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Walberg Praised for Standing up for Family Farms
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The Michigan Agri-Business Association today thanked Congressman Tim Walberg, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, for his leadership on challenging proposed Department of Labor rules that would restrict the ability of minors to work on farms.


Source: Michigan Agri-Business Association

Michigan Agri-Businesses Praise Walberg for Standing up for Family Farms


The Michigan Agri-Business Association today thanked Congressman Tim Walberg, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, for his leadership on challenging proposed Department of Labor rules that would restrict the ability of minors to work on farms.

“Farms and ranches are the backbone of the agricultural industry in Michigan,” said Jim Byrum, president of the Michigan Agri-Business Association. “These new rules would severely restrict the ability of young people to work on farms owned by their parents, extended families and neighbors, a tradition that is critical to the continued success of agriculture. We want to thank Congressman Walberg for standing up for farmers and protecting Michigan’s agricultural way of life.”

The rules proposed by the Department of Labor would place new restrictions on the parental exemption for agricultural workers, including preventing young people under the age of 16 from performing certain tasks on farms. The restrictions would not allow minors to work on farms owned by extended family members and neighbors, and may restrict them from working on incorporated farms, which are usually incorporated for tax purposes, but still owned by families.

The Department of Labor held one public hearing on the proposal, lasting two hours. The hearing took place in Tampa, Fla. on Oct. 14, 2011.

On Feb. 17, Rep. Walberg was joined by Rep. John Kline and Rep. Kristi Noem in signing a letter to the Department of Labor asking that the department explain its insufficient outreach to stakeholders and to provide more information about the decision-making process.