NCBA president J D Alexander said: “This is a victory for farm and ranch families throughout the country. This ridiculous rule would have prevented the next generation of farmers and ranchers from acquiring skills and passion for this very noble profession. It also would have restricted urban kids from working on farms and acquiring a solid worth ethic and enthusiasm for this very diverse industry.
“We absolutely have to have a sensible regulatory environment in Washington DC. We should not have to worry about negligent rules being promulgated by out-of-touch regulatory agencies. We encourage the administration to venture off the city sidewalks and learn more about where their food comes from.”
Alexander added that this was not the first time the administration had proposed rules impacting agriculture before fully evaluating the consequences of the regulations, and that agency officials should reach out to farmers and ranchers prior to proposing a rule “that could jeopardise the future of their profession”.
“Rather than strapping our hands behind our backs and preventing American youth from learning the ropes of food and fibre production from today’s farmers and ranchers, the administration should work with farmers and ranchers to ensure the rules on the books are workable.
“Rules and regulations, including those related to America’s youth working on farms and ranches, need to ensure safe working conditions. But the original proposal simply went too far. Cattlemen’s voices were heard,” he said.
The US Department of Labour (DOL) withdrew the rule last week, citing “thousands of comments” expressing concern.