Missouri's youth have the right to work on farms and ranches in the state after Gov. Jay Nixon signed legislation into law today.
The legislation (SB 16/HB 334) was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Brian Munzlinger (R-18) and in the House by Rep. Tony Dugger (R-141). The legislation exempts farm work performed by children under the age of 16 from certain child labor requirements. In a statement, MCA Executive Vice President Mike Deering said the legislation was partly in response to poor decisions made at the federal level.
Bill would have prevented youth from working on farms and ranches not owned by their parents
"I believe the bill was brought to the forefront as a result of the Department of Labor proposing a federal rule that would have essentially banned youth 16 years of age and under from working on farms and ranches that were not owned by their parents," said Deering. "The rule was absolutely lubricous. MCA is pleased to see the Governor, Missouri General Assembly and Missouri Department of Agriculture taking a solid stance in support of youth in agriculture."
Deering said it is becoming increasingly difficult to encourage young people to become involved in production agriculture partly due to over regulation and red tape.
"Rather than strapping our hands behind our backs and preventing youth from learning the ropes of food and fiber production from today's farmers and ranchers, government should work with farmers and ranchers to ensure the rules on the books are workable. We are proud, that here in Missouri, we have done just that," Deering said.
Source: Missouri Cattlemen's Association