Thursday, April 26, 2012

Children under 18 need not apply


Just chalk up the following to a solution in search of a problem.

From the Daily Caller:

A proposal from the Obama administration to prevent children from doing farm chores has drawn plenty of criticism from rural-district members 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.”

And the busy-bodying doesn't stop there.

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.”

You would not be mistaken if you thought these new regs were put forth by a set of people who have not done an honest day's work, let alone, any strenuous physical labor in their lives.

More from linked article:

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.”

From a psychological standpoint, allow us to take a somewhat converse tack: through junior high, high school and one year out of high school before going off to Seminary, we held all manner of manual labor jobs in the janitorial, painting and construction fields. And if there was one thing that experience taught us it is that is not what we wanted to do for a living.

We're glad we had those jobs growing up. It was a valuable life experience in that we got a taste of precisely what we did not want to do with our life and career. We didn't shy away from contact but we also resolved that "mixing mud", building scaffolding, and hauling around bricks in 98 degree heat in the San Gabriel Valley was not a desireable career option.

As for these Department of Labor proposals, we have not a clue as to what the motivation is. One can only wonder if this is not an extension of the statist utopian dream of eliminating all hardship, struggle and physical pain from the human experience.

This nation is experiencing persistent record unemployment yet these people are hacking away at career opportunities in the field of basic human sustenance.

Honest to god, just what is it that these people are thinking?



SarahB said...

As a former 4-H'er with plans for the kiddo's to join 4-H, work at the fair and all those other soon-to-be fellonies, these people have NO IDEA the harm they are doing...or maybe they really, really do...and that's the point of all this.

Anonymous said...

i'll tell you what they were thinking:

"we know what's best"

Anonymous said...

...and right on schedule, retracted

Road Dawg said...

The family farm in Genoa was auctioned off last week. Part of our healthy German peasant stock is gone. Pop grew up on that farm and lessons learned need to be remembered.