When I was a kid, I worked. I (unwillingly) helped out around the house and as soon as I was old enough to manage (i.e. well before I turned 15), I worked at my father’s accounting office for pay. The work ethic that experience instilled was invaluable – I never stopped working. My father grew up on a farm, and his child farm labor was a lot harder than my youthful employment. Though he eventually left the farm, I don’t think he ever regretted the lessons he learned on it. So yeah, growing up on a farm is hard work, but it can be pretty damn awesome too.
So of course the government must intervene.
The feds are proposing severely limiting the farm chores that children of farmers may do, and forcing kids to undergo a federal safety program rather than use the current programs provided by 4-H and FFA. Parents and farm kids are rightfully angry about it. Says Cherokee County, KS, Farm Bureau President, Jeff Clark (via the Daily Caller):
“It’s so far-reaching,” he exclaimed, “kids would be prohibited from working on anything ‘power take-off’ driven, and anything with a work-height over six feet — which would include the tractor I’m on now.”
The way the regulations are currently written, he added, would prohibit children under 16 from using battery powered screwdrivers, since their motors, like those of a tractor, are defined as “power take-off driven.”
And jobs that could “inflict pain on an animal” would also be off-limits for kids. But “inflicting pain,” Clark explained, is left undefined: If it included something like putting a halter on a steer, 4-H and FFA animal shows would be a thing of the past.
The new regulations don’t make sense if they’re aimed at farm safety, because the safety rate has increased remarkably over the last decade, with only 7.2 injuries per 1,000 farms. And as to the “inflicting pain on an animal,” what about milking? While I wouldn’t call it an infliction of pain, I don’t imagine that process is terribly comfortable for the cow.
We have too damn much government.