Farm kids are beginning to rebel against the Obama administration’s proposal to restrict their freedom when they work on their farms. The Department of Labor proposal, first foisted on the nation by Labor Secretary Hilda Solis last August 31, would apply child-labor laws to farms and prevent children under 18 from “storing, marketing and transporting farm product raw materials … prohibited places of employment would include country grain elevators, grain bins, silos, feed lots, stockyards, livestock.” The government isn’t satisfied with just that, however; they would also cancel the government’s approval of safety training and certification taught by independent groups like 4-H and FFA, and take over themselves with a 90-hour federal government training course.
Some kids who grew up on farms are rightly angry. Rossie Blinson, who started showing sheep at age 4 and cattle at age 8, said, “It’s been very important. I learned a lot of responsibility being a farm kid … 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.”
John Weber, who worked summers on his relatives’ farm and is now an agricultural major who raises steers he bought in high school, asserted:
I started working on my grandparent’s and uncle’s farms for a couple of weeks in the summer when I was 12. 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, speaking of the loans he took out to purchase the steers, said, “Under these regulations I wouldn’t be allowed to do that.”
It is all too typical of the elitist, effete big-city types who run the Obama administration to interfere in rural American life. But the young people who grow up working on farms know horse manure when they smell it.