After facing national backlash and criticism, the U.S. Department of Labor announced Thursday it would withdraw a proposed rule for preventing children from working on farms.
The measure would have prevented kids under the age of 18 from doing many daily family farm chores--including storing, marketing and transporting farm product raw materials--in order to "strengthen the safety requirements."
Opponents argued the requirement would not only hurt farm families by losing vital labor, but it would also prevent kids from developing the work-ethic needed to continue the lifestyle.
"This is clear victory for the agricultural community and the next generation of farmers," Ohio Congressman Bob Latta said. "The Department of Labor made the right decision in halting a regulation that is an overreach and intrusion into family farms across America."
The labor department said the decision was made in response to thousands of comments expressing concerns about the effect of the proposed rules on small family-owned farms.
"Instead, the Departments of Labor and Agriculture will work with rural stakeholders â?? such as the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Farmers Union, the Future Farmers of America, and 4-H â?? to develop an educational program to reduce accidents to young workers and promote safer agricultural working practices." the department wrote in a statement.