Kansas Officials Protest Proposed Farm Labor Rules

Tom Farney cuts a test from a wheat field on Farney Farms near Hazelton, Kan., Wednesday, June 18, 2008. The test cut is taken to the local coop to check the moisture content. When the wheat is dry enough, harvest begins. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ Gov. Sam Brownback and other Kansas
officials say proposed rules from the federal government would
limit youngsters' farm work too much.

Brownback and Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt have sent a
letter to the U.S. Department of Labor, protesting proposed changes
in regulations for young farm laborers. The state's secretaries of
agriculture, labor and commerce sent their own statement, asking
the federal agency to revise its plans.

As examples, Brownback and Schmidt say the rules are too strict
in limiting the ability of 14- and 15-year-olds to operate tractors
and other equipment.

A department spokeswoman says the agency will carefully consider
all comments. But in summarizing its proposed rules, the department
has said it is trying to prevent injuries and deaths.

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