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After Uproar, Dept of Labor Withdraws Proposal That Would Have Made It Illegal for Farm KIds to Work on Family Farms

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Fair Trade & Social Justice page and our Farm Issues page.

A proposal from the Obama administration to prevent children from doing farm chores has drawn plenty of criticism from rural-district members of Congress. But now it's attracting barbs from farm kids themselves.

The Department of Labor is poised to put the finishing touches on a rule that would apply child labor laws to children working on family farms, prohibiting them from performing a list of jobs on their own families' land.

Under the rules, most children under 18 could no longer work "in the storing, marketing and transporting of farm product raw materials."

"Prohibited places of employment," a Department press release read, "would include country grain elevators, grain bins, silos, feed lots, stockyards, livestock exchanges and livestock auctions."

The new regulations, first proposed August 31 by Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, would also revoke the government's approval of safety training and certification taught by independent groups like 4-H and FFA, replacing them instead with a 90-hour federal government training course.
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