Senator Jerry Moran, R-Kan., is leading an effort to head off onerous new Department of Labor rules which spell out what young people can and cannot do while working on farms and farm-related businesses. While DOL says the rules do not apply to young people engaged in working on their own family farms Moran doesn't buy it.
Now, Moran says lawmakers and farm groups have launched a major effort to have the department drop the proposal all together.
"My interest in agriculture certainly is for profitability on the farm, but what caused me to have an interest in public service and politics is a belief that we live our lives in a pretty special way in rural America and this undercuts the ability for that way of life to continue," Moran said. "So we are in fight mode and we've got Senators that were asking to join us to tell the Department of Labor to withdraw this regulation, and our letter that we are circulating among Senators that will go to the Department of Labor has the American Farm Bureau, National Cattlemen, Ag Retailers, Pork Producers, those kind of groups supporting it. So as I said we are in fight mode to get the Department of Labor to withdraw this craziness."
A public comment period on the new Department of Labor rules ended Dec. 1 with much opposition to the proposed rule. Moran also expressed disappointment with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack who endorsed the new rules last week.