2011 Senate Joint Resolution 57
Relating to: stating the legislature's support for farm work.
Whereas, the U.S. Department of Labor has proposed new federal regulations that would severely limit the work that youths may perform on farms; and
Whereas, among other things, the proposed regulations would prohibit youths from operating most power-driven equipment, working at grain elevators, stockyards, and livestock auctions, and storing, marketing, or transporting farm product raw materials; and
Whereas, for generations in our country, teenagers have safely worked at farm jobs that challenge them and instill a strong work ethic, but the proposed regulations would largely end this practice; and
Whereas, Kurt and Kyle Weisensel of Edgerton, Wisconsin, are perfect examples of the importance of youth involvement on farms, having raised and shown pigs for years and now running their own pig breeding and raising business at the ages of 17 and 15; and
Whereas, while the children working on their own parents' farm would be exempted, the proposed regulations ignore the multigenerational tradition of family farming and would still prohibit children from working on their grandparents' or other relatives' farms; and
Whereas, today's youth are our nation's future farmers but less and less are interested in pursuing a career in farming, and without proper hands-on opportunities to learn and experience work on a farm, the task of recruiting the next generation of farmers grows even more difficult; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the senate, the assembly concurring, That the members of the Wisconsin legislature acknowledge and honor the vital role of the family farm and youth farm labor in Wisconsin's agriculture and economy; and, be it further
Resolved, That the members of the Wisconsin legislature stand opposed to the federal Department of Labor's proposed regulations.