U.S. Department of Labor Abandons Widely Criticized Farm Labor Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 27, 2012 – The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Wage and Hour Division Thursday night released a statement withdrawing its widely criticized proposed rule restricting children under the age of 16 from doing regular farm chores. NPPC applauds the DOL for coming to its senses and listening to the thousands of comments submitted by pork producers and other farmers.

The original rule, proposed September 2011, prohibited children under the age of 16 from work in agricultural environments. This prompted a huge outcry from farmers, multiple agricultural organizations, the public, and members of Congress representing rural agricultural districts.

NPPC, along with the American Sheep Industry Association and the National Turkey Federation, submitted comments opposing the rule in December.

“This is just simple common sense. Rural American farming families teach their children the values of farming by having them do farm chores every day. The government should not be regulating these life lessons,” said NPPC President R.C. Hunt, a pork producer from Wilson, N.C.

In its statement, the DOL said that they and the U.S. Department of Agriculture will work with national agricultural stakeholders “to develop an educational program to reduce accidents to young workers and promote safer agricultural working practices.’

To read the DOL statement, click here.