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  #1  
April 25th, 2012, 05:08 PM
Linzie's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Child Labor Laws | Farming | Department of Labor | The Daily Caller

Apparently there is a law in the works banning kids from participating on farms.

Quote:
Under the rules, children under 18 could no longer work “in the storing, marketing and transporting of farm product raw materials.”

“Prohibited places of employment,” a Department press release read, “would include country grain elevators, grain bins, silos, feed lots, stockyards, livestock exchanges and livestock auctions.”
I have a lot of problems with this.

First of all, the number of farmers in this country are declining, along with the interest in farming. "The Environmental Protection Agency reports that the average age of the American farmer is now over 50." The best way, IMO, to get interest in a career is to start young, especially with something like farming. How will we get new farmers, who do a lot to feed this country, if we aren't allowing kids to experience it and learn it? Not all kids who grow up on farms will decide to take up that career, but why limit the pool?

Second, working on a farm, taking care of animals, etc, etc does a lot for responsibility and work ethic. If not given responsibility, how can you learn it? Why take away a perfect opportunity for them to grow?

Third, and this was mentioned in the article, the 4H and FFA programs would be void. "The new regulations, first proposed August 31 by Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, would also revoke the government’s approval of safety training and certification taught by independent groups like 4-H and FFA, replacing them instead with a 90-hour federal government training course." This one really gets my ticker. I was HUGE into FFA when I was in high school. It was fun, it learned a helluva lot, and came out a better person. Programs like this do nothing but good. A replacing with a government training course? That sounds like a clone program. Silly.

Fourth, it would put a lot of jobs out. What about farm and ranch summer camps? There's a whole lot of people who will be out of work if their clientele is no longer legally allowed to do any of these things.


The way this thing is proposed it will take the "family" out of "family farms". You can't pass down your land to your children if they have no idea and no interest in doing any of it. I'm sure this law was made "for the good of the children" to prevent overworking, and exploitation, but come on. This will do a LOT more harm than good.

Thoughts?
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  #2  
April 25th, 2012, 05:25 PM
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I agree with some of it, but not all. I grew up in stockyards, even working sometimes and I see nothing wrong with it. I think the bill goes too far. I'm not comfortable with young children working in grain silos, or working more than an average teen would be allowed to work in a different setting, but this reaches too far to avoid those things. I wonder if the Amish will be exempt from this?
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  #3  
April 25th, 2012, 05:46 PM
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This is the part I dislike the most.
Quote:
The new regulations, first proposed August 31 by
Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, would also revoke the government’s approval of
safety training and certification taught by independent groups like 4-H and FFA, replacing them instead
with a 90-hour federal government training course
.
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  #4  
April 25th, 2012, 06:04 PM
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I agree with some, but definitely not all of it, or even most, actually.

There are a huge amount of farms in this state, most of which are family owned and run(actually I think there are likely very, very few that are not). They also happen to hire an awful lot of people who start as pretty young folks and tend to stay on until they either find a different job or, just move on to another stage in their life. I can see things like this putting a HUGE problem on the shoulders of these farm owners. Probably making it near impossible for some to work with any sort of profit margin. Things are slim pickings some years as it is for crying out loud.

I am not okay with things like 4-H and FFA being done away with, even just pieces of them, not one little bit. In fact, it more than slightly angers me that someone in the government thinks some 90hr federally run program could do a better job than either. I call bull**** on that one. My guess is that person hasn't actually ever had experience with either. Both provide so much more than just "training" in safety and such. That's just one piece of a huge puzzle, and it's not even a piece all participants actually participate in.

Are they going to start regulating other safety training done by other programs outside of "farming" ones too? Or is it just farmers that are disturbing the force?

I think someone is taking for granted what farmers provide in this day and age, and not even for just this country. I understand that some regulations are important so that minors, in general, are not exploited. Because we know it can and does happen in some places(though not really as much here as in other countries). But come on now. Common sense ought to prevail here.
I know at most of the farms I've seen, the younger crowds tend to do more of the manual labor, field work, animal handling, general cleanup, produce gathering(sans machinery) and things like this. I've never seen minors working livestock auctions-they sell at livestock auctions, they never run them though. But those are typically 4-H livestock auctions anyway. Which they obviously want to get rid of. Evil 4-H, just evil.
Are they going to manage landscape companies too, and limit what machinery minors can run with them as well? Lawnmowers for example, and weed eaters. I don't see that happening. Some of that equipment is pretty dangerous.
I saw a cart boy run into a car the other day at walmart with the little cart carrier thingy, thankfully it had no carts on it. But quite clearly that child should not have been driving that machine, he could kill someone.(not that you really drive it, but, well, you know). I can think of lots of jobs minors perform in which they could be exploited, could be over worked, could be doing a job they may not be able to do physically, etc.. etc... So I'm not real sure what the purpose of focusing on American farmers like this is really all about. .

Then again, this is the US government. Common sense doesn't quite fit in with their agenda sometimes. Sigh.

Or I could just be really, really biased.
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  #5  
April 25th, 2012, 07:38 PM
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I grew up helping on a farm on the weekend. I would bail hay. Feed the cows, plow the vegtable patch and help harvest a 1 acre vegetable patch.I think it made me a better person for it. Farmers struggle for everything they got and to ban the kids from helping is going to ruin a lot of family run farms.
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  #6  
April 25th, 2012, 07:46 PM
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I think I agree with everyone else. Very sad about 4H (not sure what the other one is though), a lot of my friends did 4H, many of them went on to agriculture careers because of it.
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  #7  
April 26th, 2012, 04:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plan4fate View Post
I think I agree with everyone else. Very sad about 4H (not sure what the other one is though), a lot of my friends did 4H, many of them went on to agriculture careers because of it.
FFA is Future Farmers Of America. My ex husband was in it. It's a great school program that teaches kids all about agriculture.

I have some seriously strong opinions about this, but my lab final is going to open in a few minutes and I have to start focusing. I'll be back later today to have my little tirade.
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  #8  
April 26th, 2012, 07:18 AM
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I think that they think they are doing the right thing by removing a child's ability to be in unsafe places on a farm but between the thought and the execution, there are some serious flaws. Removing a child's ability to do 4-H and FFA might seem like an easy way to "trim the fat" so to speak but in reality, its going to hurt our future generations. We seem to be a society that continues to make each generation less able to self sustain, and taking away these programs would effectively eliminate that next generation of farmers and agricultural knowledge. Its sad to see that a country as successful as ours is going to regulate ourselves back into the stone age.
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  #9  
April 26th, 2012, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxfire_ga79 View Post
FFA is Future Farmers Of America. My ex husband was in it. It's a great school program that teaches kids all about agriculture.

I have some seriously strong opinions about this, but my lab final is going to open in a few minutes and I have to start focusing. I'll be back later today to have my little tirade.
Thank you! Wasn't a program we had in Canada so I had no idea!



I kept thinking of this last night, and while I do agree that children shouldn't be put in unsafe environments, Are there really that many family farms where someone is going to willingly put their child in danger?

I follow the blog of a cattle rancher family (pioneer woman) and all of their 4 kids, plus nieces and nephews work the ranch on horse back, in the chutes etc. Do they get hurt? I'm assuming once in a while somebody gets kicked by a cow, or knocked down. But it's not like they were going to put their 4 year old at the front of a spooked herd of cattle (it freaked me out enough to see him on top of a full grown horse! lol).

I know for my friend Greg, he worked his parents farm (corn and cabbage) from the time he was old enough to walk along side his mother. She home schooled the kids (I think they had 3... or 3 I knew anyway), so it wasn't like he put in crazy long days with work and school. But by not having to pay a farmhand to do what he did, they were able to put him and his siblings loan free through college. 2 of them went into agriculture and expanded the family's business by buying the one next to it too.

With US loan rates possibly jumping, it just makes college even further away for these families!
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  #10  
April 26th, 2012, 01:05 PM
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I'll bet the Obama campaign received a handsome contribution from Monsanto for this legislation.

Farmville can market itself as a training simulator.
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  #11  
April 26th, 2012, 01:39 PM
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Personally I see this as a move to take people further from being self sufficient. Farming is a trade best learned young. As an adult trying to teach myself the ins and outs of farming, it's tough and my kids are learning it faster than I am. Agriculture takes a lot of practice. I have yet to manage a successful garden!
Maybe I'm just being paranoid and extremist but this feels to me like the government wants us to become more helpless. Depend less on ourselves for our food, and more on the grocery store.
Just how often are these accidents they are trying to prevent happening anyway. In 4 years on the fire department and rescue squad I only ever got called to 1 silo accident, and that was a grown man and not a child. Of course that's anecdotal, but of all the farming families I've known I've never personally known of a kid getting seriously hurt. I've known of grown men getting killed or their backs broken in tractor accidents and so on, but not kids.
I never was a member of 4H or FFA but I would have freaking loved it. Those kids are well rounded and mature, so responsible. And live stock shows are actually kind of cool. lol Yea, I said that. There are plenty of laughs when showing goats and chickens. lmao
Last fall I gave one of my horses to one of my nieces to train for her senior project for 4H. She wasn't 18 at the time, so I guess that encouraging a teen to work with a farm animal means I was contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Oh the humanity.
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  #12  
April 26th, 2012, 01:44 PM
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This is a prime example of the government having WAY too much control. Someone needs to step in and give the power back to the people. It's all just sickening.
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  #13  
April 26th, 2012, 05:15 PM
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Do people not have any faith in kids any more? They're not going to lose a limb or an eye or get trapped every time you turn your back. They aren't going to go straight to the most dangerous thing they can find. Accidents happen everywhere. I'll be willing to bet more kids get hurt, in accidents, and stressed more playing sports than on farms.

People need to have a little more faith in their kids, IMO.
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  #14  
April 26th, 2012, 05:18 PM
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I've seen, and heard of, way more adults getting hurt working a farm than kids. Mostly because people aren't as stupid as the government seems to think and they don't put their kids in charge of jobs that are extremely dangerous without help-assuming they let them do them at all. Whereas adults, well, we're a little less careful sometimes, not so willing to accept that we screw things up from time to time, and in the end, **** happens. But at least we did it to ourselves.

I bet if there is a statistic out there anywhere(and I'm sure there is, somewhere, lol), it'll show that far more adults than children are harmed in farm accidents every year in the US.

So again, this motion makes sense...how?

There is a time to be cautious, and use common sense, of course. I'm fairly certain that most farm owners are exactly that when it comes to their kids or any minor workers. If not for their child's safety, than for the preservation of their livelihood.(though I'm more liable to believe the former).

Things like this just make me want to own land so much sooner. I can't wait until we do own acreage and become far more self reliant. Because it also feels to me, as foxfire pointed out, this is simply one more step(albeit perhaps small) to make people more reliant on others than on themselves. We're a perfectly capable species, but every day governments(not just ours of course, though I'll admit I'm more concerned with ours, since I live here) try and make us seem far less capable. It's kinda scary. That's not some conspiracy theory or anti-government jab or something, it's just how I feel. I really think that some folks who get put in positions of power have no friggen clue what they're doing. Nor do they understand the actual effects of their statements or decisions.

I think it's all too easy to forget your roots and how we got to be what we are anyway. It's also all too easy to take what we do have for granted. I don't mean from a financial standpoint either.
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  #15  
April 26th, 2012, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frackel View Post
I've seen, and heard of, way more adults getting hurt working a farm than kids. Mostly because people aren't as stupid as the government seems to think and they don't put their kids in charge of jobs that are extremely dangerous without help-assuming they let them do them at all. Whereas adults, well, we're a little less careful sometimes, not so willing to accept that we screw things up from time to time, and in the end, **** happens. But at least we did it to ourselves.

I bet if there is a statistic out there anywhere(and I'm sure there is, somewhere, lol), it'll show that far more adults than children are harmed in farm accidents every year in the US.

So again, this motion makes sense...how?

There is a time to be cautious, and use common sense, of course. I'm fairly certain that most farm owners are exactly that when it comes to their kids or any minor workers. If not for their child's safety, than for the preservation of their livelihood.(though I'm more liable to believe the former).

Things like this just make me want to own land so much sooner. I can't wait until we do own acreage and become far more self reliant. Because it also feels to me, as foxfire pointed out, this is simply one more step(albeit perhaps small) to make people more reliant on others than on themselves. We're a perfectly capable species, but every day governments(not just ours of course, though I'll admit I'm more concerned with ours, since I live here) try and make us seem far less capable. It's kinda scary. That's not some conspiracy theory or anti-government jab or something, it's just how I feel. I really think that some folks who get put in positions of power have no friggen clue what they're doing. Nor do they understand the actual effects of their statements or decisions.

I think it's all too easy to forget your roots and how we got to be what we are anyway. It's also all too easy to take what we do have for granted. I don't mean from a financial standpoint either.

Prevention of Agricultural Injuries Among Children and Adolescents

Quote:
From 1991 to 1993, an annual average of 104 deaths of children younger than 20 years occurred on US farms and ranches.3Based on the estimated 1 298 000 children and adolescents younger than 20 years living on farms in 1991, the overall annual farm death rate was 8.0 per 100 000 child and adolescent farm residents.
Quote:
Machinery accounted for 105 of the 670 deaths, and 68% of deaths caused by machinery were related to agriculture. Tractor-related injuries, often rollovers, account for 30% to 50% of fatal injuries.
I didn't see anything in the OP that would forbid a kid from riding on a tractor with an adult. Or maybe I just overlooked it.

Farms can be dangerous places, I'm not going to argue otherwise. It's not a playground. But statistically it's more dangerous for kids to be passengers in cars and no laws are forbidding that. There are laws to make it safer and tip the odds in the kids' favor of course. I'm Ok with regulations making things safer for kids.
But I'm not Ok with entirely forbidding activities that pertain to the livelihood of families, and on a larger scale, this country. Farming really is on the decline. If parents are allowed to take their kids in cars for things that are not essential, kids should be allowed to help out on family farms, which are completely essential to every level of our economy.
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  #16  
April 26th, 2012, 06:02 PM
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Wow, legislation that would essentially cripple the great majority of non-factory farming families. The hell you say. Lobbying at it's best
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  #17  
April 27th, 2012, 03:51 AM
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Oops! Too many people caught on..
Children | Farm Labor | Regulations | Withdrawal | The Daily Caller
Quote:

Under pressure from farming advocates in rural communities, and following a
report by The Daily Caller, the Obama administration
withdrew a proposed rule
Thursday that would have applied child labor laws to family farms
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  #18  
April 27th, 2012, 12:04 PM
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Good!

It should have been a no brainer the day it was even suggested. I find it somewhat sad that it took "pressure" from people for them to see this.
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April 27th, 2012, 01:29 PM
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I'm confused about the 4-H part. If this was just about child labor laws, why was this even included? What was it truly trying to do. I raised pigs for 4H for 13 years and learned a lot from it. 4H and FFA are wonderful things.
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  #20  
April 27th, 2012, 04:24 PM
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Because 4-H offers training in things that apparently the government believes they ought not to. Or at least, believed they should be able to control with their own program. Things like farm equipment safety, proper training on the usage of various tools, accessories and such. Some areas of 4-H never really deal with those things, especially if you're in an area working with only a specific type of animal or some other kind of topic.
It depends greatly on what you're involved in, where you live, what the local 4-H offers, etc.

The idea proposed though focused a lot around child labor laws, it equally revolved around general safety of minors. Which is a part I think most understand, and agree with. How they choose to go about it though, is what matters the most.
I'm glad to see this has been withdrawn, very glad actually.

This was a topic of discussion at testing this morning. A lot of the families live on farms or at least in rural areas. I couldn't help but chuckle a little listening to people talking about it. Some didn't know, and some didn't care, but there were quite a few parents who were a bit offended at the idea that they don't give a fig about their kids' safety on their farm. Comments from one guy whose family owns a 300+ acre farm not far from here, as well as a dairy farm not too far too, really hit the nail on the head I think. Some of his comments were along the lines of "I wonder how they'd feel about it when we decide to stop providing them food for their own tables. Bet they wouldn't be nearly as worried when the food supply got smaller and smaller because we'd have less and less workers able to do the work needed. Or if we increased our prices to provide the stuff they so desperately need to survive". He's right too. You eliminate the possibility of minors being able to do a lot of the work they are doing, and you're going to make it extremely difficult for farmers to then fill those positions. Leaving farmers in a bind, they'll have to increase their expenditures and then pass that extra cost on off too us.
I don't know about how things are everywhere, but I darn well know that despite having a crap ton of farms, fresh produce isn't super cheap, neither is milk(and this state is chock full of dairies), nor meat...you get the picture. A lot of families barely make it as it is, if we increase the cost to feed ourselves(especially deliberately), we're going to be in for a world of hurt.

Though I guess it's moot to even discuss since it's been wiped off the slate now, thankfully
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