The family farm faces serious threat with new regulations
In Central Washington, the vast majority of farms are family-owned and operated. Agriculture is the backbone of our economy. More than that, it’s a way of life.
Unfortunately, this way of life faced a very real threat this past year, when Department of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis proposed new regulations that would have effectively prevented those under the age of 16 from doing any sort of farm-related work. Activities like feeding a baby calf a bottle, picking apples or loading a hay truck would have been outlawed.
At the time, the Department of Labor (DOL) pointed to an exception that if a farm was solely owned by the child’s parents, some activities would be allowed. However, as t...