NC Ag Commissioner Pleased with DOL Decision
It’s a once in a lifetime event…the Department of Labor got it right. NC AG Commissioner Steve Troxler agrees:
“They’re withdrawing their proposed rules that would have limited the types of work children under the age of 16 could do on farms.”
There were many problems with this rule, but the most pronounced is that if implemented, they could have jeopardized the future of American farming:
“The average age of farmers in North Carolina has been going up for years, and if you can’t recruit a new generation of farmers and get them interested in farm work when they’re young, then how are you going to get them back to the farm?”
Instead, the DOL has said they will work with key farm groups to issue safety recommendations for young people working on farms. Troxler is in favor of this idea:
“They’re saying that they’re going to work with the American Farm Bureau, FFA and other farm groups to develop an educational program on farm safety for young workers, and I think that’s a good approach.”
Wheat Field Days get Underway Next Week
Three wheat field and small grain field days are set for the month of May, the first is on May 8th at the Wilton Shooter & Sons Farm on Route 301 near Rowland, N.C. Topics at this field day will include impact of mowing “big wheat,” soil pH & manganese, pop-up fertilizers, nitrogen management, seeding rates, plus planting dates, and more. Registration gets underway at 4:00 pm with tours starting at 4:30. For more information or directions, visit our calendar page HERE.
Ohio Labor Union Could Be Involved in NC Tobacco
A farm workers union based in Ohio says it will help lead a discussion about the conditions and rights of workers who cut and harvest tobacco in North Carolina. The Farm Labor Organizing Committee says it will sit down with tobacco growers and several large tobacco manufacturers to talk about wages and working conditions for the field workers. The Toledo, Ohio-based group has been campaigning since 2007 to force the groups to address concerns that include child labor and illnesses facing the workers.
Baldemar (BAW'-duh-mahr) Velasquez (VUH'-las-kehz) says the union wants the tobacco companies to come to an agreement with the union over the right to bargain collectively for farm workers in their supply chain.