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Posts Tagged ‘agriculture’

Legislative Update: Agriculture Education Rule, Appropriations

Friday, May 11th, 2012

Proposed Rule Affecting Agriculture Education Withdrawn

As we told you late last year, the Department of Labor proposed a rule relating to the child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, which would eliminate the student learner exemptions, particularly related to agriculture experiences. These changes would limit the opportunities for students to participate in hands-on learning experiences in agriculture programs.

The Department recently announced that they were withdrawing the proposed rule “in response to thousands of comments expressing concerns about the effect of the proposed rules on small family-owned farms.” We are pleased to see the change that can occur because of grassroots advocacy. The CTE and agriculture communities mobilized to voice their concerns with the proposed rule, their voices were heard!

House Passes Sequester Replacement Bill

The House passed H.R. 5652, the Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act which, we told you about last week. This bill would replace cuts to defense spending with reductions to food stamps and other mandatory social programs. The bill passed 218-99, along party lines. Nearly all Republicans supported the bill (16 opposed it), and no Democrats supported it.

The Democratically-controlled Senate is so opposed to the bill that they have said they will not even vote on it. President Obama released a Statement of Administration Policy which indicated his plan to veto the bill if it reached his desk because it “would impose deep budget cuts that cost jobs and hurt middle class and vulnerable Americans – especially seniors, veterans, and children.” While the bill has very little chance of passing Congress, it could serve as a marker for Republicans during budget negotiations later this year.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Legislation, Public Policy
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Legislative Update: FFA Before Congress, American Jobs Center

Friday, March 16th, 2012

FFA President Testifies before Congress

Yesterday, National FFA President Ryan Best testified before the Senate at a hearing on the 2012 Farm Bill. During his testimony, Best highlighted the successful projects being done by FFA students across the country. He also spoke about the importance of agriculture education and its role in preparing students for postsecondary education and careers in the agriculture industry. Best said that the Farm Bill should support farm programs that strengthen agriculture eduction.

Best is a junior at New Mexico State University majoring in agricultural and extension education.

American Jobs Center

In his State of the Union address in January, President Obama spoke about streamlining the workforce system in order to get people back to work more quickly in the jobs that exist today, and better prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow.  He said that he wants “to cut through the maze of confusing training programs, so that from now on, people…have one program, one website, and one place to go for all the information and help they need.”

To that end, the President is proposing the creation of the American Job Center, designed to be a single point of access to information and services from across the government for companies and individuals. This would include access to job retraining and education opportunities, skills and career development and counseling.

 

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Public Policy
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ACTION ALERT – Child Labor Laws Regarding Agricultural Labor

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

The U.S. Department of Labor recently issued proposed regulations relating to the child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which eliminate the student learner exemptions, particularly related to agriculture experiences. These changes would limit the opportunities for students to participate in hands-on learning experiences in agriculture programs. While the comment period on the proposed regulations has ended, some members of Congress are mobilizing to stop the changes from going into effect. But we need your help!

The National Association of Agriculture Educators has more information on how you can help by asking your member of Congress to sign on to a Dear Colleague letter. Information on the Senate letter is here; information on the House letter is here.

Please note, the timeline is very tight. The deadline to get your Representative to sign on Rep. Rehberg’s letter is close of business Thursday December 15, 2011. The deadline to get your Senator to sign on to Sens. Moran and Nelson’s letter is close of business Friday December 16, 2011.

Nancy Conneely, Public Policy Manager

By Nancy in Legislation
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