Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) released the following statement after it was reported the Department of Labor would abandon its proposal to limit youth involvement in agriculture:
"This is a major victory for farmers and ranchers in Nebraska and across the country," said Smith. "Just as it seemed like the Labor Department would move forward with its terribly misguided rule, common sense has prevailed. Rural families can breathe a little easier knowing it won't be illegal for their kids to be involved in agriculture, the lifeblood of Nebraska's economy."
On September 2, 2011, the Department of Labor published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking which dramatically would alter current child labor laws as they relate to agriculture. On December 16, 2011, Smith signed a bipartisan letter along with 152 bipartisan Members of Congress urging Labor Secretary Hilda Solis to re-evaluate the proposed rule which would place burdensome restrictions on youth participation in agriculture. In October, Smith signed a bipartisan letter with 77 other House Members which secured an extension of the public comment period on the rule.
Smith serves as co-chairman of the Congressional Rural Caucus and as co-chairman of the Modern Agriculture Caucus.