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Labor department to apply child labor laws to farm chores

Atreus21

Lifer
Aug 21, 2007
12,017
571
126
http://news.yahoo.com/rural-kids-parents-angry-labor-dept-rule-banning-054605888.html

A proposal from the Obama administration to prevent children from doing farm chores has drawn plenty of criticism from rural-district member of Congress. But now it’s attracting barbs from farm kids themselves.

The Department of Labor is poised to put the finishing touches on a rule that would apply child-labor laws to children working on family farms, prohibiting them from performing a list of jobs on their own families’ land.

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.”

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.

Rossie Blinson, a 21-year-old college student from Buis Creek, N.C., told The Daily Caller that the federal government’s plan will do far more harm than good.

“The main concern I have is that it would prevent kids from doing 4-H and FFA projects if they’re not at their parents’ house,” said Blinson.

“I started showing sheep when I was four years old. I started with cattle around 8. It’s been very important. I learned a lot of responsibility being a farm kid.”

In Kansas, Cherokee County Farm Bureau president Jeff Clark was out in the field — literally on a tractor — when TheDC reached him. He said if Solis’s regulations are implemented, farming families’ labor losses from their children will only be part of the problem.

“What would be more of a blow,” he said, “is not teaching our kids the values of working on a farm.”

The Environmental Protection Agency reports that the average age of the American farmer is now over 50.

“Losing that work-ethic — it’s so hard to pick this up later in life,” Clark said. “There’s other ways to learn how to farm, but it’s so hard. You can learn so much more working on the farm when you’re 12, 13, 14 years old.”

John Weber, 19, understands this. The Minneapolis native grew up in suburbia and learned the livestock business working summers on his relatives’ farm.

He’s now a college Agriculture major.

“I started working on my grandparent’s and uncle’s farms for a couple of weeks in the summer when I was 12,” Weber told TheDC. “I started spending full summers there when I was 13.”

“The work ethic is a huge part of it. It gave me a lot of direction and opportunity in my life. If they do this it will prevent a lot of interest in agriculture. It’s harder to get a 16 year-old interested in farming than a 12 year old.”

Weber is also a small businessman. In high school, he said, he took out a loan and bought a few steers to raise for income. “Under these regulations,” he explained, “I wouldn’t be allowed to do that.”

In February the Labor Department seemingly backed away from what many had called an unrealistic reach into farmers’ families, reopening the public comment period on a section of the regulations designed to give parents an exemption for their own children.

But U.S. farmers’ largest trade group is unimpressed.

“American Farm Bureau does not view that as a victory,” said Kristi Boswell, a labor specialist with the American Farm Bureau Federation. “It’s a misconception that they have backed off on the parental exemption.”

Boswell chafed at the government’s rationale for bringing farms strictly into line with child-labor laws.

“They have said the number of injuries are higher for children than in non-ag industries,” she said. But everyone in agriculture, Boswell insisted, “makes sure youth work in tasks that are age-appropriate.”

The safety training requirements strike many in agriculture as particularly strange, given an injury rate among young people that is already falling rapidly.

According to a United States Department of Agriculture study, farm accidents among youth fell nearly 40 percent between 2001 and 2009, to 7.2 injuries per 1,000 farms.

Clark said the regulations are vague and meddlesome.

“It’s so far-reaching,” he exclaimed, “kids would be prohibited from working on anything ‘power take-off’ driven, and anything with a work-height over six feet — which would include the tractor I’m on now.”

The way the regulations are currently written, he added, would prohibit children under 16 from using battery powered screwdrivers, since their motors, like those of a tractor, are defined as “power take-off driven.”

And jobs that could “inflict pain on an animal” would also be off-limits for kids. But “inflicting pain,” Clark explained, is left undefined: If it included something like putting a halter on a steer, 4-H and FFA animal shows would be a thing of the past.

In a letter to The Department of Labor in December, Montana Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg complained that the animal provision would also mean young people couldn’t “see veterinary medicine in practice … including a veterinarian’s own children accompanying him or her to a farm or ranch.”

Boswell told TheDC that the new farming regulations could go into effect as early as August. She claimed farmers could soon find The Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division inspectors on their land, citing them for violations.

“In the last three years that division has grown 30 to 40 percent,” Boswell said. Some Farm Bureau members, she added, have had inspectors on their land checking on conditions for migrant workers, only to be cited for allowing their own children to perform chores that the Labor Department didn’t think were age-appropriate.

It’s something Kansas Republican Senator Jerry Moran believes simply shouldn’t happen.

During a March 14 hearing, Moran blasted Hilda Solis for getting between rural parents and their children.

“The consequences of the things that you put in your regulations lack common sense,” Moran said.

“And in my view, if the federal government can regulate the kind of relationship between parents and their children on their own family’s farm, there is almost nothing off-limits in which we see the federal government intruding in a way of life.”

The Department of Labor did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
If the Labor Department indeed makes an exception for farmers' own children, then I can see this being less of a problem. The bigger infringement for me is the government's interposition between parent and child.
 

Fern

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 30, 2003
26,917
173
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I live in a farm community. It needs to be more than parent/children, it needs to more broadly cover family members. I.e. the kid can work on his uncle's farm.

But I think it's unnecessary, yet typical of big govt. From what I've seen, farms don't hire kids they don't know, which should be what these types of laws are about. These types of laws are about stopping exploitation of kids in the workforce. But farms just aren't hiring kids who aren't their own or a close relative.

This law fits my sig.

Fern
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
66,816
3,622
126
http://news.yahoo.com/rural-kids-parents-angry-labor-dept-rule-banning-054605888.html



If the Labor Department indeed makes an exception for farmers' own children, then I can see this being less of a problem. The bigger infringement for me is the government's interposition between parent and child.
I have no problem with the government stepping between parents and children where we have parents that are idiots. I do have a problem when the government remedy may be stupider that stupid parents. We can't prevent Darwin from visiting farms. To cocoon folk from all risk is insane. To attempt to remedy real dangers makes sense. My gut reaction to this is that the new rules are a farce, but I don't have the knowledge of the folk who proposed them. I would need to know a lot more than I do, in an area in which I have no interest, to come down one way or the other on this.

All I do know is that it sounds kind of stupid to me.

Having kids work on the family farm shows the beauty of socialism. From each according to his ability and to each according to his needs. It's like extracting a tax on children for the roof over their head, the protection of their parents, and their nanny instincts. I don't think it's a good idea for a capitalist government to fuck with farm socialism. It's one of the few places left where folk are forced to pay others for a decent standard of living.
 

monovillage

Diamond Member
Jul 3, 2008
8,445
0
0
I think it's a good regulation. After all who really cares about these kids more? Their parents, aunts and uncles and other extended family members? Or some slack jawed bureaucratic jerk-off in Washington?
 

Atreus21

Lifer
Aug 21, 2007
12,017
571
126
Having kids work on the family farm shows the beauty of socialism. From each according to his ability and to each according to his needs. It's like extracting a tax on children for the roof over their head, the protection of their parents, and their nanny instincts. I don't think it's a good idea for a capitalist government to fuck with farm socialism. It's one of the few places left where folk are forced to pay others for a decent standard of living.
Families are a good example of where socialism does indeed work, and capitalism fails utterly.

The smaller the scale, the better socialism works.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
66,816
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I think it's a good regulation. After all who really cares about these kids more? Their parents, aunts and uncles and other extended family members? Or some slack jawed bureaucratic jerk-off in Washington?
Do you think those slack jawed bureaucratic jerk-offs in Washington know they are what they are?
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
66,816
3,622
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Families are a good example of where socialism does indeed work, and capitalism fails utterly.

The smaller the scale, the better socialism works.
That is the superficial reality The deeper reality is that the greater ones sense of family and the sameness of all people, the better it works. Folk with ego need others to look down on, folk they would never help. It is ignorance of who we really are and the identification with the small that makes us treat others as animals rather than family.
 

Bowfinger

Lifer
Nov 17, 2002
15,776
392
126
I think it's a good regulation. After all who really cares about these kids more? Their parents, aunts and uncles and other extended family members? Or some slack jawed bureaucratic jerk-off in Washington?
It is too often the parents who are the slack-jawed jerk-offs, caring far more about themselves than their children. That said, such cases can and should be handled individually, through the existing agencies focused on child protection.

If this rule change has been presented accurately, it's dumb. Well-intentioned, perhaps, but dumb. There's usually far more good than bad with kids working with and for their families. Too many kids today have miserable work ethics.
 

Atreus21

Lifer
Aug 21, 2007
12,017
571
126
That is the superficial reality The deeper reality is that the greater ones sense of family and the sameness of all people, the better it works.
Agreed.


Folk with ego need others to look down on, folk they would never help. It is ignorance of who we really are and the identification with the small that makes us treat others as animals rather than family.
Disagree. I reject the notion that self-interest is motivated by negativity and mean-spiritedness and the petty need to put others down to elevate your ego.
 

monovillage

Diamond Member
Jul 3, 2008
8,445
0
0
Do you think those slack jawed bureaucratic jerk-offs in Washington know they are what they are?
I'm sure some of them do. I'm also sure that some of them think they're actually writing sensible regulations and have never been within 50 miles of a working farm. I just seriously doubt if this regulation is needed, effective or sensible.
 

BoberFett

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
37,587
9
81
That is the superficial reality The deeper reality is that the greater ones sense of family and the sameness of all people, the better it works. Folk with ego need others to look down on, folk they would never help. It is ignorance of who we really are and the identification with the small that makes us treat others as animals rather than family.
You made a point, but I doubt you realize it.

The reason Democrat party style socialism will never work in the US is because it isn't based on compassion, but by the ego of the super-wealthy Democrats who fill Washington DC. They don't love the poor and downtrodden, those Democrats are simply better, smarter people who can run the lives of those middle and lower class simpletons better than they can themselves.
 

BoberFett

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
37,587
9
81
Disagree. I reject the notion that self-interest is motivated by negativity and mean-spiritedness and the petty need to put others down to elevate your ego.
It can be, but the desire to "help" others can also be based on those same things. At the highest levels of government it's all about ego no matter the facade with which they attempt to hide it.
 

senseamp

Lifer
Feb 5, 2006
34,852
4,795
126
I live in a farm community. It needs to be more than parent/children, it needs to more broadly cover family members. I.e. the kid can work on his uncle's farm.

But I think it's unnecessary, yet typical of big govt. From what I've seen, farms don't hire kids they don't know, which should be what these types of laws are about. These types of laws are about stopping exploitation of kids in the workforce. But farms just aren't hiring kids who aren't their own or a close relative.

This law fits my sig.

Fern
You checked every farm and verified this?
 

nanette1985

Diamond Member
Oct 12, 2005
4,211
1
0
Thanks for alerting me to this. I'll ask the relatives who are still back on the farm what they think.

Considering that said relatives are Mennonite, I think it's going to be a religion issue.
 
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Genx87

Lifer
Apr 8, 2002
41,086
493
126
This is all our worthless govt has to do? Employ more dept of labor inspectors to harass what is left of our agricultural industry?
 

Cerb

Elite Member
Aug 26, 2000
17,485
33
86
This is all our worthless govt has to do? Employ more dept of labor inspectors to harass what is left of our agricultural industry?
Well, they already stimulated the economy, and fixed healthcare, so...yeah. :D

I don't see it going over well. Here, there are Mennonites to worry about too, and also quite a few family farms (not merely privately-owned) having popped up, and those that have been around have been growing, since we started getting producer-only farmer's markets.
 

CanOWorms

Lifer
Jul 3, 2001
12,414
0
0
Sometimes the government needs to help people integrate into modern, mainstream American society.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
66,816
3,622
126
Disagree. I reject the notion that self-interest is motivated by negativity and mean-spiritedness and the petty need to put others down to elevate your ego.
We disagree, but I provided an explanation and you have not. What is your explanation?
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
66,816
3,622
126
You made a point, but I doubt you realize it.

The reason Democrat party style socialism will never work in the US is because it isn't based on compassion, but by the ego of the super-wealthy Democrats who fill Washington DC. They don't love the poor and downtrodden, those Democrats are simply better, smarter people who can run the lives of those middle and lower class simpletons better than they can themselves.
I didn't realize it because I don't believe, as you do, that some folk don't operate on ego. Naturally, if you are an egotist you will be motivated to disagree, since it wouldn't be very flattering to your ego to think some folk are more evolved than you. And speaking of being more evolved, there can be no doubt at all that there are Democrats that are better and smarter folk then many in the middle and lower class, and to which they themselves may belong, and who could manage such lives to better effect. We make laws, for example, so the less evolved don't walk all over folk who are better than them but perhaps not physically stronger. And you are certainly enamored of the thought that you are superior to these so called superior people.
 

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