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Farmers overwhelmed by DOL’s 3,000 pages of new rules


The U.S. Department of Labor has added another 600 pages to its list of rules for farmers, reaching a staggering total of 3,000 pages in the last 18 months. This volume of regulations is raising significant concerns within the agricultural community regarding the feasibility and justification of such measures.

Expressing the sector's frustrations, Zippy Duvall, President of the American Farm Bureau Federation, criticized the latest rule for its broad assumptions about farmer conduct and the impractical burden it places on agricultural employers. Duvall emphasized that while the intention to protect farm workers from abuse is universally supported, the approach taken by the DOL is overwhelming and presumes wrongdoing across the board.

Farmers are finding themselves in a difficult position, needing to hire legal experts to decipher the dense and continuous flow of new regulations. This situation not only increases operational costs but also diverts resources from farming to compliance management.

The challenge now lies in reconciling the need for worker safety and rights with the practical capacities and rights of farmers. The agricultural community is advocating for a more balanced regulatory approach that considers the operational realities of farming.

As the Department of Labor plans further regulations, it faces growing calls from the agricultural sector to consider the cumulative impact of its policies and strive for regulations that are both fair and manageable.

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