Kohl Applauds Withdrawal of Regulations Hindering Youth Participation in Agriculture

Press Release

By:  Herb Kohl
Date: April 27, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Senator Kohl, Chairman of the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, applauded the Department of Labor's decision to withdraw proposed labor regulations for youth who work on farms. These proposed rules would have prevented workers under the age of 16 from participating in certain agricultural work, including operating tractors and other machinery, working at elevations greater than six feet, and helping brand, breed, or vaccinate animals. The Department announced that future changes will not be pursued while President Obama is in office.

Last December, 30 Senators, including Kohl, signed a bipartisan letter urging the Department to drop these burdensome requirements, which would have limited opportunities for young people to participate in training and educational programs and negatively impacted agricultural employment in Wisconsin.

"I have heard from farmers, students, teachers, and other agricultural workers across Wisconsin about their concerns with these new rules," Kohl said. "After hearing these concerns, I asked the Department of Labor last year to withdraw these rules. I'm glad the Department of Labor has heard our concerns, and has done the right thing by our family farmers and youth."

The Department of Labor announced that it plans to work with rural stakeholders to develop educational programs to reduce accidents among young workers.