Heat from farmers results in rethinking of youth labor limits

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The new rules would ban power-driven equipment use by children younger than 16 as well as keep those younger than 18 from work in stockyards, grain bins and feed lots.

More than 30 lawmakers from farm states had called on the department to rescind the rules, warning they would have a negative impact on rural employers and interfere with parents’ ability to train the next generation of farmers.

Sen. Jerry Moran, Kansas Republican, called the decision Wednesday “promising news” but said the overall proposal remains “a threat to the future of agriculture.”

He said the new rules still would prohibit children from performing common farm tasks like rounding up cattle on horseback, operating a tractor, or cleaning out stalls with a shovel and wheelbarrow.

This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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