Congressman Brett Guthrie released the following statement today after he was notified by the Department of Labor (DOL) that it withdrew a burdensome rule that would stifle farmers' abilities to hire youth, including their own children, to work in agriculture.
"I am relieved the Department of Labor finally listened to our concerns about this rule that would have eliminated farmers' abilities to include the next generation of farmers on their farm," Guthrie said. "I remain astounded by the amount of time and effort it took for this Administration come to its senses and withdraw the proposed rule."
"I would like to thank everyone who submitted their personal stories and photos of their family farms," Congressman Guthrie said. "I am glad they could take part in getting the message across to DOL and help preserve the future of Kentucky's family farms."
Last September, DOL proposed a rule mandating that children under the age of 16 working on a farm could only continue to work on that farm if it is "wholly owned' by a parent. In February of 2012, DOL announced it would re-propose the rule with unsubstantial changes, allowing children to work on farms which their parent is a part owner or a corporation officer of the farm. These changes still failed to address the core concern that the proposal eliminated any hope for future generations of agriculture and family farms.
Congressman Guthrie took an active role in fighting the proposal, twice sending letters to Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis opposing proposal. He also collaborated with his colleagues to launch a grassroots campaign, www.KeepFamiliesFarming.com, where they encouraged agricultural families to submit comments and photos reflecting the importance of maintaining family farms.