WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), today said that the pressure he and others put on the Obama administration has resulted in the Department of Labor (DOL) dropping the unpopular rule that would have prevented youth from participating in many common work activities on family farms. Inhofe, who joined colleagues on two letters last Fall raising concerns about the rule, committed to continuing the fight against yet another example of President Obama’s over-regulation efforts. He is also a co-sponsor of the bi-partisan Preserving America’s Family Farm Act, to prevent the enactment of the controversial rule.
“This is just another example of over-regulation from the Obama administration that is hurting jobs and the economy,” said Inhofe. “Family farms are a vital part of our nation’s economy, and they are the bedrock of rural American values and qualities like hard-work, determination, and ingenuity. I am glad this ridiculous attempt to penalize those family farms and what they represent has been stopped, and I will continue to fight to prevent this and the other over-regulation coming from President Obama.”
Last year, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis proposed rules that would restrict family farm operations by prohibiting youth under the age of 18 from being near animals of certain ages without adult supervision, participating in common livestock practices such as vaccinating, and handling most animals more than six months old, which would severely limit participation in 4-H and FFA activities and restrict their youth farm safety classes. Further, the rule would prohibit children from operating farm machinery over 20 power take-off (PTO) horsepower; completing tasks at elevations over six feet high; and working at stockyards and grain and feed facilities. The language of the proposed rule is so specific it would even ban youth from operating a battery powered screwdriver or a pressurized garden hose.