Washington--In official comments to the Labor Department, the American Farm Bureau Federation said the department’s proposed changes to child labor regulations go beyond DOL’s authority and urged the department to “maintain the integrity of the family farm exemption approved by Congress.”
“Farmers and ranchers are more interested than anyone else in assuring the safety of farming operations,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. However, he said, the right of family farms, partnerships and family corporations to operate the farms with family members should not be infringed.
AFBF commented on behalf of a coalition of 70 farm groups as well as in separate comments of its own. The coalition says DOL should withdraw its proposal and ensure it is following congressional intent by only addressing particularly hazardous work. The department is authorized to prevent youths from working in jobs that are “particularly hazardous,” AFBF said, but the regulatory proposal goes well beyond that objective.