U.S. Rep. Ron Kind today applauded the U.S. Department of Labor for agreeing to re-examine a controversial rule they proposed which would prevent children from working on family farms.
"These rules would create an unnecessary burden on our family farmers," said Rep. Kind. "They don't make sense and don't take into account the way our family farms operate. I encourage the Department of Labor to continue to work with the Department of Agriculture as well as farmers and ranchers across the country to make sure labor regulations are not only reasonable, but work for and are in the best interest of our family farmers."
Following the initial proposal of the rule and having heard concerns from many family farmers in western Wisconsin, Rep. Kind sent three separate letters to the U.S. Department of Labor, requesting they revise the language related to the "parental exemption" and also modify other proposed rules. These included provisions that would limit the ability of children to move, clean, or repair a tractor, prohibit children from riding on a tractor as a passenger or helper, prohibit youth 16 and under from operating milking equipment, and prohibit youth from working with or around animals. At a meeting with his agriculture advisory group just last week, Joe Bragger of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau thanked Rep. Kind for his work to push back on the proposed rule.
"Just like when the Environmental Protection Agency tried to regulate spilled milk, this is a clear example of a federal agency going too far," said Kind. "I will continue to fight for our family farmers and push back against proposals that complicate this way of life."