Much of the credit for starting the snowball that resulted in the regulations being shelved was due in part to an earlier report from The Daily Caller, that brought attention to the rediculous Labor Department idea.   Had it been implemented, not only would farm labor be negatively affected by essentially removing children from the equation, it would have also affected numerous farm-related activities such as 4-H and FFA.    These laws would have had a direct effect on agriculture and farming right here in the Columbia Basin.

  Kudos to the people for making their voices heard.

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