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

Until we strip away the government’s powers, they will continue to strip away our rights.

I can’t even begin to count the number of regulatory agencies that would be coming after your parents! It’s the bureaucracy’s job to deny you the benefits of growing up on a farm!

It does appear that this would not apply to children working *on their own parents’ farm, *but would apply to children working on other people’s farms, such as their grandparents or other relatives. Moreover, it appears that it would replace privately-provided instruction in farm-related work (4-H and others) with government-provided instruction.

It seems too that the provisions might prohibit youngsters from working for their parents but off their parents’ farm, so a youngster could not help his parents with the animals once the animals are removed from the parents’ farm.

But schools, who cannot provide acetominiphen to a student with a headache, can take a child of any age for an abortion, and it is perfectly ok for children to have sex.

:confused: :confused: :confused:

And if kids are working on a neighbor farm’s corn and vegetables side of the road store, or if they have a summer job at the restaurant and ice cream store and activities out at X’s Dairy Farm, they’re pretty much out of luck.

Heck, I think the way you read this, a kid couldn’t mow the farmhouse lawn at the farm across the road. And there’s still a lot of farms across the road or in the midst of suburbs, if you live in the right suburb.

Personal insults, great.

Here’s my point. Read the NPR article on the same subject, and you will get a balance report with this important info emphasized:

Many in the agriculture industry say the proposed changes would change longstanding traditions, but the government says the rules don’t apply to children working on farms owned by their parents.

The 200 pages of proposed changes by the Labor Department would bring regulations on farms more in line with child-labor laws for non-agricultural workplaces.

According to government figures, ag workers aged 15 to 17 are four times more likely to die on the job than those working in nonfarm settings.

The Labor Department stresses children of any age could still work on a farm owned or operated by a parent.

So the FOX/Daily Caller story twists this story out of proportion. It’s a shame that anyone would rely on it for their news, since they are being fed pablum. That’s my point when I point out these inane spins from these fake news sites – the starting point for a discussion is ruined. It’s fake outrage, since the real news article, with both sides of the story well represented, isn’t very outrageous.

Like the NPR is “fair and balanced.” :rolleyes:

Since you’re the expert here, what about farm ground that is rented not owned? What if a city kid has a 4H or FFA project (hogs or cattle) that is kept on a grandparents farm or another family member not owned by their parents? What about the showing of livestock in county & state fairs?

Everything is not black and white. In ranch country, neighbor helping neighbor with branding, cattle drives, stacking small hay bales, etc. is the norm. Under these rules, kids under 18 would be phrobiited from helping their neighbors or even extended family members with the most time honored ways of ranch life because it would be off land owned by their parents.

I shudder to think that the freaking government with the POTUS from Chicago and Labor Secretary from Los Angeles and not the FFA or 4-H being involved in teaching farm safety to kids.

The real real news is what’s not being said. Watch… a year or so after this passes we’re going to hear, “…farmers are going under because Americans won’t do that work, we need more guest workers, …”

Personally I think that child labor laws should be extended to agriculture. Just because its a farm does not mean that children should be allowed to be overworked or put in to dangerous situations.


And you are naive enough to think NPR or MSNBC presents stories correctly 100% of the time, or at all.

One has to remember this is a regulatory agency that can make and enforce regulations without congressional oversight. There is nothing stopping them from enacting and enforcing this.

Nor, it seems, can the kid be involved in hauling, loading or unloading hay from his parents’ farm to another farm; something that happens all the time. If a 17 year old is building fence, does he have to stay on HIS side of the fence the whole time? (fences are almost always mutually-built) Next to impossible to do that.

And, of course, it means old ladies will no longer be able to buy strawberries at local fields, since the berries are almost always picked by local kids. Guess they can go buy them at Walmart or someplace.

As a city gal who moved to the country, I must disagree with you. It is very hard to pick up the knowledge needed to farm when one is older; when you grow up doing it, it comes naturally. It’s kind of like learning a language, how to handle animals, when to watch out for them. I have utmost respect for farmers, because after many years of just trying to have a good vegetable garden, I am still always behind and rarely get much out of it, while my neighbors who have been doing this all their lives just zoom ahead of me and put up lots of food for themselves each year.

Children are in dangerous situations all the time. Many ride on school buses, children have been killed in school bus accidents, but we haven’t banned riding on school buses, have we?

Children are killed playing football, but we haven’t banned football for minors, have we?

And so on and so forth.

Agreed. Some people will never be happy until everyone shares their misery.

The only thing more dangerous to a child than going to the family doctor is having a pool in your back yard. Farm activities don’t even make the list - statistically.

Country girl moved to the city here! (Ok, well, I never was much of a country girl, despite my parents best efforts.) I grew up in rural Iowa and while I was never really a “farm kid” I did grow up doing a fair amount of farm work with animals, machinery, etc.

We haven’t banned school buses because they are necessary. Working on a farm is not necessary for a child to get an education. It is hard, and it is work for adults. I don’t believe that children need to be in grain bins, operating combines, driving tractors, or even having “farm licenses” (yep, Iowa still has those). Growing up I saw way too many kids end up hurt and a few even killed from working with things they had no business working with. Heck, even my next door neighbor got his arm ripped off when we were in middle school. Things like that are not ok.

I don’t really care if a family “needs” their kid to work. That’s not the kid’s role. And once again, we wouldn’t let kids do things that dangerous in any other industry, so why are farms exempt?

You were lucky. Our bales typically weighed 75 lb. But if they were wire-bound from Ks, they were about 100. Back then, we also cut and loaded loose hay. Might come from our place or another place.

I set tomato plants for somebody else at about age 10. Picked strawberries from about age 5 on. Worked in the sheds from, probably, about age 13. Rode in with the grower to the train station with loads of berries. Guess kids won’t be able to do any of that now.

My parents had a ranch and so did my grandfather. Sometimes, for heterosis, we would “trade bulls”. So, um, in taking care of my grandfather’s bull on my parents’ ranch, who am I working for? And if I went over to my grandfather’s place to feed OUR bull, who am I working for?

My granddaughter, who is 11, operates my bobcat (skid steer) loading big round bales. It’s safer than driving a car by a long way. It’s even easier than operating a video game. But I guess my 16 year old grandson couldn’t do it either, even though he can legally drive a car amidst the tractor trailer rigs on I-44, and even though you don’t need a license to operate a skid steer. (yet. I think they have one in the works for that kind of thing too)

Lots of farms and ranches are incorporated, are LLCs or trusts. Wonder if that means kids can’t work on their parents’ farms if they are organized in that manner. Some are owned by extended families, some of whom live on the place and some of whom don’t. Who is the kid working for? I presently own a bull and my extended family owns another. I own a share of the latter, but am the sole owner of the former. I own some land personally and some jointly. We trade bulls for cross-breeding. Wonder what kid can do what with what bull, or cows or calves for that matter, and where.

In northern Missouri where there are miles and miles of corn land, a lot of the owners of the land are non-resident. A large part (perhaps most) of the land is tilled and harvested by “custom growers” who pay a cash rent or a portion of the crop’s sale price to the owner. Can the custom grower’s kid do any of the work? Some custom growers live on the farms they till but do not own. Soooooo???

I know two guys who, together, own about 13,000 acres. Is it the family farm of either of them, both, neither?

Virtually all poultry houses in this area are separately incorporated from the family farm, which is usually owned by husband and wife. Can the kids work in the LLC chicken house?

Guess, again, they’ll have to pass the reg before they know what’s in it, huh?

Many farm kids earn money in the summers working for a neighbor doing tasks even with the advent of more mechanization. I do not feel that urbanizing the population is the answer. I believe the rural life teaches responsibility and character and if this law is enacted the effects will be detrimental.

This is absolutely true. If you don’t learn it starting young, you don’t learn it. I never did row crop growing, but ranching is very intuitive. You only “get onto” that from years and years and years of operation and observation. You also pick up a lot from others who might be working with you. Thousands of things need to be learned, and people can’t learn them unless they’re engaged in them, mostly on the spot.

And you can’t get a job on a farm or ranch if you know nothing about farming or ranching. Margins are too thin to both pay and teach a person the basics they will need to know to be productive.

Well, I hope you’re working on a ban of bicycles – they’re not necessary, and kids get hurt riding them. And that would make about as much sense as this regulation.

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