Tester: Labor Department ‘didn’t get the whole message’ on farm labor

(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement after the Labor Department announced that it will reevaluate the ‘parental exemption’ in its rule on child labor in agriculture:

“The Labor Department clearly didn’t get the whole message from Montana’s farmers and ranchers.  Today’s announcement doesn’t go far enough toward finding a solution that safeguards Montana’s family farms and ranches for decades to come.  I will keep pushing for a real, common sense solution and I encourage all Montanans to continue sharing their thoughts.”

Tester, along with many Montanans, pushed the Department to “back off” its original proposal.  Tester, the Senate’s only active farmer, said new regulations on youth employment on farms would impact young people’s ability to learn about agriculture.

Tester is a steadfast advocate for the next generation of Montana farmers and ranchers.  He recently sponsored the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act that strengthens initiatives to help beginning farmers and ranchers start and grow family farms and ranches.