Department of Labor Mandates for Rural America From A Clueless Obama Administration

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The Regulations Call for A 25% Reduction in Farm Dust Which Will Make It Hard to Operate Machinery

The government is now telling people what they can and cannot do on their own farm in the form of regulations. One of the most concerning is the prohibition against children working on the farms.

Children have been raised to work on the farms for generations but Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis came up with 50 pages of rules that will prevent young people under 16 from doing anything on a farm. They won’t be able to mow the lawn.

The Solis rules are allegedly to protect children but Family Security Matters has different information:

Family Security Matters:…There has remained a significant number of farm jobs for which American teens rather than illegal aliens have been the preferred labor pool. Now, with the backing of the illegal alien lobby, Obama’s Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis, is proposing new regulations that would stab the farm lobby in the back: the new regulations would have the practical effect of prohibiting most teenagers from working on farms.

The proposed regulations, contained in 57,000 words on 50 pages of the Federal Register (available on the net here) would, according to the Farm Bureau, require that teens complete at least ninety hours of classroom instruction before they could be hired for farm work. It would also prohibit teens from operating any power-driven equipment, implements or devices; prohibit them from herding animals on horseback, and effectively prevent them from climbing into haylofts that are over six feet above ground (which is to say, all haylofts.)

It would also end teenage participation in corn detasseling in which corn tassels are manually pulled from the tops of the plants after machines have removed the majority.  This massive job, requiring thousands of workers is to rural families and teens many things:  a rite of passage, a first job, a lesson in the work ethic, an essential service to farmers, and a source of income (up to $12.50 per hour).

The alleged purpose of the proposed regulations is to “protect” children, but as with everything else in this administration, in order to find the real reason for a decision you first have to identify who it is that is being paid off. In this case the payee is the illegal alien lobby; by eliminating job opportunities for tens of thousands of American teens, those same jobs will instantly become available to the only other group competing for this work:  illegal aliens.

The Washington Times quotes a single Iowa farmer saying that the proposed regulation will eliminate between 1,200 and 2,000 teens from his work force.  Multiply that by tens of thousands of farms and you begin to see the monumental scope of the sacrifice American teens will have to make in order fund Obama’s gift to illegals…

There is bipartisan outrage in the Senate over Solis’ regulations. They further demonstrate how clueless this administration is about farming and rural life.

Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and 28 of their colleagues have written a letter to Solis requesting “the Department withdraw the proposed rule immediately until such time as it can substantiate that any proposed changes to current [Agriculture Hazardous Orders] will significantly improve youth safety, while at the same time prevent significant adverse economic impacts on rural employers.”

The Ohio Farm Bureau has been collecting surveys from members which are being accepted at www.ofbf.org and they will be delivered to Congress next month.

The Times Gazette lists what some of the effects the rules will have –

Times Gazette:…According to the survey, The Department of Labor’s proposed rules will:

– Prevent farmers’ children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and neighbors from working on a farm.

– Eliminate the opportunity for youth to learn skills through 4-H, FFA, and cooperative extension training and certification programs.

– Restrict common farm-related tasks like operating a tractor, using on-farm power tools, and cleaning out stalls with a hose.

“As it stands right now, I couldn’t hire a kid to mow the grass under these regulations,” Dillon said. “And we are talking about junior high and high school students who are looking for a little work… we want to let the department of labor know that they are still way off mark, and what they are doing is detrimental to kids’ futures and the futures of farms.”…

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