In response to significant feedback from the agriculture industry, the U.S. Department of Labor announced late Thursday that it would withdraw its proposed rule that would have tightened restrictions on children under the age of 16 working on farms.
The American Soybean Association (ASA) repeatedly voiced its opposition to the proposed regulations, and ASA First Vice-President Danny Murphy, soybean farmer from Canton, Miss., releases the following statement in support of Thursday’s announcement:
"Thursday’s reversal by the Department of Labor of its onerous proposed child labor regulations is a victory for soybean farmers and farm families across the country. These rules would have significantly hindered the ability of youth to work on family farms and gain agricultural experience, and we are happy to see the administration make a practical and much needed course correction on this issue.
"I learned how to farm from my father, who learned from his father, and with that knowledge, we’ve kept our farm in the family since 1944. The strength of our industry is built on that understanding of the land, passed down from grandparents to parents to children. The families that comprise the soybean industry know that on-farm experience is the best teacher and part of the rural tradition and work ethic that has made our country’s farm economy strong.
"Nobody values on-farm safety more than farmers, and each of us strives daily to ensure that safety remains our top priority. ASA supports efforts to ensure that children are kept out of potentially hazardous situations on the farm, so we are pleased to hear of the administration’s pledge to work with our farm leadership organizations to develop farm safety programs, and we look forward to working with our public and private partners to ensure that these programs are practical and effective."