Gov. Terry E. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds released a statement regarding the U.S. Department of Labor's withdrawal of the proposed rules that would have placed burdensome restrictions on the activities of young people in agriculture.
Gov. Branstad and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis in November, 2011, expressing concerns over these regulations. Governor Branstad also discussed his continued concerns with U.S. Department of Labor officials and the congressional delegation during his February trip to Washington, DC. In addition, both he and Lt. Governor Reynolds discussed the proposed rules on Monday in a roundtable discussion with FFA members and State leaders at the Iowa Capitol.
Gov. Terry Branstad stated the following:
"I applaud this announcement by the U.S. Department of Labor to withdraw their proposed rules for young people participating in agriculture. The proposed rules were a prime example of federal overreach and it is unfortunate that they were proposed in the first place. That said, I am glad that common sense has prevailed. The parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and neighbors who care the most about the young people starting a career in agriculture are best positioned to determine the capabilities and safety of the kids they love. Agriculture continues to be a bright spot in the U.S. economy and we should continue to oppose regulations that lack common sense.
"I look forward to continuing to work with agricultural stakeholders, including the FFA and 4-H, to build upon successful grassroots initiatives that truly help to continually improve agricultural working practices for young people."
Lt. Governor Reynolds stated the following:
"I am heartened to see this change in course from the U.S. Department of Labor. The governor and I have heard from numerous Iowans that these proposed rules would have prevented young people from learning career and life skills through active participation in livestock operations and many aspects of crop production. In addition, there were significant concerns that the federal government was seeking to narrow the definition of the parental exemption in a way that would have been totally disjointed from the realities and structures of current family farms. The Governor and I discussed these rules with Iowa FFA students and Secretary Northey earlier this week. We would also like to thank those Members of the Iowa congressional delegation who were actively engaged in this issue, including the efforts of Congressman Tom Latham to preempt these regulations with legislation if the rules had not been withdrawn."