Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) released the following statement after it was reported the Department of Labor was moving forward with its proposal to limit youth involvement in agriculture:
"The Labor Department's decision shows how out of touch this Administration is with Rural America and our way of life," said Smith. "This rule will not only prevent youth from working on a family farm, but there are concerns it will also stop young people from participating in educational programs like 4-H and FFA, or even make it illegal to help a neighbor in need."
On September 2, 2011, the Department of Labor published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking which dramatically would alter current child labor laws as they relate to agriculture. On December 16, 2011, Smith signed a bipartisan letter along with 152 bipartisan Members of Congress urging Labor Secretary Hilda Solis to re-evaluate a proposed rule, which would place burdensome restrictions on youth participation in agriculture. In October, Smith signed a bipartisan letter with 77 other House Members which secured an extension of the public comment period on the rule.
Smith serves as co-chairman of the Congressional Rural Caucus and as co-chairman of the Modern Agriculture Caucus.