Summit County farmers and ranchers, like others across the nation, aren’t looking forward to possible changes of child labor laws, which they believe could heavily impact the culture of agriculture in the United States. And growing debate has sparked a standoff between rural and urban, with rural parties believing changes attack that lifestyle.
The U.S. Department of Labor proposed changes to the law last fall, which would be the first since the law was created more than 40 years ago. The problem farming groups and individual farmers have with the changes is not an increased focus on child safety, but that the new rules would affect children’s ability to earn money, work for their families and learn life lessons while training to work in agriculture.
“This is more of an assault on my culture than anything that’s going to solve a problem,” said East Summit County rancher and father or four Jeff Young. “I just can’t imagine that riding a horse that’s following a herd of cattle is any more dangerous than skiing or playing football.”