Mr. MORAN. I appreciate those sentiments. I would say that these proposed rules did not come about as a result of Congress passing a piece of legislation or of there being congressional hearings finding a series of problems in regard to safety with young people on farms. In fact, the Department of Labor admits they have no real academic, scientific studies that were compelling them to reach this conclusion. In fact, there are studies out there that show that young people are safer today on farms.
This is a matter that is so important to so many people. Yes, we are probably a significant minority, but we need the help of our colleagues from urban and suburban America to help us hold back this intrusion that will fundamentally alter American agriculture, farming and ranching, and a rural way of life.
I have a letter from a young girl in Stockton, KS. Stockton is a town of probably about 1,500, 1,600 in population. Her point was this: I didn't grow up on a farm, but I love agriculture, and I need a job. There is only a convenience store and a bank and a grain elevator in my town. In the absence of my ability to work on a farm in the neighborhood, my ability to have a job as a teenager is greatly diminished. I think I might be interested in being a farmer or a rancher someday.
I think it is the dream of every farmer, every farm family to be able to say: We are going to pass this farm on to the next generation--to our own kids or to young people.
Farming is this way of life that farmers and ranchers are so proud of and believe they serve--and they do--they serve such a noble profession in feeding and clothing and providing energy to a hungry and cold and difficult world. Agriculture certainly is about economics, but there is an understanding of what farmers and ranchers do that is important to the world, and we need to make certain there is another generation, another set of young people who can step into the shoes of an aging population of farmers and ranchers across the country.
Again, these proposed rules need to be totally withdrawn, and we ought not accept the ruse of a portion of them being proposed.