Senators Fight for Family Farms
March 23, 2012
The Preserving America’s Family Farms Act (S. 2221) recently introduced in the U.S. Senate would prevent the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) from implementing a new labor regulation that would negatively impact existing agricultural and education programs and family farm structures.
The DOL proposed a rule that would adversely affect the ability of farmers and ranchers to hire young people to work on farms and ranches. The proposed rule would restrict the type of work rural youth can do, limit their ability to work on farms other than those owned by immediate family and limit the ability of cooperative extension services and vocational education programs, such as FFA and 4-H, to offer certain types of training. S. 2221 would prohibit the U.S. Secretary of Labor from finalizing or enforcing these new restrictions.
The bill is supported by 37 senators, which now goes to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. It was introduced by Sens. John Thune (N.D.), Pat Roberts (Kan.) and Jerry Moran (Kan.) and is co-sponsored by Sens. Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), John Barrasso (Wyo.), Roy Blunt (Mo.), John Boozman (Ariz.), Richard Burr (N.C.), Saxby Chambliss (Ga.), Dan Coats (Ind.), Tom Coburn (Okla.), Thad Cochran (Miss.), John Cornyn (Texas), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Jim DeMint (S.C.), Mike Enzi (Wyo.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Orrin Hatch (Utah), John Hoeven (N.D.), Jim Inhofe (Okla.), Johnny Isakson (Ga.), Mike Johanns (Neb.), Ron Johnson (Wisc.), Mark Kirk (Ill.), John Kyl (Ariz.), Mike Lee (Utah), Richard Lugar (Ind.), John McCain (Ariz.), Mitch McConnell (Ky.), Rand Paul (Ky.), Jim Risch (Idaho), Mark Rubio (Fla.), Jeff Sessions (Ala.), Jon Tester (Mont.), Pat Toomey (Pa.) and Roger Wicker (Miss.).