“The Labor Department’s notification today that it is withdrawing proposed rules that would have prevented many young people from working in agriculture is the right decision for our nation’s family-based agriculture system, says Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation.

 

 “Farm Bureau appreciates the administration’s decision and efforts by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to listen to farmers, ranchers and other rural Americans. We also know that this would not have happened without the efforts of Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS), Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT) and others in Congress, and we thank them for standing up for agriculture and the rural way of life.

 

“This victory for farm families is due to the thousands of farmers and ranchers who sent comments to the Labor Department opposing the rules and continued to voice their concerns with members of Congress. This announcement shows the strength of American agriculture and grassroots action,” he adds.

 

Stallmann declares: “Farm Bureau will continue working to ensure that the parental exemptions that remain important to agriculture will be protected, and we will continue our work to help educate families about the importance of farm safety. We also look forward to working with the Departments of Agriculture and Labor and rural stakeholders to develop a program to promote safer agricultural working practices.”

 

The Department of Labor (DOL) says it is withdrawing the proposed rule dealing with children under the age of 16 who work in agricultural vocations.

 

“The decision to withdraw this rule – including provisions to define the ‘parental exemption’ – was made in response to thousands of comments expressing concerns about the effect of the proposed rule on small family-owned farms. To be clear, this regulation will not be pursued for the duration of the Obama administration, DOL officials say.

 

“Instead, the Department of Labor and Agriculture will work with rural stakeholders to develop an educational program to reduce accidents to young workers and promote safer agricultural working practices.”