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National Grange Cheers Youth Farm Labor Decisions

By National Grange Press Release (5/2/12)

  MAY 2, 2012 --

Late last week, the Department of Labor announced it would no longer pursue the stringent proposed regulations prohibiting numerous youth labor activities on farms.

The National Grange has been very vocal in its objections to the proposed rule, saying such regulations would have eliminated countless opportunities for youth to continue their work on family farms, operate standard farm equipment and assist with livestock sales and shows.

"There is no substitute for the hands-on training and cultivation of young work ethic that occurs every day on family farms and in hometown co-ops," National Grange President Ed Luttrell said.

"The legacy of family farms is already a very expensive one to inherit and more and more we see the numbers of farmers declining," Luttrell said. "Regulations such as those the DOL initially proposed would make it even more difficult to interest young people in farming."

The Department of Labor noted that their decision to withdraw the rule "was made in response to thousands of comments expressing concerns about the effect of the proposed rules on small family-owned farms."

Additionally, the agency said the set of regulations would not be pursued for the duration of the Obama administration. 

"We are just glad to see that the DOL and the Obama Administration listened to the overwhelming opposition to this unnecessary regulation by the agriculture and rural communities. From a policy standpoint, the little guys really did win this one," Legislative Director Nicole Palya Wood said.

Established in 1867, The National Grange, a nonpartisan, nonprofit fraternal organization, is the oldest agricultural and rural community service organization. With more than 2,100 local chapters, the Grange has evolved into the nation's leading rural advocacy organization and a major benefactor to local communities. There are more than 160,000 members across the United States.  For more information on the National Grange, visit our website at www.nationalgrange.org.

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