WAMC News, North Country News
12:09 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

New York Farmers Call for Elimination of Proposed Labor Regulations

The U.S. Department of Labor plans to finalize the proposed regulations by summer.  The New York Farm Bureau wants the agency to eliminate changes in youth family farm work regulations, which New York Farm Bureau Public Policy Director Julie Suarez says could prohibit young adults from using the most basic of tools on a farm.

Congressman Bill Owens is a member of the House Agriculture Committee.  He has asked for revisions in the proposed rule, but said his communications with the Secretary of Labor have not been “particularly fruitful to date”.

99-percent of farms in New York State are family owned and operated. Most, especially the multi-generational farms, use some type of corporate structure to protect the assets.  Essex County Farm Bureau President Erik Leerkes says being incorporated doesn’t make it any less of a family farm......
1    :36  It’s common for ...... future of agriculture

Turning Point Dairy Farm is in Saratoga County.  Cathy Hanehan says 11 family members work there.

Rensselaer County Dutch Hollow Farm owner Beth Chittenden says their children have learned farming beginning with simple tasks, and that is now threatened.

The Farm Bureau says over ten-thousand comments nationally have been submitted opposing the proposed regulation, including criticism from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.