Labrador Sponsors Legislation to Protect Idaho's Farming HeritageWednesday April 25, 2012
(WASHINGTON, D.C.)- Congressman Raúl Labrador (ID-01) announced today that he has co-sponsored H.R. 4157, or “Preserving America’s Family Farms Act.” Sponsored by Congressman Tom Latham (IA-04), this legislation would preempt the Department of Labor’s proposed regulations that would ban young people under the age of 18 from conducting farm chores on their own families’ land.
These new rules would also blacklist several places of employment, including “country grain elevators, grain bins, feed lots, stockyards, livestock exchanges and livestock auctions.” The regulation would also forbid young people under the age of 18 from participating in the “storing, marketing and transporting of farm product raw materials.”
“I wish I could say I was surprised by yet another regulatory overreach by the Obama Administration, but I sadly am not. It is absolutely outrageous that an agency of unelected bureaucrats wants to tell America’s farming families that they cannot instill in their children the virtues of hard work and responsibility taught by performing agricultural chores,” Congressman Labrador said. “The preservation of Idaho’s rich agricultural heritage is dependent upon teaching our children how to care for our land and our livestock. Attempts by the Obama Administration to change labor laws must be balanced against the needs and traditional practices of farmers, not Washington politics.”
Congressman Labrador joins more than 60 co-sponsors of the legislation, including his colleague from Idaho, Congressman Mike Simpson (ID-02). The bill is complemented by a companion bill in the U.S. Senate, S. 2221, sponsored by Senator John Thune (R-SD). Idaho Senators Jim Risch and Mike Crapo are co-sponsors of the Senate measure.