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Restrictions aimed at kids working on farms raises concern

Published Nov. 15, 2011 | Discuss this article on Facebook
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Buckeye Farm News

According to the American Farm Bureau, the Department of Labor is proposing new regulations that would limit the ability of kids under the age of 16 to work on the nation’s farms.

Under the proposal, children working for their parents on a farm can do any chores at any age, but the department is interpreting that provision fairly narrowly.

The worry is that it might jeopardize the ability of brothers and sisters or cousins who jointly operate a farm through a business partnership to have any of their children work for it. The department is contending they might view those children as working for the partnership as opposed to one of the parents.

In comments to the Department of Labor, Ohio Farm Bureau Federatino (OFBF) said it had serious concerns about the sweeping new regulation.

“These proposed regulations would impact those involved in specialty crop, livestock and grain production, commodity transport, youth agricultural education and training including involvement in widely supported activities such as 4-H and FFA programs, and would prevent youth employment, training and learning opportunities at agribusinesses of all kinds,” OFBF stated.

OFBF is also concerned the law would create serious new legal and basic operational challenges for Ohio’s family farms and is urging the labor department to seriously reconsider its proposal.



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