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Archive for Friday, January 6, 2012

Update to labor laws could prevent youths from doing certain tasks

From left, sisters Baylee Wulfkuhle, 10, and Madison Wulfkuhle, 13, feed their 4-H steers on Friday at their family farm south of Stull. Some new restrictions by the U.S. Department of Labor regarding child labor laws would restrict what work kids like the Wulfkuhles can do on their farm.

From left, sisters Baylee Wulfkuhle, 10, and Madison Wulfkuhle, 13, feed their 4-H steers on Friday at their family farm south of Stull. Some new restrictions by the U.S. Department of Labor regarding child labor laws would restrict what work kids like the Wulfkuhles can do on their farm.

January 6, 2012

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From driving tractors to vaccinating calves, farm families worry that changes to federal laws governing what work youths can get paid to do on the farm could change their way of life.

Last fall, the U.S. Department of Labor proposed changes to the rules that prevent young workers from being paid to do certain tasks in the agriculture industry. Those laws, known as agricultural hazardous occupations orders, hadn’t been updated since 1970. The intent is to bridge the gap between rules for farms and the more stringent rules that youths not working in agricultural settings have to follow.

“Children employed in agriculture are some of the most vulnerable workers in America,” Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis said.

But farmers, including those in Douglas County, say family farming isn’t like any other industry. And those rules would go beyond changing how farmers do business to eroding the fabric of farming communities.

“I think there are a lot of families who couldn’t do what they do if they don’t have their kids helping them,” Brenna Wulfkuhle said.

Wulfkuhle, who with her husband, Mark, operates Rocking H Ranch three miles south of Stull, has three daughters under the age of 16. The family also employes a high school student. For Wulfkuhle, there is much in the proposed changes that raises concerns.

“To me, there is a lot of integrity and a lot of just good work ethic that comes from kids that are raised in agriculture or work in an agriculture background,” Wulfkuhle said.

Confusion about changes

Children of parents who own or operate a farm would still be exempted from the new regulations. But what isn’t clear are what rules apply to youths who work on their grandparents’ or aunt and uncle’s farm, rented land or on a farm that is part of a business entity, corporation or partnership. And that last item is an issue for many local families who have turned farms into corporations for estate-planning purposes.

“We are one of the smaller farms in Douglas County as far as conventional agricultural,” said Clint Hornberger, a fifth-generation farmer in southern Douglas County. “We do operate as a corporation. We formed in the ’80s to make the transition from one generation to the next a whole lot easier.”

Hornberger said that when he was growing up, he was paid 25 cents for every calf he bottle fed. It wouldn’t come to much more than $3 a day, but under the proposed changes he doesn’t think that would be allowed to work because the family farm is under a corporation.

“If they figured out a way to enforce some of the proposed changes, I think it would (negatively) influence the ability to learn about agriculture and learn about an industry that has a lot to offer,” Hornberger said.

Here are some of the other changes:

• Paid workers younger than 16 couldn’t operate almost any power-driven equipment, such as tractors, ATVs and grain elevators. The worker also couldn’t ride as a passenger on farm machines when they are being driven on public roads.

• Paid workers younger than 16 couldn’t help with certain animal related chores, such as branding, breeding, dehorning, vaccinating, castrating or treating sick or injured animals. They also couldn’t help herd animals into feed lots or corrals when on horseback or using trucks or ATVs.

• Paid workers younger than 16 couldn’t work inside a grain silo or bin or manure pit.

• Those 18 or younger would be prohibited from working at grain elevators, feed lots, stockyards, livestock exchanges and livestock auctions.

Denying kids lessons

For Wulfkuhle, putting restrictions on what farming kids can do limits the lessons they learn from growing up around agriculture. Along with instilling the basics of hard work, Wulfkuhle said, it also passes down the knowledge of how to farm.

Right now, her girls, ages 15, 13 and 10, help with many of the tasks that she fears might not be allowed under the changes, such as vaccinating cattle, sorting cattle in small areas and moving farm machinery in the fields.

Wulfkuhle grew up on a dairy farm where she milked cows before and after school. In high school, she participated in a supervised occupational experience program, working at a greenhouse and local vet.

One of Wulfkuhle’s biggest concerns is that the proposed changes would limit what students can do when they participate in such a program. One of the men hired on Wulfkuhle’s farm began his work through a supervised occupational program as a junior in high school. That was almost a decade ago.

“It is very difficult to start in agriculture without a little bit of background and a little bit of a foundation,” she said.

Both Wulfkuhle and Hornberger don’t shy away from the risks the occupation can bring.

“Our job is dangerous,” Hornberger said. “But part of growing up around that environment is learning the dangers at a young age so you can stay away from them.”

The vast majority of young workers are the owner’s children, relatives or neighbors, Hornberger said.

“Around here, the youths that are working in agriculture are all very much a part of the community. They are not a stranger, someone that someone doesn’t know on a personal level. To think we as ag producers or employers would put them in danger is kind of preposterous.”

Comments

Scott Morgan 2 years, 3 months ago

headMD, you are so full of it the stuff is coming out your pie hole. Pie = fruit grown on the farm, flour = wheat something Kansans have been exporting since fido was a pup. Butter made from dairy farms.

Nothing is needed in protecting farm workers beyond the billions of laws already out there. I can tell by your ignorance you haven't owned anything more important than a college book or game controller.

Laws passed which sound good in NY or Washington have severe effects here where the grain hits the silo.

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toe 2 years, 3 months ago

This seems like a good way for corporate farms to call the law on their family farm competitors.

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headdoctor 2 years, 3 months ago

Reading this thread sure lends credibility to the effect on certain people when the moon is waxing full. It has been a while since I have seen this much bull pucky in one place.

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Oldsoul 2 years, 3 months ago

If the government wants to protect Kansan children from their own parents they sure the heck would do well to enact a prohibition against all the wackos in this state who love to approach strangers and scare the bejesus out of them. Dumb , uneducated people hardly inspire trust or confidence in others, and most people would just prefer to be kindly let alone by those they likely have little in common with.

I'm all for courtesy, but not for dealing with those who get way too personal in the name of mindless and self-flattering chivalry. It's insulting and demeaning to anyone who is halfway politically aware. Lawrence is a poorly planned town to begin with, but to have to deal with aggressive, molesting strangers every time one steps off her door stoop just makes the place completely unlivable.

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Scott Morgan 2 years, 3 months ago

no bozo, many of you do not know more than than the end of your nose. You have not a clue, and the KU prof was a great example. I had many goofy KU prof loving folks telling me the rural areas were full of these type youths. Seriously, gangs. I live rural and there are more Obama supporters out here than one would believe.

Stay out of things you do not know, do not legislate things you do not know, make laws from common sense not from emotions. Boy hurt on tractor bad. How about the city youths are given a new lease on life by being taken in by caring rural folks? You notice they don't take the wonderful underprivileged kids to the Hy Vee to make them feel good.

This chat has gone to rural parents are fools. Far far far from the truth. Leave the family farm alone, these folks have enough problems without more paperwork and fear.

We are already competing with nations agriculturally who laugh at our legal nonsense. Of course Bozo you know exactly where your food items come from. Could be the next french fry could be from Argentina, and the Idaho family who used to raise potatoes is on government assistance.

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Scott Morgan 2 years, 3 months ago

Oh my I forgot about the anti rural feeling here.

I must remember you birds were the ones swallowing the story about the KU prof who was followed by a roaming gang of young right wing Ford pickup driving flannel shirt wearing Christians pancake breakfast eating help your neighbor types. Oh the horror.

If memory serves they finally caught the good prof in the wee hours and jumped him on a lonely rural road. Beat him up pretty good too. Never caught the ruthless gang either.

Now some picture 1900 era slum lords instead of the great American farmers who feed us. Take a drive and introduce yourself to some of these folks, see if this doesn't change your mind. Best people on Earth.

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verity 2 years, 3 months ago

When the incessantly blathering blowhards start yelling that the liberals are saying the sky is falling and no one has even remotely suggested that, we know that they have nothing but rage at something---who knows what.

That these laws will keep farm kids from becoming responsible adults is Chicken Little and I call all of you, whatever you are, on that piece of fiction. There will still be plenty to do that is perfectly legal. As Gandalf states above, this law is probably aimed mostly at migrant workers.

As somebody who currently lives on a farm told me recently---they never told us how dangerous these chemicals we're using are. While I have seen and lived with the results of farm accidents which did not need to happen, it's the chemicals that worry me even more.

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Agnostick 2 years, 3 months ago

Try reading for once in your life:

"Children of parents who own or operate a farm would still be exempted from the new regulations. But what isn’t clear are what rules apply to youths who work on their grandparents’ or aunt and uncle’s farm, rented land or on a farm that is part of a business entity, corporation or partnership. And that last item is an issue for many local families who have turned farms into corporations for estate-planning purposes."

Now... here's something sticky for your wicket! :p

http://www.followthatbug.com/storage/amish_barnraising_300dpi.jpg?__SQUARESPACE_CACHEVERSION=1325337588346

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Jayhawk1958 2 years, 3 months ago

Or we could return to the slave shops in the industrial revolution.

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sunny 2 years, 3 months ago

Mind your own business Katara! 'working' on the farm is not actual work! It's a life lesson and teaches these young kids responsibility so that they can grow to be productive adults to care and support your pansy kids! The regulations are not needed period! Stay out of our lives!

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Gandalf 2 years, 3 months ago

I think everyone is being misdirected by our rightwing nuts. I mean really how many small farmers are there? No one is saying kids can't work for their parents. So who could be the target of the legislation?

Could it be the hispanic migrant workers? Could corporations be putting their children at risk?

I doubt the same type of people who would like to hunt them like feral hogs would hesitate to use their children in a dangerous capacity.

Think about it.

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verity 2 years, 3 months ago

This is not an either/or, liberal/conservative thing. I get disgusted when some posters try to make everything into a battle between liberal/progressives and conservatives. And when they have their heads up their you-know-what, they think sarcasm or just flinging stuff somehow makes them appear smart. Some people actually hold views that are liberal and others that are conservative---a lot of people I know do. I think that may be called pragmatic. But I digress.

Probably the worst danger now in farming is not machinery or falling into a bin or silo of grain---which contrary to some of the ignorance shown by posters, is very dangerous and happens. (Hint: grain is like quicksand).

Farmers have been using extremely dangerous chemicals. If you google "studies linking farmer cancer to chemicals" you will find some interesting studies.

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Phoenixman 2 years, 3 months ago

Urban youth violence and why rural is preferable.

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Scott Morgan 2 years, 3 months ago

It is safer for an urban mother to enlist her child in the army than let them roam the city. Think about this, how many 20 somethings died in Afghanistan this week. How many in Chicago?

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verity 2 years, 3 months ago

I skimmed over about half the comments here---then realized it was mostly a waste of time. Yes, as somebody mentioned above, way too many people commenting that have no idea what they're talking about on any level and wouldn't accept the truth if they were given it on a silver platter because they know what they want to believe.

I grew up on a farm and never felt, or knew anyone who felt that they were being abused or over worked, and the children in my family were paid for our work. Not saying that others weren't abused, just that was not my experience. My mother also received a salary from the farm for the work she did starting at least in the fifties---in those days farmwives worked their butts off to keep the household running and my father knew he couldn't get along without her.

However, I did a lot of things that were very dangerous as far as operating machinery at a very early age and riding on machinery, both in the field and on the road. Six years old is just way to young to be driving a tractor that you're not even strong enough to really control. I know way too many people (actually mostly adults) who were horribly injured or killed in farming accidents which could easily have been avoided, because farmers tend to be individualistic (which is one of the reasons why they persist in farming because it ain't the bed of roses or well-paying occupation some here seem to think) and too many think they don't need to follow rules or laws.

So, yes, children do need to be protected and I doubt that the laws will really have a negative effect on farmers if they are enforced. That said, who is going to enforce the laws? Where's the money to have the law enforcement checking up on farmers? I never saw any law enforcement anywhere near our farm when I was growing up, and I don't think it's much different now.

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love2fish_ks 2 years, 3 months ago

Disgusting. Totally out of control government and an all out attack on family farms.

I am so embarrassed that I voted for Barack.

Hillary Clinton - please come rescue us from blind loyalty to this clown.

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Phoenixman 2 years, 3 months ago

Government solution to farm work: Live in government projects or title 8 housing in the urban core where you learn progressive values of government assistance, government benevolence, just stay put, do nothing, rewarded with food, water, shelter, security sometimes, and just support the dems.

Farm family values, independence, self reliance, hard work, and support yourself.

Do the progressives see a threat to their power? Of course they do. Why did the USSR and PRC starve for years, they took farmers off their land. Farmers are the anchor of freedom. Thomas Jefferson knew this to be true and worked hard to keep farmers free from the governments tyranny. This is the first of many attacks coming at the American farmer.

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sunny 2 years, 3 months ago

I prefer my children learn what it means to work hard and make a living! My children will most likely end up supporting your children..who have no idea what it means to work hard and support themselves!

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FalseHopeNoChange 2 years, 3 months ago

Our kids can't help to feed us around the farm. What what are the Liberals going to take away from us next. Our right to bear arms? What did that one guy say?

"We should not forget that the spark which ignited the American Revolution was caused by the British attempt to confiscate the firearms of the colonists." - Patrick Henry

Oh that's right. Machine Gun Holder is already trying that by "fast and furiously" arming bandits from Mexico.

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Katara 2 years, 3 months ago

It is interesting that some are predicting the downfall of our youth if they are not allowed to perform work in dangerous situations.

Why is it an all or nothing situation? Either they do work that can kill or maim then or they become good for nothing layabouts?

orhs1963 (anonymous) says… "So what are farm parents to do with their farm children?"

Really? Farm parents have no other options? What do you think parents who own other businesses subject to similar regulations do? There are quite a few other family-owned businesses who have regulations as to what children can and cannot do and they have managed to survive.

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progressive_thinker 2 years, 3 months ago

Here is an interesting article regarding the rankings of danger for various occupations in the United States:

http://www.riskmanagementmonitor.com/the-10-most-dangerous-jobs-in-america/

What I am hearing is that there are objections to restricting those under 16 years of age from doing the most dangerous jobs, within the 4th most dangerous occupation in the US.

As a youth, I started driving a tractor for a wage when I was 14, and was driving a grain truck at harvest time at 15. This is how I earned money during the summers to help pay for college.

I am happy for the experience, and am thankful that I did not kill or maim anyone, including myself, in the process.

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SnakeFist 2 years, 3 months ago

I agree with all the regressives. Prepubescent children have to be made to work hazardous jobs or else they will never learn how to work and might even (gasp) go to college and become something more than a draft animal. But why stop with farm children? Think of how much better America would be if our young city girls and boys worked the streets!

Ironically, so many of the older generation who complain about the lack of work ethic in the younger generation are themselves sitting on their growing backsides collecting a government check evey month and contributing nothing to society.

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Scott Morgan 2 years, 3 months ago

I used to cut sassafras trees, oh my how it ruined many a Saturday. Feeding animals, oh my "dripping eye water" please help me, where's the nearest welfare office I got the PSDs or MTVs.

Used to get well paid for the sassafras even having to dig the roots, loved harvest times as well, could pick up serious pocket change. Instead of lifting weights like many high school football players we abused farm kids were exempt because we bucked hay.

In my late teens used to hear some great bands playing out in the country at a place called the Last Frontier. Yep even had us a couple of them pool tables too. Young folks from the many small towns would gather. I'd give a Lawrence anti growth liberal's left testicle to experience one of those fun nights again. Oh my how we felt so out of it. Not. Hunting, fishing, oh kinda stupid hobbies I guess.

I guess we should have been lernen hows to work one of them thar talkin microphones to take cheeseburger orders instead of driving a combine. Or, lets go Greenie how to trim fruit trees.

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sunny 2 years, 3 months ago

It's called responsibility! Teens and young adults are being raised to be mamby pamby lazy and to be unproductive in society! Believing society owes them something. Take a look at the occupiers...that is what we end up with!

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Jane 2 years, 3 months ago

The list of things I HAD to do for my parents were long and I hated every minute of it!!! I had to do dishes (by HAND), clean the bathroom, vacuum the carpets, sweep & mop the hard floors, mow the grass, rake the leaves, burn the trash, cook occasionally, pick up after my dad when he did home remodeling projects, clean my room, babysit my siblings, shovel coal into the furnace, grocery shop, serve my parents coffee in the evenings, shovel snow, dust the furniture, carry in meat from the freezer, bring up potatoes, apples, and pears from the basement, and that is just the half of it. I also had to go to school and make good grades. My parents were mean and cruel for sure! I will miss them when they are gone. :)

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guess_again 2 years, 3 months ago

Yes, these pictures fill me with joyous and patriotic feelings about young Americans engaged in wonderful work activities as suggested by their parents:

http://www.historyplace.com/unitedstates/childlabor/

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Scott Morgan 2 years, 3 months ago

Remember folks, when the seat belt laws went into effect we were promised it would never be a ticketable offense, and trucks were exempt. hahahhahaahhhahhaha

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sunny 2 years, 3 months ago

Next up: Anyone under 21 years of age will not be allowed to mow their parents lawn or the neighbors lawn. Lawn mowing is dangerous and kids need to be protected.

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Scott Morgan 2 years, 3 months ago

http://www.conspiracyplanet.com/images/ACF28E8.jpg

Well after we lost everything, there will still be jobs in rural American.

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sunny 2 years, 3 months ago

Gandalf....Because that man abused his kid you think this 'law'will prevent such abuse?

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Scott Morgan 2 years, 3 months ago

This is such a joke. Living rural is not easily understood. Which is why idiots try to legislate farming out of existence. Good grief!

This is what real farmers do..................................... Paid workers younger than 16 couldn’t help with certain animal related chores, such as branding, breeding, dehorning, vaccinating, castrating or treating sick or injured animals. They also couldn’t help herd animals into feed lots or corrals when on horseback or using trucks or ATVs.

• Paid workers younger than 16 couldn’t work inside a grain silo or bin or manure pit.

• Those 18 or younger would be prohibited from working at grain elevators, feed lots, stockyards, livestock exchanges and livestock auctions.

Say bye bye to freedoms a little at a time plebeians. Make sure your seat belt is on real tight. Trim that lawn, and be sure to ask if you want to trim your tree.

I can see this happening quick like a bunny.........

Dad, you mean I can't help Mr. John Q. Farmer with harvesting this year? Yep son. Does that mean I can't earn money for my car? Yep. Maybe I should just chuck it all then get me one of the double wides in town and get me one of them thar KU sit around all day jobs.

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Gandalf 2 years, 3 months ago

You are right Pace. All farmers are not sweet little angels. Nor are all farmers mean grinches. This law would only affect the ones who abuse children.

I've worked at farm jobs when I was a kid and for the most part enjoyed it. But I also knew a kid in junior high who was beaten if he was late getting home from school because his father had to do his chores.

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sunny 2 years, 3 months ago

This is one of the most outrageous laws yet. Lets teach these young teens to lay around and get fat and encourage them to live off the govt teet for the rest of their lives!

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pace 2 years, 3 months ago

Farm kids, kids of builders, etc. learn a lot, but hiring a kid and putting him/her in a situation that is new is more dangerous than people think. Kids raised around some jobs are maimed, killed, with experience of the conditions. Living on a farm is training, going to work on a farm without experience is very chancy. People think young kids have common sense? I use to dread working with some young guy, who claimed experience or knowledge, who, it turned out, thought they could bluff their way through. Especially stupid were the guys who, resenting someone telling them what or how to do something, decide quietly to do something slightly different. My uncle almost lost his life on a job with such a punk. The punk thought is was an accident because he had no idea "that" would happen. People who think farm work is picking up eggs under a feisty chicken are romantic movie fans. I took care of horses, I loved them, they are tough, remember movie fans, one killed superman. The reason for good law to protect children is, there are people who have no judgement or sense of context.

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lucky_guy 2 years, 3 months ago

I guess farm kids are just more expendable that city kids. The subsidies their parents get should compensate them for losing a few here and there.
Farming is dangerous, one of the most dangerous professions, just not reported 'cause the damage is in the "family".
I grew up on a farm and I made it out. I also know about 5 kids that didn't. Farming is paying off now so we are seeing that anytime you make money you get more regulatons. Not quite sure about all the regs but some of the ones about machinery are good. What is probably more important is to keep the kids away from the chemicals.

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Jonathan Fox 2 years, 3 months ago

Got to have more government beauracrats stepping into things they don't understand. How do they even enforce this? Are cops going to wonder onto farmer's field to check the driver's licence of a kid on a combine? As bogus as this law will be, it's not going to be enforced. The majority of sheriffs in farm communities aren't even going to bother enforcing such a rediculous law anymore than a traffic cop pulling you over for failing to use your turn signal. I grew up on a farm driving tractors at 7-8. Hardly anyone here has any idea what a farm is like, they've never been on a tractor, let alone done a real hard days work. And that's fine, sit in your office, type on your computer, whatever.

"I'm with the government and I'm here to help."

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BornAgainAmerican 2 years, 3 months ago

When I was in manufacturing and responsible for hiring workers, I would always have an informal chat with the job candidate at some point in the interview. If the candidate revealed that he/she had grown up on a farm and helped with farm chores, that little bit of information always worked in their favor. Given two equally qualified candidates, farm experience was often a determining factor. Young workers who have grown up on a farm are often miles ahead of other young people in terms of work ethic, maturity and job skills that transfer to the manufacturing floor.

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Christine Pennewell Davis 2 years, 3 months ago

So I guess I can't let my 11 year do house chores now? I mean come on that vacum might run her toe over or the dishes might break and cut her. Some things are just dumb this is one My dad farmed growing up hated it but did it helping out is what you do no diffrent on a farm or in a house chores are chores. Instead of paying them per say just say it is their allowance.

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orhs1963 2 years, 3 months ago

Heaven Forbid!!! It is about time that Mrs. Solis, who has worked in the government sector all of her life, put a halt to farm children from doing farm chores! Let alone knows which end of the pitch fork pitches manure.

Yes to not allowing farm children from gathering eggs in the chicken coop because the chicken coop is essentially a manure pit.

Yes to not allowing farm children from riding in a climate controlled cab of a farm tractor with their father ~ the dangers in a climate controlled cab of a farm tractor is really bad.

Yes to not allowing farm children from greasing the farm implements ~ those grease guns are very dangerous and can go off without warning.

Yes to not allowing farm children that are holding the vaccinating medications for their father ~ those vaccinating medications are very heavy.

Yes to not allowing farm children inside a grain silo (bins) to scoop out the grain ~ the grain silos and bins are very dark places and the “boogyman” hides there.

So what are farm parents to do with their farm children? Easy, send them to sad_lawrencian house as sad-lawrencian will never allow those farm children to return to their parents farm as the children may cut their foot by stepping on a fresh pile of cow manure!

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Dan Eyler 2 years, 3 months ago

Had my first job at 12 throwing papers, but quickly realized I wasn't making enough money. Took a job washing dishes at 13-14 making more money. I was cooking breakfast there by 14 or so 1979...loved it made more money! But not enough so I decided to get a job at ALCO department store made more money it was great. Saving account was growing fast. Wasn't enough pay so I moved on and by 16 I was working for the soil conservation service. Great job but I found a girl friend who messed that job all up, got fired and went back to ALCO and then off to college. Bottom line is the sooner you start making money the better. Hard work is no big deal. Now a kid can't work until 16, this country is in trouble.

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matix 2 years, 3 months ago

This only helps Big Ag and Big Gov't. Small family owned farms be damned. Your children are in danger. "I'm from the government and I'm here to help."

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rtwngr 2 years, 3 months ago

The government says you can't employ them on the farm because it is too dangerous but you can slaughter them in the womb at will.

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toe 2 years, 3 months ago

Family farms are under attack from the large corporate interests. I am putting my money on the big guys winning it all.

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drsilo 2 years, 3 months ago

We are hard worker, but we paid a price for it I said some of us, not all were treated this way. Call me what you want. I had worse.

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labmonkey 2 years, 3 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 3 months ago

Kids should get early exposure to work, and a chance to learn from their parents, and not just on farms. But there are some things that just aren't appropriate for kids anywhere, whether it's on a farm or elsewhere.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 3 months ago

Kinda interesting that the usual suspects are defending the right of parents to abuse and exploit their children (and those of their neighbors) in the name of "freedom."

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FalseHopeNoChange 2 years, 3 months ago

I picked strawberries and cucumbers for the Sukuma Bros at age 7 in the 60's. A few years later I had a SS number. I hated that. Work my butt off and someone else takes my money to save me in my older years. What a joke.

With what was left after Liberals SS, I bought my school pants and shirt. The next year I worked in the fields I made enough for a new bike. It was like $50. Pop paid half and I paid half. That was like really cool.

It's too bad Liberals are out there trying to protect kids. Wish they would use "choice" not too. Or is that choose?

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drsilo 2 years, 3 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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drsilo 2 years, 3 months ago

This is great news. I grew up on the farm. From 8 years on I was treated like a slave. Up a 4:00 to milk the cows then to school ( summer work all day ) then home at 4:30 to milk the cows, Done a 9 or 10:00. No time for home work and never any paid, if you were sick you still worked, and never a day off, I work in the sh*t pits, in the silo's, big equipment you name it. Lots of kids, but not all kids on the farm are/were treated this way. I was never beaten, but I had friends who were and they had no one to turn to for help. It's time farm kids get some protection.

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nut_case 2 years, 3 months ago

'paid to do' - Well, I guess that is a novel idea. Growing up, we were 'made' to do work, there was no 'pay', you simply did it because you were told to.

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Armstrong 2 years, 3 months ago

Undoubtedly this batch or rules and regs was proposed by people whose experience with farming is limited to eating the animals. Ladies and gentlemen let's hear it for hope and change !

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usesomesense 2 years, 3 months ago

This type of nit-pickery is exactly why we have grown dependent on foreign products and food supplies. It's not that we import food, products and cotton because it's exotic and we can't grow it here or exceeds our technical abilities. It's because we can't compete fiscally. Yet we'll happily turn a blind eye to the true exploitation of foreign children and buy those pair of Nike's and put on our brand new shirt that will start falling apart by the time it's washed three times - all the while putting our own farmers out of business and closing our own factories. Don't get me wrong - I'm all for working smart and having high skills jobs, but working smart should go hand in hand with working hard - not just getting paid a lot to be lazy because you have everybody convinced you're worth it. That's a big part of what got us into the economic mess we're in. Exposure to work and responsibility at least in the early teens is critical for long term development of a decent work ethic. The fed is gradually making it impossible for anyone under the age of 18 to get any work experience. While I'm strongly against endangerment and exploitation of our youth, I'm also against allowing them to think that they shouldn't have to work reasonably hard just to get by and work really hard if they wan't to get somewhere.
Subsidized farming is a bad substitute for tariffs on imported food products from countries that exploit all ages - not just children. We have to stop punishing our own for the despicable policies of foreign countries. If they don't want to be reasonable with their workers it should cost them more to get it in the country than if we produced it ourselves here.

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mustrun80 2 years, 3 months ago

Sad - don't worry, the utopia were a 15 year old can't move a single piece of 'machinery' which would of course include a lawn mower or weed eater will be here someday. And a 15 year old helping dad vaccinate cattle...

The Horror of work!!! Spoken like a true lib.

Thank you.

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sad_lawrencian 2 years, 3 months ago

I absolutely think they should change the rules. As far as this statement, "Right now, her girls...help with many of the tasks that...might not be allowed under the changes, such as vaccinating cattle...and moving machinery": Good! Kids shouldn't be allowed to do work like that. If I had kids, they wouldn't be "moving machinery" at the ages of 10, 13, and 15!

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mustrun80 2 years, 3 months ago

Ron,

If your father had declared the farm a corporation so the government wouldn't steal half of it - it would have affected you 100%. Nothing wrong with a family choosing wisely in order to protect the farm from robbery.

Listen to the government, lemmings. They know best how to run your family farm. What? grandpa wants to give junior a summer job - our dear leader says NO - hard work for him would be bad.

Some day the utopia will be here and the world will be perfect. If we only had enough government - only they can bring it about.

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SnakeFist 2 years, 3 months ago

Where's Liberty_Belle? I figured he'd be the first to condemn what he would call blatant unconstitutional governmental interference in businesses' God-given freedom to hire children to perform hazardous jobs in order to maximize profits for business owners.

Of course, he would say it smoother than I just did. He'd probably say that millions of American children are starving because they're being denied hazardous jobs.

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Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 3 months ago

"Children of parents who own or operate a farm would still be exempted from the new regulations."

I have been following this rather closely, having been a very young farm worker. I first drive a pickup to help feed the cattle at 4 or 5, and by the age of 12 I drove the tractor regularly. But that was all on our farm, on land that my father owned.

It wasn't until about the age of about 16 that I helped some with some of the equipment that my father used for custom work on land that was owned by others. And even then, my role was quite limited due to my young age and unfamiliarity with the some of the dangers of the equipment that was used. And also, since I was only 16 the physical strength that was required to do some of the work was somewhat of a problem.

So it appears that the new regulations, had they been in place in the 1960s, would not have affected me at all.

When my father hired help, I don't think he ever hired anyone younger than maybe one that was about 17, and even then he was hired only for very limited work that was not very dangerous.

The "real work" that might have resulted in injuries if there was any carelessness was always done by men that were very aware of the dangers, and very, very few were only 18. Those that were only 18 were certainly the young pups out there. Most of the workers were much older.

I will toss this in: Just about every single one of the workers personally knew someone that had been involved in a farm accident that had horrific consequences that I do not want to describe here. So not very many things were taken lightly.

So it appears that none of this will apply to anyone that is in the situation I was in so many years ago.

I cannot imagine what it would be like to have not helped my father and grandfather on the family farm. Many times, it's when you work together that memories are built, and I would certainly not want to not have missed out on those memories. I could expound at length on that subject, and it could easily be a book.

In fact, most all of that is not memories of work at all. They are memories of me helping with family tasks that have been done in my family for literally centuries, as we were homesteaders that were farmers that had come from Russia in the 1880s, and prior to that, my family had farmed in what is now Germany until about the 1820s.

Although our family occupation before the 1820s is now lost in the mists of time, I'm sure it was in agriculture of some sort for many centuries before that.

So when I helped on the family farm, I was taking part in a tradition that was many, many centuries old.

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cato_the_elder 2 years, 3 months ago

More nanny-state nonsense from Obama and Holda Solis. If early Americans had been under the yoke of government control the way we are now, they never would have made it.

Hold on a minute - they were. That's why they declared their independence from England.

Americans need to declare their independence from Obama and his liberal Democrat pals in November of 2012 and stop them before they take complete control over our lives.

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FalseHopeNoChange 2 years, 3 months ago

Government are people too. They want something to do. They are your neighbors across the street. They are the jolly fellow in your foresome at the club. They are the ladies at church knitting and pearling. They are busy at PETCO buying goodies for their pets.

"Son, Looky over there". "That's Skip walking his dog, Paycheck. Isn't that a rowdy looking pup?" "Look's like he has his hands full."

Is it ok if they make up reasons to control and direct your life? Is it ok if they start with your children. Can they have some of your money and call it taxes for social justice?

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deec 2 years, 3 months ago

Rather than worrying about being able to continue to hire children for pennies, maybe the farmers can use some of their thousands of dollars of farm subsidies to hire unemployed adults to work on their farms. http://farm.ewg.org/

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buffalo63 2 years, 3 months ago

Could children do the jobs if they weren't paid? By paying a child, does that count as an expense for farming, but wages not enough to pay income tax? As a city kid, not sure how that works. I do feel it is a stretch for children not being able to work on a family farm which would include grandparents, etc.

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