Withdrawal of proposed youth labor regs applauded
Members of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) applauded a decision by the United States Department of Labor on Thursday, April 26, to withdraw a proposed rule that would have restricted youth under 16-years of age from performing most jobs associated with agricultural production, especially the livestock sector.
The proposal would have also limited youth involvement in programs offered through the Future Farmers of America (FFA) and 4-H.
"The voices of cattle raisers were heard in Washington and this a win for agriculture. Our youth are a key component to ensure the future of agriculture remains strong and prosperous. We must continue to afford the next generation in agriculture the opportunity to learn at a young age and this proposal would have put an end to that," said Joe Parker Jr., TSCRA president.
"Young people involved in agriculture gain valuable experience and a strong work ethic that benefit all aspects of agriculture, including the consumer." Parker went on to say the proposed regulations would not only have limited the ability of youth to prepare for a career in agriculture, but also would have taken away the ability of parents to make decisions with their children regarding safe agricultural work practices, and instead placing the decision in the hands of the federal government.
"TSCRA works to help educate youth and adults about safe agricultural work practices and supports the continued efforts of the extension service, 4-H, and FFA to improve the safety of the workplace in agriculture," said Parker.