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May 4--  Apparently someone in the federal government has decided their effort to regulate who can milk the cows or bring in the crop on the family farm should be reversed.  For years farm kids have done chores around the farm without federal oversight and apparently that can now continue, at least, for now. 

Recently, the Department of Labor recently determined that they would not apply the Fair Labor Standards Act to affect the ability of farmers and ranchers to hire youth to work in agriculture. 

Congressman John Barrow released the following statement:

"I'm very pleased that the Department of Labor listened to folks involved in agriculture, dropped this rule, and gave farmers the security to know this won’t come up again under this administration.  There are very good reasons to protect young children from oppressive working environments, but this provision would have threatened Georgia’s agricultural economy, while eliminating important agricultural education opportunities for our children.  I want to thank everyone who expressed their discontent with the possibility of this provision and want you to know that your voice was heard.”

Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall also release this statement:

“We are pleased that the Department of Labor chose to withdraw this set of rules,” said Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall. “As proposed, the DOL rule would have fundamentally changed how the department interprets the existing parental exemption for family farms and would greatly restrict the ability of youth to work on common farm equipment. It could have changed and hindered the ability of youth to gain real-life agricultural experience through education programs like 4-H and FFA.”

This rule would have vast implications for the agriculture industry that could have affected those involved in livestock and grain production, commodity transport, youth agriculture education, and other sectors.