Safety regulations strongly backed by farmworker advocates were mothballed yesterday by the US Department of Labor.
The move came following a fierce backlash from ag industry groups and farm-region lawmakers including North Country Rep. Bill Owens (D-Plattsburgh).
This from the Glens Falls Post Star:
The crackdown on farm workers incited area farmers and the region’s local, state and federal lawmakers, who immediately questioned the administration’s commitment to rural America.
And on Thursday evening, the Labor Department pulled back, specifically citing the nationwide rebuke of the attempt to bring farms under the same standards as other industries.
“The Obama administration is firmly committed to promoting family farmers and respecting the rural way of life, especially the role that parents and other family members play in passing those traditions down through the generations,” read a statement released by the Labor Department. “To be clear, this regulation will not be pursued for the duration of the Obama administration.”
Rep. Owens issued a statement late last night, which reads as follows:
“This is great news for youth interested in agriculture and family farms across New York State. I applaud this commonsense decision by the Department of Labor to reverse course on a regulation that would have been damaging to New York family farms,” Owens said. “Agriculture is vital to our region’s economy and food security, and I look forward to continuing to work with New Yorkers to ensure Washington works for the farming community — not against it.”