Child Labor Rules May Say “No Kids Allowed” Near Manure Pits


The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) proposed on-farm child labor regulations have been getting a lot of attention in agricultural circles lately. Under the proposed rules, youth under the age of 16 would be prohibited from performing work, which the Labor Secretary defines as “hazardous,” on farms that are not owned by the child’s parents.  Young people would be prohibited from working near or in manure storage areas under the proposed regulations.

Wording in the proposal indicates youth would be allowed to work on “family farms” owned and operated by their parents, although a clear definition of a family farm was not provided.

Prior to the close of the comment period on Dec. 1, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), the American Sheep Industry Association and the National Turkey Federation jointly submitted comments opposing the proposed regulations.

Learn more about the proposed regulations at, or read more about the implications for livestock producers at

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