Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Banning Kids Helping with Farm Chores

Here is an another example of why if I were involved in agriculture in USA, I would vote Republican no matter how disgusting I find their social and economic ideology.  They are at least not trying to destroy my industry.  One honestly wonders if the American government doesn't have enough to do if they have time to "solve" problems that do not exist. No wonder Americans hate government and government regulations.

Rural kids, parents angry about Labor Dept. rule banning farm chores


  1. The labor department is not banning kids from working on family farms - it is about child labor laws..children being hired out as farm workers...

    Yes the Republican Party is for big business - including macro-farming. If your business profit is in the multimillions the Republican Party will look out for you. Unfortunately, if you run a small family are on your own: there will be no farm subsidy, you will have no health care, there will be no government assistance for your children's college and your tax rate will be twice that of U.S. billionaires.

    the Ol'Buzzard

  2. I somehow doubt the preteens being expected to run the Bobcat to clear manure, being asked to operate tractors when their feet can barely reach the pedals (one of my friends was operating her family's tractor when she was still so little she could only run it while standing up), or getting slapped by cows' piss-saturated tails in milking parlors at 5 a.m. are the ones up in arms. The farmers are just annoyed by the prospect of losing their slave labor. I grew up in dairy country, most of my friends lived on dairy farms, and you know how many are farmers now? None. Zero. Zip. They didn't see the chores on the farmily farm as teaching a work ethic; they viewed them as chores they didn't particularly want to do. Even worse, they had to do them 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The hired hands would get days off; the kids never did.

  3. Ol'Buzzard is correct. I just read the law and it's nothing that hasn't already existed for the last 50 years. Once again the republicans blew smoke up your ass and tried to scare you to death just like they did with death panels. Please do your research before jumping to conclusions.

    If anything farms need more regulations because they are not covered under the worker safety rules of Labor and Industries. As dangerous work as what I do at least we have some folks looking over our shoulders to make sure we get home with all our fingers and toes at the end of the day. Not so on the farm. Would you really want your kid yapping on the phone while running a circular saw?

  4. I should have threatened to vote Republican long ago. Increased my readership substantially and comments too. Many thanks for the feedback.
    So the government has just discovered laws that are on the books for 50 years already and the regulations are not about kids working on their own family farms but about not hiring out to other farms or related, until they are 18?
    These are the same folks that used food service regs to shut down kids' lemonade stands and old ladies church bake sales?
    How hard kids have to work on farms depends on their parents and on the farm. My father worked summerfallow with a 6-horse outfit when he was 8. I had chores since I was big enough to fight off the rooster and gather the eggs. I was 12 when I started harrowing fields with an Oliver 77 tractor and helped with seeding and harvesting until I left home. These days on the big high tech farms, not many kids under 18 are going to be running any field outfits that start at $500,000 and go. It is the small and medium old-fashioned family farm where the kids learned to work and where their labour was important. These regs will just make it harder on them.

  5. I am with old buzzard on this one, I know you worked hard as a kid and grew up to be an honorable citizen, right?

    But stoop labor is alive and well in American agriculture, in fact rural America is being left behind in mechanization and technology simply because Mexican labor has been so cheap. Because the social safety net is non-existant in the US,poor families are now reliving the Grapes of Wrath in the 21st century.

    4-H is good, so are other ag based youth programs, but the psychology that had six year old girls tending the shuttles on cotton looms in the early 20th century are wont to muddy the issue with any diversion to give themselves cheap labor.

    Funny, I didn't hear many retired farmers in Texas that thought it would be good training in the work ethic for their grandchildren to work in the vegetable fields.

    Sorry Al, nostalgia does not count when it longs for the good old days of Dixie.

  6. Well, all fussed up over nothing. The regulations have been dropped thanks to an outpouring of objections from small and medium family farms.
    Deal with child labour problems, with child abuse, with stoop labour mistreatment but don't tell me my kid can't help out on my own farm.

  7. That provision of children working under parental supervision on the parents farm was always part of the revisions to tighten up on use of migrant labor. Sadly, the Newt Gingrichs of the world want to bring in the "sweet old agrarian" context when what we are talking about is "Uncle Tom's Cabin" and Simon Legree(sp).

    Now Canada has regulation that will allow employers of temporary foreign labor to pay them 15% less than equivalent Canadian wages.

    When Tim Horton's and McDonalds in Sask and Alberta are using imported temporary laborers as staff, probably most Canadians will become redundant.

    Cheap labor for Corporate farms will make the earnings of the independent farmer who depends on his labor and that of his family to survive fall even further.

    There's nothing nostalgic about the right-wing move to spread third world poverty around the world. Well, except for the days of slavery and the "dark satanic mills" of Dicken's time.


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