Farm leader welcomes decision on youth-labor regulations
The leader of the state's largest farm organization says he's gratified by a government decision to drop proposed regulations governing youth who work in agriculture. The U.S. Department of Labor announced today it had withdrawn the rule, which would have placed unnecessary restrictions on family farms and ranches.
"We're pleased that the Department of Labor recognized the value of allowing young people to work on family farms and ranches," California Farm Bureau Federation President Paul Wenger said. "Its decision shows the influence that people have when they engage their government respectfully and make their case convincingly."
The proposed rule, which would have restricted the ability of farmers and ranchers to hire people younger than 18, prompted more than 18,000 comments from throughout the nation, most opposed to the proposal.
"Few issues galvanized family farmers and ranchers like this one did. Everyone who has grown up on a farm or ranch recognizes the value of allowing young people to learn by doing," Wenger said.
"No one cares more about the safety of young people than their parents, grandparents and family members who work alongside them on the farm," he said. "The number of on-farm injuries involving young people has been declining and all of us remain committed to reducing that number further."