Even since Adam first tilled the ground after being removed from the Garden of Eden, farming has been a family occupation. Children are taught how to perform the various chores involved with farming as they grow up so by the time they become an adult, they would be fully capable of running their own farm.
I remember my family’s small farm when I was very young. At four years of age, I would help my mom feed the chickens and gather the eggs. When the strawberries ripened in the field, I would go out and help pick them, even if no one else was around, which usually resulted in a spanking, but how I loved strawberries. My older brothers helped my dad with some of the harder chores including weeding the strawberries, picking corn and cleaning out the chicken coup.
If the government gets its way, parents could be arrested for having their kids do the same chores today. The Labor Department has proposed the Child Labor Regulations, Orders and Statements of Interpretation that would apply to children under the age of 16 and would affect every farming family in the land. A number of agriculture organizations are trying to convince the Labor Department that the proposed changes to the farm labor standards will be detrimental to farmers across the nation.
Some of the new restrictions to children under the age of 16 include any chores that are done in the vicinity of any power-driven equipment. The strict interpretation could be understood to include lawnmowers and weed eaters.
The new provisions would greatly restrict children under the age of 16 being able to work about livestock. That means no more kids feeding the chickens, gathering eggs or milking the cow.
Children under 16 would also be limited from working at heights of 6 feet above ground or extreme temperatures. This would make haylofts off limits along with working a summer job in the desert heat or winter job at a ski resort.
When I was 15, I spent a summer riding trouble shooter on a large cattle ranch in southeastern Arizona. I was in the saddle from sunup to sundown 7 days a week for the entire summer. Temperatures often exceeded 110. It was hard work but I loved every minute of it and I learned a great many things that summer about hard work, perseverance and what it means to cowboy up when things get tough or you’re not feeling well and the jobs still needs to get done. At 60 years of age now, I still live by those life lessons I learned that summer. Under the new guidelines, I would never had had that opportunity and would probably be living on disability instead of working every day as I still do.
Farming families are some of the best socially adjusted families around and the least likely to take to the socialistic policies that Obama’s administration are instituting. Statistically, kids that grow up on the farm commit fewer sex crimes, fewer violent crimes and they have some of the best work ethics around. They are much more self-sufficient and rely less on government handouts, although farm subsidies have crept into the farming culture over the years.
What are the feds going to do about all of the Amish and Mennonites that live on farms and every member of the family have their farm duties and chores? To them, it’s part of the religion. Will the feds violate their First Amendment rights of religious practice?
More importantly, many smaller farms rely on the help of the children to keep the farm operating. Smaller farms cannot afford to hire others to help them and without the help of their kids to handle many of the lighter chores, the parents would not be able to maintain the farm and would end up losing it.
And this is exactly what the government has in mind. By driving out all of the small farmers, the only farms left operating will be the large corporate farms and those run as a collective, which is precisely the Marxist idea of farming.