Utah Farm Bureau President Leland Hogan said "this is the right decision for our nation’s family-based agriculture system."
The announcement shows the strength of American agriculture and grassroots action, Hogan said. Farm families throughout Utah should be proud of the influence that they had in this process and the contribution they made to the outcome. It is sometimes hard to see the impact thoughtful and deliberate grassroots communication has on legislators and regulators, but involvement in the process really does work. We had widespread involvement from Farm Bureau members throughout our state and great support from our congressional leaders to help the Labor Department see the wisdom in withdrawing this proposed rule change, he said.
The Department of Labor announcement said the “decision to withdraw this rule, including provisions to define the ‘parental exemption’, 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 – such as the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Farmers Union, the FFA, and 4-H – to develop an educational program to reduce accidents to young workers and promote safer agricultural working practices.”
The Utah Farm Bureau and the Utah Labor Commission have worked together for years to promote safer working environments for Utah’s farmers, ranchers and other related groups. Having the state’s only bilingual safety trainer, the Farm Bureau has worked successfully at educating youth and adults on safe practices on Utah farms and ranches, with an 83 percent decrease in fatalities since 1986.
Utah Farm Bureau thanks its members for working to educate the Utah congressional delegation on this issue and submitting comments to the U.S. Department of Labor.