WASHINGTON (WTAQ) - The U.S. Labor Department has scrapped a controversial plan to put new restrictions on child farm labor.
At least one Wisconsin farm group calls that a big victory.
Casey Langan of the Farm Bureau Federation said the face of family farms would have been drastically changed, “if these unworkable rules would have been implemented.”
Among other things, children younger than 16 would have been prohibited from running tractors or heavy equipment of farms that don’t belong to their families. Children working on their own families’ farms would have been exempt.
Langan said thousands of Wisconsin farmers and parents deluged their congressional representatives and the Labor Department with their concerns.
But not everyone in Wisconsin was against the rules. Officials at Marshfield’s National Farm Medicine Center said something had to be done to curb the high numbers of childhood farm injuries and deaths.
Langan said he understands that concern – and he appreciates that the U.S. Labor and Agriculture agencies will work with stakeholders to create an educational program aimed at reducing child farm accidents.