WASHINGTON, D.C. – Reps. Kristi Noem (R-SD/AL), Jim Costa (D-CA/16), Adrian Smith (R-NE/3), and Mike McIntyre (D-NC/7) today led 83 members from both sides of the aisle in sending a letter to WASHINGTON, D.C. (KELO-AM) U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez urging the agency to stop using funds to regulate small farming operations.
“Farmers and landowners have a strong vested and personal interest in keeping their operations safe and viable, and they are already subject to countless regulations to ensure operational integrity,” the Members wrote. “We ask you to direct OSHA … to issue an updated memo clarifying OSHA has no authority to regulate any aspect of an agricultural operation with ten or fewer employees.”
Since 1976, Congress has banned OSHA from regulating farming operations with ten or fewer employees. However, in 2011, OSHA issued a memo indicating the Agency has authority to regulate “post-harvest” activities which could include storage, fumigation, and drying - processes common on farms of all sizes.