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Public Statements

Preserving America's Family Farms Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. HANNA. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H.R. 4157, the Preserving America's Family Farms Act. I am pleased to cosponsor this legislation.

This rule, had it been enacted, would be one more sad example of how far our government is willing to go to protect us from ourselves.

The Preserving America's Family Farms Act would prohibit the Department of Labor from issuing a rule prohibiting young people from working on their own family farms.

Mr. Speaker, like so many children growing up in rural America, I spent many of my summers working on my grandparents' modest dairy farm in Herkimer County, New York. By my grandfather's side, I learned personal responsibility, accountability, gained character and a sense of accomplishment, as well as the pride and dignity that results from a day's work.

My family farm would not have been economically viable if my younger cousins and I had not worked and assisted during harvest and milking. I am concerned, along with many Americans, that the belief in personal accountability and responsibility, as well as hard work--which is best instilled at a young age--is being diminished. The lessons learned on a family farm should be reinforced and encouraged more, not less.

Mr. Speaker, I acknowledge farms are a dangerous place to work. But as a man who has employed hundreds of people, those who worked early and hard in their lives, regardless of where they worked, were my most eager and responsible employees. I could not have succeeded without those men and women, and neither will this country. We should not restrict young people from working. Character built early grows deeper and lasts a lifetime. Let's pass this bill and protect our family farms and the great Americans they produce.

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