Farm work has always played an important role in the lives of rural youth across America. In fact, in most rural areas working on a farm is often a kid’s first job. From milking cows and feeding livestock to harvesting crops in the summer, children often play a vital role in family farming.
But thanks to some over-zealous bureaucrats in the Obama administration, kids in rural America may soon be barred from performing traditional farm chores. And some in the farming community warn that these new rules, being proposed by various departments in the Obama Administration, could put some family farms in serious danger of failing.
New Federal regulations are being proposed that would bar children under the age of 16 from working on a farm owned by anyone other than their parents. The new regulations are so stringent that it would actually prohibit kids from working on any farm that wasn’t 100% owned by their parents. That means it would actually be illegal to help out on their own grandparent’s farm, even with their parent’s consent.
Family Farms Are not Immune.
The Department of Transportation is actually going right after Family Farmers. Their new rules would prohibit children under 16 from operating tractors, four-wheelers, riding mowers and other machinery, even on family farms. While some lawmakers seem to think these activities sound dangerous, what they fail to recognize is that farm work for these kids is not just work — it’s a way of life.
Many of them have grown up on these farms and play a vital role in the day-to-day operations of family farming. Without the ability to help their families, many of these farms will not be able to continue operating.
We have lost our understanding of rural life in this country, and if these new laws are allowed to take effect it will be a serious blow to everyone in the traditional farming community.