posted on May 30, 2012 17:52
Congresswoman Kathy Hochul is pushing for more relaxed child labor laws on family farms.
Over the past month Hochul has been meeting with lawmakers and Western New York's agricultural community at roundtable discussions to see what local farmers need to succeed.
Hochul is supportive of the current child labor laws in place for other businesses, but is trying to ensure that they don't become more strict for the local farming community.
Hochul said farmers have been saying they really need for their children to be able to help with odd jobs around the family farm.
“Family farms are struggling and their children want to be able to learn the trade from a young age and certainly their parents are out there looking out for them, but here you have bureaucrats in Washington who are saying that they can’t work on the farm until they’re 18 and this is very frustrating for farmers,” said Hochul.
Hochul said working on the family farm teaches kids responsibility and the value of hard work. She said she met a young boy who has been working on his family farm for most of his life.
“At the Niagara County roundtable a man stood up and said I want you to meet my son. The son stood up and said I’ve been working on my family farm for 10 years. I asked him how old he was and he said he was 15. For years he’s been doing little chores, nothing major,” said Hocul.
Hochul said she doesn’t understand how teens can drive ATV’s, but are not allowed use tractors.
The next roundtable discussion is scheduled to happen this summer in Genesee County.