Dear Secretary Solis:
We are writing to request an extension to the comment period for proposed changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act that would affect the ability of farmers and ranchers to hire youth to work in agriculture. This rule, RIN 1235-AA06, would have vast implications for the agriculture industry, and the original 60 days allowed for comment are not enough for the affected parties to express their concerns.
As currently drafted, this proposal contains provisions that affect a wide variety of the sub-sectors within agriculture. These proposed regulations would affect those involved in livestock and grain production, commodity transport, youth agricultural education, and other sectors. It challenges the conventional wisdom of what defines a family farm in the United States. Farmers, ranchers, and all interested parties need time to examine the consequences and allow their voices to be heard accordingly.
We strongly urge you to consider extending the comment period an additional 60 days, until January 1. Thank you for your consideration.