A farm, Bethel, Vt. (LOC) (Photo credit: The Library of Congress)
You have to hand it to the federal government–they sure know how to ruin things. Today’s Daily Caller posted an article about the farm regulations about to be put in effect by the Obama Administration’s Department of Labor. The new laws would apply child labor laws to children working on family farms.
The article reports:
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.
This is ridiculous.
One person related his experience of working on a relative’s farm during the summer and how it impacted him:
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.”
The federal government is interfering with a farm family’s right to teach their children a work ethic and the basics of farming. The government is also interfering with organizations like 4-H and FFA, which build a sense of community among the children who grow up on farms or are interested in farming.
This is simply the government getting involved where it does not need to get involved. The new laws will not accomplish anything except disrupt a system that works. The federal government needs to learn to heed the words ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.‘ That would probably solve a major percentage of the America’s problems–financial and otherwise.