This week during The Ag Minute, Chairman Frank Lucas discusses the latest regulatory attack on family farms and rural America by the Obama administration. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed a regulation that would make it difficult, if not impossible, for young people to access comprehensive on-farm education and employment opportunities. Chairman Lucas is a co-sponsor of H.R. 4157, the Preserving America's Family Farms Act, that was introduced by Rep. Tom Latham (R-IA). The bill blocks DOL from implementing any regulation that would prohibit youth from working on family-owned farms.
"During our farm bill field hearings, agricultural producers continue to tell us their concerns about the Department of Labor's proposal to regulate youth working on farms. These farmers are worried about what it could mean for the future of their family farms. They're worried about ensuring the next generation gains the necessary hands-on experience to keep American agriculture moving forward.
"With all the top-down, stifling regulations coming out of the Obama administration, farmers are justified in their concerns. The Labor Department has said they will re-propose one part of the regulation, but that's still not going to solve the other burdens this regulation will bring to bear that could ultimately prevent young people from working on farms.
"It's no surprise the Obama administration has created a regulation that's completely out-of-touch with the values and reality of rural America. I appreciate the work of the producer organizations who are leading the charge to educate the administration, Congress, and the public about the serious consequences of this proposal.
"I applaud the efforts of all my colleagues, both in the House and Senate, who continue to shine the light on this senseless regulation that was clearly crafted in the dark. Now it's up to the Department of Labor to demonstrate some common-sense and drop it."
The Ag Minute is Chairman Lucas's weekly radio address that is released from the House Agriculture Committee.