The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 4157, the Preserving America’s Family Farms Act. Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson is a cosponsor of the bill, which prevents the Department of Labor (DOL) Secretary from reissuing a proposed rule that would limit farmers’ and ranchers’ ability to hire youth to work in agriculture.
“This DOL proposal was a misguided idea that threatened the ability of America’s youth to work on family farms and other agricultural operations,” said Simpson. “It would also restrict families in their efforts to pass on the generational knowledge and the hands-on learning that is critical to the survival of the agricultural industry.”
When H.R. 4157 was originally introduced, it explicitly prevented the Secretary of Labor from finalizing or enforcing the proposed child labor regulations that would have prohibited young people under the age of 16 from working on farms. The proposed rule was subsequently withdrawn in April, 2012, following objection from the agricultural community. Congressman Simpson was pleased when the DOL dropped the proposed rule that would have transformed the way of life for thousands of family farms and ranches across the country, and he cosponsored H.R. 4157 that would prevent this absurd and overreaching rule from being considered in the future.
The Preserving America’s Family Farms Act now moves to the U.S. Senate for consideration.