Obama: Video Games Better Than Farm Chores

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist April 26, 2012

BarnWith the average age of the American farmer now over 50 years old according to the Environmental Protection Agency and the family farm on visible life support, the Obama Administration has moved to put the ailing patient out of his misery with a well aimed bullet right between the eyes.

What better way to ensure the complete and utter death of the family farm in just a few short years than to prohibit the children of farm owning parents from working the land and learning the business alongside Mom and Dad?

A proposed new rule from the  Obama Administration would ban children under 18 from any farm work which involves the “storing, marketing, and transporting of farm product raw materials.”

A Labor Department press release read that “Prohibited places of employment would include country grain elevators, grain bins, silos, feed lots, stockyards, livestock exchanges and livestock auctions.”

In addition, under this proposed rule, independent groups like 4-H would no longer be allowed to teach and certify safety training to children replacing such locally based youth agricultural programs with a 90 hour federal government training course.

Let’s think about this for a moment.

This rule forbids just about every farm chore I can think of right down to coloring a flyer with paper and crayons to decorate the farm’s booth at the local Farmer’s Market.

So, what are farm kids supposed to do then if they can’t do much of anything around the farm until they are 18 which includes running a small business of their own on the farm to generate some income for college?

I guess they can always play video games or watch TV instead.  Surely there’s a video game out there where children can simulate farm chores without ever leaving the living room couch!

A generation of farm kids raised on sloth instead of a hard work ethic will undoubtedly ensure that few family farms will make it into the next generation’s hands.

With children not able to be mentored by their parents on the farm nor by other local agricultural leaders in their community via 4-H or FFA, loss of interest in agriculture by the next generation of family farmers is virtually guaranteed.

Wait a minute!

Did you hear something?

Oh, nevermind.  It’s just the cha-ching of campaign contributions from Monsanto.

 

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Source:  Rural Kids, Parents Angry About Labor Department Rule Banning Farm Chores

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Comments (221)

  1. We manufacture products for over 32 countries around the world. We fabricate steel products and provide customized solutions for foundry, plastics and fabrication products. We manufacture products for different field like Airport, Port, Telecom, Agricultural, Earthmoving Equipment, EPC, Townships.

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  2. I don’t know if anyone will see this since it’s been almost 2 weeks since this post. However, here’s a link regarding the real reason this was withdrawn:
    http://www.newswithviews.com/Hodges/dave124.htm

    As Mr. Hodges points out, very few people even knew about the existence of this EO. Seems key that the military refused to enforce it!

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  3. Shame on you. This law is to prevent big ag from killing immigrant children by placing them in dangerous farm jobs. As I understand it, they were completely willing to include exceptions for the .001% that this would effect negatively and unintentionally. Sometimes things are not ALL about you.

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  4. You all realize that the big agribusiness/ chemical companies and their ties to the FDA are raiding small farms with SWAT team because they have raw milk? Wake up America! Small farmers are under attack.

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  5. Dawn, just to repeat: it only exempted kids working on farms owned SOLELY and EXCLUSIVELY by their parents (or on farms on which the child’s own parents were the sole managers of the farm, which means being in charge of the hiring and firing of workers, the making of schedules and job assignments, the actual supervising of work, etc.). If the farm was anything less than 100% owned by the parents — was an LLC, say, or a co-op, or was jointly-owned by, say, the child’s parents and his grandparents, the child was NOT exempt.

    Since it’s estimated that only about 30% of the farms on which kids work are owned EXCLUSIVELY by these children’s own parents, that means that had the bill passed, a full two-thirds of all the kids currently being paid for working on family farms — even farms owned mostly, but not exclusively, by their parents — would have become ineligible to continue doing so, at least for the jobs specifically prohibited by the statute. That’s a lot of kids out of work — many of whom really do work on farms their parents own, just not “exclusively”.

    Also, as I said in my last comment, I read the entire document. Feel free to read it yourself and double-check my accuracy. I think you will find, as I did, that beyond simply listing what the proposed new regulations are, there are also pages upon pages upon pages of explanation as to why, exactly, this bill was thought to be necessary, as well as a short history about why, over the years, each of the added regulations regarding juvenile farm labor were thought necessary in their time. The children of migrant workers are mentioned in the document only twice: once, when discussing why it had been thought necessary, years ago, to re-interpret what was meant by “school hours”, since migrant children didn’t always go to school and therefore didn’t have “school hours”, and the second time, when discussing why it had been thought necessary to include a provision for safety regulations for vehicles involved in the transport of migrants (and their children) to and from their camps or homes and the fields. I’m sorry, but there is absolutely no mention whatsoever about the children of migrant workers being the focus, or even having been in mind at all, of the currently proposed hazardous working conditions clauses that we’ve been talking about. In fact, from the lengthy explanations they did give, as to why these new regulations were thought necessary, it was quite clear that the bill’s new regulations were not, as you proposed, originally intended to protect migrant workers’ children (as a separate class) at all.

    My guess as to who these regulations were actually intended to protect? Farm workers unions. The more cheap, young, non-unionized labor gotten rid of, the more well-paid adult unionized workers needed to make up the difference. Which would also explain the advocacy of the new regulations by migrant workers’ associations (unions). But that’s just my guess.

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  6. I know many migrant farm worker organizations that ADVOCATED for this law. Sure, it had problems (though it specifically DID exempt kids who work on their own family’s farms), but it was originally intended to protect the KIDS of MIGRANT FARM LABORERS, who are often horribly exploited, and usually exposed to very hazardous conditions and chemicals. It’s barbaric the conditions these kids are subject to, but they easily exploited because their families are poor.

    Maybe this isn’t the perfect law to protect them, (and now that it has been withdrawn, its moot.) but these kids DO need protection from child labor abuse and dangerous industrial ag practices and chemicals.
    Dawn\’s last post: Preventing Osteoporosis with Nutrition

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  7. I agree with Susan B. There have been so many people on this thread jump on and chastise Sarah for posting this with the title she did. She is a writer. She wrote a title that caught people’s attention and made them want to read the article.

    I grew up on a farm and live on a farm with my husband and three kids. While most jumped on Sarah criticizing her for posting this, the reality is that they are out of touch with reality. While maybe every urban and suburban kid has the opportunity to cut grass (ooh, a dangergous machine, the lawn mower) or flip burgers locally, in our area, those types of jobs are not as plentiful, particularly for a rural kid. My kids aren’t going to drive 10-15 miles to mow lawns for other and we have one fast food restaurant (Subway), so there just aren’t that many jobs for teens. Many rural teens work for their uncle, grandparent, neighbor etc. My sister milked cows for her summer job.

    I am thankful this ridiculous regulation was withdrawn. Now to work on the hundreds of other ones cranked out by this administration and those before it. I also love (SARCASM NOTED) how so many people tried to point out how benign this law is. It is just one more step on a slippery slope. Parents (not the government) should be those who help their teens decided what is appropriate for work. People are not stupid!!

    I will leave with a quote I saw: Never forget that everything that Hitler did in Germany was legal. -MLK

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  8. I went to the Dept. of Labor’s site to read the entire statute myself (http://webapps.dol.gov/FederalRegister//PdfDisplay.aspx?DocId=25301), and while it’s long and very complicated, here’s one thing I was able to take away from it.

    In order to be covered by the statute, the child must first of all, be working for pay. In addition, in order to be exempt from the limitations of the statute, the child must be working on a farm either owned SOLELY by his own parent(s), or, if the farm is not owned by them, then doing work managed SOLELY by his own parent(s).

    So what does any of that have to do with a child “doing chores on his own parents’ farm”, as Sarah (and the Daily Caller) warned about? Plenty.

    A 15-year old youngster, let’s say, doing chores, for which he is paid, on dangerous equipment (as defined in the statute) on his family’s farm which is owned by, say, his father and his father’s brother, or perhaps his father and his grandfather, and being supervised in such chorework by his uncle or grandfather, would NOT be exempt from the limitations of this statute.

    This would be an example of a youngster “doing chores on his own parents’ farm”, and not being exempted at all — exactly what Sarah was warning about.

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  9. Sarah, hi, thanks for such a great site. I’m a bit confused though. I read this posting and was very upset. However it took me two days to find time to read further and I couldn’t find anything that said that kids of farmers would be stopped from working on their family farms, in fact, there appears to be an exemption for exactly that. I know the rule has been dropped, but can you please give me the site that says that Obama’s proposed rule would affect the children of farmers? I’m just wondering who would misinterpret the rule this way. thanks so much.

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  10. This is so messed up. I think it makes sense that children not be allowed to handle dangerous, complex equipment, but banning from all farm work is ridiculous. I suppose it makes sense from a ‘sub-optimal choice under time constraints with congress with its fangs drawn trying to destroy you’ point of view – its a lot harder to get some more complex legislation through than to simply put a blanket ban on it all. That’s government for you.

    I think children nowadays would be blessed to have a country upbringing. I grew up on a ‘farm’ (well, it was more a residence in the Russian countryside, but we grew everything we ate, and our neighbours kept animals which is how we got our dairy and meat and eggs, so I call it a farm), and I helped with everything – gardening, weed-pulling, milking, egg-collecting, etc, etc…and it was awesome. I spent all my time outside, in the sun…the only technology we had was a tiny, vintage TV (those ones with the thick ‘bubble’ screens…!) with a cassette player, where I would watch Disney cartoons with my mum in the evenings to learn English. And most evenings we spent watching shooting stars and giving them names with the local boys. I’m so grateful I didn’t grow up playing video games, and when I have children, I’ll make sure they don’t either. I hate the fact that everything is being digitized. Nowadays ‘playing tennis’ means busting out the wii (when I tell people I don’t have and don’t intend to acquire a wii, they look at me like they want to put me in a straighjacket).

    Yeah, The Matrix was a good movie, but do you seriously want to live in a computer?

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  11. This is a forum for the anti-government and anti-Obama, not farming. It sickens me. Assumption that the president is getting money from Monsanto and advocates video games instead. Where’s the solution?

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    • Starting with his choice for USDA Secretary, the pro-biotech former governor of Iowa, Tom Vilsack, President Obama has let Monsanto, Dupont and the other pesticide and genetic engineering companies know they’ll have plenty of friends and supporters within his administration.

      President Obama has taken his team of food and farming leaders directly from the biotech companies and their lobbying, research, and philanthropic arms.

      Michael Taylor, former Monsanto Vice President, is now the FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods.

      Roger Beachy, former director of the Monsanto-funded Danforth Plant Science Center, is now the director of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

      Islam Siddiqui, Vice President of the Monsanto and Dupont-funded pesticide-promoting lobbying group, CropLife, is now the Agriculture Negotiator for the US Trade Representative.

      Rajiv Shah, former agricultural-development director for the pro-biotech Gates Foundation (a frequent Monsanto partner), served as Obama’s USDA Under Secretary for Research Education and Economics and Chief Scientist and is now head of USAID.

      Solicitor General Elena Kagan, who took Monsanto’s side against organic farmers in the Roundup Ready alfalfa case, has been nominated to the Supreme Court.

      Now, Ramona Romero, corporate counsel to DuPont, has been nominated by President Obama to serve as General Counsel for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

      DuPont’s lengthy record of lies, crimes and misdeeds are well known, and the company’s efforts to deceive the public and cover-up risks of its products continue to this day.

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  12. I happened on to this discussion and just glanced down over these multitude of comments, but it sure saddens me–all this venom spewed about President Obama! Obama has done a lot for our country and if he didn’t have so many people in congress determined to make him fail, he could have done a lot more.
    I could not leave this site without standing up for a great man who has had to work against great odds in order to do his job! I AM voting for Obama and I hope you all get your facts straight and open your minds to the good he has done.

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  14. Without fully reading all comments here and I’m NOT advocating Obama in any way, but doesnt’ this just concern those that are being paid to work as a job at a farm? I have a 14 year old that goes to work, but can only do certain things and work only so many hours. There is alist of jobs he is not allowed to do because of his age. I am thinking this whole thing just falls under this list, and does not concern the family farm where a family is working it together. I could be wrong since I haven’t fact checked myself.

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  15. It’s all about control. The more they take out of individual’s hands the less the individual can do to determine his or her own life. I remember in the 70′s and 80′s agricultural corporations tried to befriend the family farmers by promising products that would give higher yields, specifically the development of Bovine Stimulating Hormone, etc.. But what it really has done, and was intended to do was to make it easier for big corporate farms to take over so costs would go down and corporate profits go up. You have fewer independent business owners and more farm workers making minimum wage. Yeah. That’s just awesome. And kids who will no longer care about anything. Were just robots, doing what we are told to do. No personal effort, responsibility, creativity is being engendered by encouraging kids not to participate. Not to mention you are going to bankrupt the family farms by now requiring them to hire others to do chores, plus have to provide benefits. Whack. Last nail in the coffin of the family farm.

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    • What, vote him out… just to replace him with another Big Government politician? We need someone who actually cares about our freedoms to fix this mess! Vote Ron Paul 2012. He is the only one who TRULY cares about our rights. Do your research. Find out for yourself.

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  16. Always do your own research before getting your knickers in a twist.

    1–This is not about small family farms.
    2-President cannot ‘make’ or ‘pass’ a law. Only congress can do that. President can sign it into law or veto it.

    This is just silly. I live in an ag community, do you really see g-men invading and finger wagging because little Jane collected the eggs or helped milk the goat?

    Remember your lessons on the three branches of government and always research from several sources, including ones that are contrary to your beliefs, before you believe something is a fact and not an opinion.

    Many people feel very strongly about issues and confuse their opinions with facts.

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    • I don’t recall more than one branch of government being involved with recent raids on raw milk producers. It’s accurate to say laws are passed by congress, but it’s necessary to acknowledge there are myriad policies and rules enforced by government agencies that bypass the “checks and balances.”

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  17. I love extracting some of the great nutrional information I get from this blog, but it becomes so disheartening every time I read the comments on some “controversial” article about it HAS to be a conspiracy of some sort. Not EVERYTHING is built to favor big corp and has an ulterior motive. I grew up in very rural Wisconsin on a dairy farm and all my friends lived on farms. I believe in what this legislature is trying to do for kids. Yes, I do believe safety is of concern. Trust me, we did things that should never have been done. I’ve been in grain elevators, I’ve been in front of stampeding cows coming in for feed, I was driving a tractor by 8. And all because parents relied on us for help. But these types of things should NOT have been managed by kids. There was no check & balance system by some government agency making sure we were safe. And I DID have friends maimed or killed. That was part of being on a farm. We slept in our clothes because we were up at 5:30 a.m. before school. Yes, it does develop very strong work ethics. But one thing it also did, was leave many teens with no direction in life. College wasn’t pushed. Parents needed you on the farm. That’s where you stayed. Or maybe you worked as a car mechanic in town or hair dresser. There is a generational stagnancy where these kids never leave. And then when the farm dies, or the town dies, or the supporting factory of the town dies, unemployment is well above 30%! Rural living isn’t all about red barns and picket fences. Far from it. It’s about delapitated homes, trailer homes, abandoned cars in the front yard, etc. It’s a hard life. And it’s all about survival. And sometimes the kids are victims. I’m happy to see someone is looking out for them. Don’t brandish all things the goverment does as evil while we sit in our ivory towers.

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      • Drive through rural Nebraska, Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa or any of the states of the grain belt and you see it. I love my parents and grandparents, etc. They did nothing but sustain a living and we all were part of it. Cows need to be milked twice a day every day. And have 300 head! Hay needs to be planted and harvested twice. All the crops need to be tended to. Then can all your veggies, make home-made jam, salt the pork, etc., etc. Do a 45 min roundtrip to school because you live miles from it. Long days and in an environment where little children have some lofty expections of them. And with it comes risk and in my opinion a very narrow-scoped future. I love the memories. I miss our family farm and the true innocence of it. But it is not a walk in the park.

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        • kelly!! honest question here.. you actually did grow up in this so you are a great person to ask.. do you feel that your upbringing has made you better off than todays youth that does just sit at home and play games all day and never see the sunshine?? farmers in the old days did use the children because it was free labor but is it possible that somewhere in the middle is the answer were all looking for??

          i think that today kids have it too easy.. sometimes a little hard work and sweat can be good for children but i can see where you are going with the “slave labor” thing.. again, just curious, do you have fond memories or is it something you regret??

          -jason and lisa-

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          • i guess i ask because the only true farmers i know are the farmers i know by first name that we see every saturday morning at market.. i know the farmers and their kids.. we always take our dog and the kids just eat it up but there is a difference between the farmers kids and the kids that you see everywhere else.. i cant help but think that the hard work “old” lifestyle has helped to make these kids more grounded.. i kid you not, the farmers 8 year olds are as mature and more grounded than the average 14 year old anywhere else..

            -jason and lisa-

          • Oh yes – absolutely!!! I don’t regret it one bit. I am trying to turn back to the very basics of cooking my grandmother and mother instilled in me. Just taught my 5 year old today how to bake a real loaf of honey-oat bread! I may sound cynical or I hated it, but no… that’s not what I was getting at. I just think back and chuckle about the unsafe practices we did and never thought twice, and how protective I’d be about my daughter doing that same thing today. And I do believe there is a happy medium. Kids raised in very rural America experience things suburban kids will never know. Running barefoot in the creeks catching crayfish, taking turns seeing who can get on the back of the ornery bull before you get bucked off, eating berries from bushes that grew wild, having great bonfires on Friday nights as we watched the fireflies. My daughter will miss all that. But I think to myself, those are my memories, she will have ones of her own that she will cherish and hopefully with camping, fishing, and planned trips to friends’ farms, etc., she’ll experience a little of what I did. And yes, the kids work really really hard, but late in the teens, I saw many get disillusioned and lost. Drinking starts early. You don’t have a parent’s watchful eye because there is always a corn field, or a babbling brook or a quarry to sneak in to. Sex starts early. Pregnancies are young. Marriages are young. Drugs like Meth are the worst in these rural area – epidemical. And most I saw, didn’t get close to college. A community college was at least an hour away. Suburbanites keep our kids busy. In sports, activities I think. And focused on getting to college. On a farm, everyone is so busy that the minute you get some free time, it’s relished. But it’s never really filled with a planned activity. So kids lose their way. And fall back on farming because it’s all they know, not because they have the passion for it. And don’t get me wrong… some truly truly do – and the ones we see at our Farmer’s Markets certainly do. But they are a far cry from rural America.

        • hey kelly.. same with a factory or mill town.. marry young.. raise the kids and set them free.. i like the balance idea.. i agree you can grow up too fast.. some time between hard work and molding the children, you have to let kids be kids.. i worry with this because the government has the record of going way overboard with something like this.. i guess you really cant write a law with balance in it.. its either one way or the other but so often life doesnt work like that.. sometimes there really and truely is a grey area.. i dont like the federal government getting involved with every area of every life.. there are some bad parents out there and sure things will happen that shouldnt happen but is it right to change federal laws that punish so many for the wrong doings of a few?? i dont agree at all with slave labor of your kids but i have no problem with a hard days work..

          ive been watching some amish tv show that has been coming on lately.. i think its funny between this show and people that i talk to in day to day life.. the amish that grow up on the farm want to leave and fall heavy in to drugs and drinking yet the “english” that grow up in every day america would love to fall back to the simple lifestyle.. i know i would love nothing more than to raise kids on land with green pastures and gardens.. i would love to let my kids run free and not worry about some weirdo picking them up..

          again i think the true answer is balance and i dont think thats something the government has the ability to regulate.. the nature of law writes things in black and white and again, life is full of grey..i really think that power lies only in the hands of free people in a free society..

          great talking kelly.. i do see your point here..

          -jason and lisa-

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  18. I deplore government overreach, but I sounded like a dummy when I complained about this to my “crazy liberal” cousin. She asked me if I read any original sources and basically told me I was acting like chicken little and had no credibility. When I read the govt. press release I saw a mention of an exemption for children working on farms owned by there parents. I want everyone to know that line is there because it is SO important to make intelligent, informed arguments, (as opposed to what happened to me.)

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    • After reading more comments, it occurs to me that something has to be prohibited prior to it being “excepted.” Therefore, the Department of Labor has in fact prohibited children from helping on the family’s farm and then (supposedly) excepted them. And yes, I’m making that point to my cousin along with several excellent observations mentioned by you smart people here!

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  19. I shared this on Facebook after I’ve already shared other articles about it.

    I wonder if you’ve seen this: http://www.monsanto.com/ourcommitments/Pages/Monsanto-and-4-H.aspx

    and this, about how Monsanto gives $$ to 4H but the didn’t sell out. I’m not sure that’s the case anymore. It was just their foot in the door.

    http://motherjones.com/blue-marble/2011/08/4h-alameda-fair
    Adrienne @ Whole New Mom\’s last post: Tips for Frugal Meals ~ and Super Fast Indian Lentils

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  20. Thank you so much for sharing. That is BS on TOP of BS. When is this country going to pull it’s head out of you-know-where?!?!

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  21. @Marleen – But kids also work on farms owned by other people (including relatives; I’ve known plenty of families that have a network of farms owned by relatives and the families are always zipping between them) or do work related to 4-H and FFA projects. How is that affected, if at all?
    Tipper\’s last post: Five things I know about babies

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  22. First Catholics, then hippies & foodies, who else of their base will the Dems next attack, in an election year, no less?

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    • It’s not just Democrats. It’s all “establishment” politicians. They’re all for big government, more control over the people. They’re all in bed with big corporations.

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  23. this is about so much more than the family farm.. a hard blow to the farm yes but another notch tighter on the belt of our “free society..”our town is installing cameras all through downtown.. for “safety” of course.. every intersection is getting them (to catch people running red lights of course..) people are inviting the cameras in to their homes now with home camera security systems.. not cctv mind you.. someone outside of the home, outside of your family can watch the camera if they ever find a reason to.. all of this for safety of course..

    face it, this government doesn’t want a free society with free thinkers.. its not obama, its not bush.. its the powers behind the throne so to speak.. id bet all that i have that elections are rigged and id bet my life that you cant trust any large political figure anymore than you could pick them up and throw them..

    were in trouble.. anyone above the age of 40 is in bad trouble.. all of the marketing, all of the news, all of the music and tv is targeted at today’s youth and getting them to put total trust in the government and override anything that the parent says.. all of our laws and rules are aimed at letting the children have all of the say so..40 years ago something like this would never fly.. the public would be in the street marching to dc.. today, this happens and people don’t care..

    i really believe that there is an agenda in place to “breed the fight out of us..” each generation gets a little bit weaker and a little bit more of an “i don’t care” attitude than the one before.. they don’t want men to be men.. they don’t want men to be tough.. they don’t want the mother to be the heart and soul of the household.. they don’t want parents to have any say so..they don’t want people that ask questions, they don’t want people who form opinions.. they want to control all food, all jobs, all education, all taxes and every other area of our lives; and each generation we go through we get a little closer to that and and with each generation that dies off, we lose a few more of those who care to do anything about it.. our fight is being bred out of us one media, music, tv and educational curriculum controlled generation at a time..

    there is something to this.. the laws coming out of nowhere, forced vaccines, sticking kids at school without parents knowing, the food system.. pulling laws out of thin air to suppress proper cancer research, and so so so much more..all of it, every single piece… its all intertwined, very well thought out and the bulls eye is on the back of every man woman and child in this nation.. just another notch in the belt this is.. how tight does it have to get before we realize we cant breathe..

    having chicken and green beans tonight,

    -jason and lisa-

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  24. That is the crux of the issue… The child would be limited to farm work on his or her own parents farm., or work for free, with limited chores for anyone else. Parents should be the final deciders.

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  25. My husband and I own a small cattle ranch. He is in his 60′s and still going strong but has some issues with his knees that prevents some things that need to be done. We have a neighbor who has a hard working teenage boy who has helped us many times. This has helped my husband and this young man gets paid while staying out of trouble. He has helped my husband with building and repairing fences, cutting down cedar trees, etc. His parents fully support this and we provide a safe environment. This IS removing the parents as the final decider.

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  26. Gena Mavuli via Facebook April 26, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    I used to love your blog, when it was food related. Your misguided politics have made it irritating. Please return to the topic that suits you best- real food.

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  27. Priscilla Oliveira Cody via Facebook April 26, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    “No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem.” — Booker T. Washington

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  28. I grew up on a ranch and our life and that of the whole surrounding community revolved around harvest. I hauled grain to the elevators. We learned to drive wheat trucks before we were 15. If harvest was delayed for whatever reason, we did not go to school and no questions were asked by the school officials. Furthermore there was no school during the country fair days in September, because most of the students were involved in 4-H. I am so glad that I grew up when I did. We got the best education.
    My blood boils thinking of the ways our freedoms are being taken away in this age.

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  29. I don’t buy the government spin that came out today on this proposed new rule. Just backpedaling due to the huge public outcry. Typical .. trying to pump the rule through by saying whatever it takes to get it through and then they can interpret it how they like in the final analysis.

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  30. Mae Day via Facebook April 26, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    I worked on the family farm as a kid. It made me a better person and taught me a lot about life… and death.

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  31. My friend said that this isn’t true. As I read some of the comments above, it looks like the ruling was once preventing 4-H, but push-back made them change it? Is that right? Here are my friend’s comments.
    Well you will be glad to know that this is not true. “The proposed agricultural revisions would impact only hired farm workers and in no way compromise the statutory child labor parental exemption involving children working on farms owned… or operated by their parents.” The process for this rule was not an Obama idea. It began over ten years ago. As for 4-H, remember, the rule addresses work-for-hire. Not “chores” but employment by a non-family farm. And not just any work but work that is classified as hazardous. And youth younger than 16 can be hired (paid) for farm work if they are classified as a “student-learner” in a “bona fide cooperative vocational program.
    http://storify.com/kegill/is-the-obama-administration-sticking-its-nose-into.See moreIs The Obama Administration Sticking Its Nose Into Farm Chores? ·

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  32. This still limits kids who want to work for a grandparent, aunt, uncle or neighbor, from things like staking hay, operating tractors, etc., or am I missing something?

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      • Sarah, I think you might be confusing the Obama administration with the old Bush administrations and others like them. Obama is trying really hard to make right what those guys did to us and our American system. Are you sure you know what you’re saying? The article you posted doesn’t seem to line up with the truth of the situation at all. Where are you on all this? I can see from your site that you really want people to be physically healthy. But are you considering the damage you can do when you misquote the very things that are the topic of your articles? Are you that sure that you’re right about the things you write about? How much research do you actually do or are you quoting someone else who is voicing an opinion, not the truth? This is not an attack. We simply need to stick to the truth. Unless we have some other agenda.

        Reply
  33. Two thoughts: he who controls the food, controls the people. Second: when we allow the government to continuously pump out new legislation “for our own safety”, we have let them strip our personal liberties away bit by bit.

    Reply
  34. Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

    Five Facts about the Proposed Child Labor in Agriculture Rule

    Fact # 1: The proposed Child Labor in Agriculture rule will not prohibit all people under the age of 18 from working on a farm.

    The proposed rule would not change any of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum age standards for agricultural employment. Under the FLSA, the legal age to be employed on a farm without restrictions is 16. The FLSA also allows children between the ages of 12 and 15 years, under certain conditions, to be employed outside of school hours to perform nonhazardous jobs on farms. Children under the age of 12 may be employed with parental permission on very small farms to perform nonhazardous jobs outside of school hours.

    Young people can be employed to perform many jobs on the farm — and this would be true even if the proposed rule were adopted as written. The proposed rule would, however, prohibit the employment of workers under the age of 18 in nonagricultural occupations in the farm-product raw materials wholesale trade industries. Prohibited establishments would include country grain elevators, grain elevators, grain bins, silos, feed lots, feed yards, stockyard, livestock exchanges, and livestock auctions not on a farm or used solely by a single farmer. What these locations have in common is that many workers, including children, have suffered occupational deaths or serious injuries working in these facilities over the last few years.

    Fact # 2: The proposed rule would not eliminate the parental exemption for owners/operators of a family farm.

    The parental exemption for the owner or operator of a farm is statutory and cannot be eliminated through the regulatory process. A child of any age may perform any job, even hazardous work, at any age at any time on a farm owned by his or her parent. A child of any age whose parent operates a farm may also perform any task, even hazardous jobs, on that farm but only outside of school hours. So for children working on farms that are registered as LLCs, but operated solely by their parents, the parental exemption would still apply.

    Fact # 3: This proposed regulation will not eliminate 4-H and FFA programs.

    The Department of Labor fully supports the important contributions both 4-H and the FFA make toward developing our children. The proposed rule would in no way prohibit a child from raising or caring for an animal in a non-employment situation – even if the animal were housed on a working farm – as long as he or she is not hired or “employed” to work with the animal. In such a situation, the child is not acting as an “employee” and is not governed by the child labor regulations. And there is nothing in the proposed rule that would prevent a child from being employed to work with animals other than in those specific situations identified in the proposal as particularly hazardous.

    Fact # 4: Under the proposed rule, children will still be able to help neighbors in need of help.

    In order for the child labor provisions of the FLSA to apply, there must first be an employer/employee relationship. The lone act of helping a neighbor round up loose cattle who have broken out of their fencing, for example, generally would not establish an employer/employee relationship.

    Fact # 5: Children will still be able to take animals to the county fair or to market.

    A child who raises and cares for his or her animal — for example, as part of a 4-H project — is not being employed by anyone, and thus is outside the coverage of the FLSA. Even if the child needs to rent space from a farm, the animal is not part of the farm’s business and with regard to the care of the animal no employer/employee relationship exists, so the child labor provisions would not apply. Likewise, there would be no problem with taking the animal to the county fair or to market, since the child is doing this on his/her own behalf — not on behalf of an employer. The proposed prohibitions would apply only if the child was an employee of the exchange or auction.

    Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Employee has quite a variable definition these days … don’t buy the government spin which is simple backpedaling based on the huge public outcry yesterday when this news broke. Just trying to soothe people back into slumber and compliance so the rule sails through and then the “butt of a gun to your gut” interpretation comes later.

      Case in point .. I called the Michigan Governor’s Office 2 weeks ago about the pig killing rule that was to go into effect April 1. I was told by one of the Governor’s staffers on the phone that the state NEVER would go onto a farm and kill animals. That this was just the public blowing the whole thing out of proportion. Sound familiar? Next thing I know, the state has indeed gone onto a farmer’s property and forced him to shoot his own animals .. baby piglets and all.

      I don’t believe a thing the DOL says about the interpretation of this proposed rule and what it does and doesn’t cover. It’s all spin and a power grab underneath it all. They could change it all tomorrow on a whim.
      Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist\’s last post: Obama: Video Games Better Than Farm Chores

      Reply
  35. My question is this: When is America going to stand up to unjust laws by civil disobedience. Seems it is long overdue!

    Reply
  36. Suzanne Christensen Morales via Facebook April 26, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Thank you for blogging about this! If nobody cares or speaks out than we deserve to lose our freedoms. Please everyone vote this man out of office. If the health care billed is allowed to move forward . . you better believe there will be forced vaccinations!

    Reply
  37. Disturbing to say the least. Our family fled from post-Communist Russia and now the U.S. is becoming awfully similar. Love your sarcasm! Parents, please PLEASE check out parentalrights.org, pretty soon we will have no say about anything regarding our own children, the government will make all decisions for us! Please sign the petition at ParentalRights.org and get involved!
    Anastasia @ eco-babyz\’s last post: Why Choose a Vacation Rental

    Reply
  38. unbelievable…don’t even get me started on the crazy rules in our government…thank you for sharing this with us…

    Reply
  39. While I am sure the intentions behind writing it are good, it appears to me to be unnecessarily inflammatory.
    First, from my research, the rules that are being put into place are simply an extension of child labor laws already in place. They apply to children employed on farms, not to children helping on their family farms. It doesn’t take away a parent’s right to decide what their child can do, it takes away an employer’s ability to put a young employee at risk. These rules seem aimed more at safety than limitations, and safety of children should be everyone’s concern.
    Secondly, the article title implies that there is a quote from Mr. Obama stating that video games are better for children than farm work, but the article doesn’t provide that, or even link to a source or article where the president states that this is his opinion. If you have access to such a statement, I would appreciate seeing it. The only reference to video games at all comes from the writer’s point of view that children disallowed farm work would have nothing left to do but play games.
    While a blog is certainly personal, and you have every right to vent frustration over laws that you are unhappy with, I think it is important to remember that with a large following of readers you have some responsibility to present facts alongside your opinion. I don’t think that has been done in this article title.

    Reply
    • I completely agree. Inflammatory nails it on the head. With such extreme views and comments, it’s no wonder we as a country cannot come together. This only flames the fire.
      I take so much from this blog nutrionally, but the rhetoric gets old.

      Reply
  40. My kids high school has an ag program, which is really weird, being that we’re in a city which is a commuter suburb of NYC. I have volunteered in their million dollar building, and what they assigned me was viewing and cataloging their video library. The FFA is overrun with Monsanto propaganda. I don’t know about 4-H. I think it behooves all of us to educate educate educate about the true way to improve our health via fresh real food.

    I really wouldn’t fault Obama more than any other politician, since Michele Obama is working toward basic health education. Is it perfect, no. Baby steps.

    Reply
  41. There is a game for farming on Facebook. My son, wife, and granddaughter do it. I told them why don’t you just have a real garden instead.

    Reply
  42. Pingback: Obama: Video Games Better Than Farm Chores — The Healthy … | Game Review Guide

  43. Our Founding Fathers must be rolling over in their graves right now to see what’s happening to this country they pledged their sacred honor and risked their very lives to build. Too many today rationalize incremental increases in government power and control. Uneducated in American history and the facts of the workings of the economy, they are convinced by those in gov’t to deny their own intelligence and abilities and buy into the lie that gov’t knows better than they how to conduct their own lives. While important and relevant, discussing the minute details of what this law would or would not cover is missing the BIGGER point. This is NOT what the founders had in mind. Thomas Sowell explains the real life impact of laws like this brilliantly in his book Basic Economics.

    Reply
  44. This is no surprise, as our government seems to have lost any wisdom and common sense that it ever had. Control is an evil that seems to take over a person/group of persons… The sad fact is that when people/government agencies get together to “make” laws that are unjust, it affects THEM too. You may not see it at first, but it finally comes around. For a little example, watch the movie, “Boy in the Striped Pajamas.” Clearly, evil does not discriminate when you set it loose. Almost everyone on this blog is in agreement on one area..these laws are unjust. The Bible is clear about a nation that allows itself to become ruled by unjust laws.. It is an abomination. I am encouraged that so many ARE paying attention and speaking up. Thanks for bringing up the hard topics Sarah.

    Reply
  45. Annemarie Scolari via Facebook April 26, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    So, after reading both articles posted, my daughter would still be prevented from working at the family ranch? It’s owned by the grandparents…I guess another letter to Obama will be in the works…

    Reply
  46. While it is true that the press release and proposal do “say” that the family farm is exempt be aware that there is also this little phrase all over the proposal “except in certain occupations found and declared by the Secretary to be particularly hazardous, or detrimental to the
    health or well-being of such workers” This causes me to pause. One person, presumably Secretary Solis by the wording, has the authority to declare the occupation hazardous and therefore nullify the parental exemption. I also had an article where she was quoted to that effect. It may be sensationalistic to say that they want to make regulations against kids and their farm chores, but it may also be accurate in implementation.

    Reply
  47. This almost contradicts Mrs. Obama’s campaign for childhood obesity. She encourages kids and families to get moving and eat healthy. Where do they think healthy food comes from? I just don’t understand this at all. Maybe in their minds it has something to do with child labor but, I think it’s crazy. Many farm children love working on the farm, it’s contributing to the family and such a great learning experience. I feel bad for the families that this will effect.

    Reply
  48. You made a bit of a leap of logic there with your title. They aren’t supporting video games over farm chores, they’re just operating under a misunderstanding. This seems like a misguided attempt to protect children. Instead of sensationalizing is and responding in an alarmist way, wouldn’t it seem better to educate people about the quality of working conditions on family farms versus large agricultural conglomerates? I only recently started reading your site, but I don’t love the political lean. I think I can be healthy, thrifty, frugal, AND open minded. I guess I don’t need your blog to help me.

    Reply
  49. I heard this on the radio yesterday and I am still so upset I can’t even respond. I think soon we’ll give birth and hand our child over to the government. We can’t decide anything for them anymore from vaccination to chores to schools to milk to school lunch. When and where is it going to stop? These busy nosey bodies make me sick. Mind your own damn business and get out of our lives.

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  50. A federal law or rule can only be implemented in a state if the state allows it, no matter how it is “passed”. And agencies making “laws” borders on criminal.

    This is why our Founders created the 10th Amendment. Every state has nullification powers when it comes to federal laws. For example, two states have just nullified NDAA in their states: Virginia and Arizona. Several states have nullified/are nullifying Obamacare. Even the Supremacy Clause cannot “over-rule” a state’s nullification powers. I believe it is absolute. Yay, Founders.

    Now, the feds may send in their goons, i.e., DEA raids on Medical Marijuana establishments in states where MM is legal. The feds only get away with this in states that have no cojones.

    There is also the question of whether or not this labor law is within the enumerated powers of the federal government. (HINT: IT IS NOT.)

    The point is that your state does not have to jump onto this Titanic. Call your reps and tell them NO to this federal unconstitutional power grab. The one good thing the KY Senate Ag Committee did was be aghast at this law…. whether or not they go up against the feds when the time comes, we shall see.

    If we aren’t active in our local politics, we will get the government we deserve. Personally, I’m sick to death of this b.s. and I’m not sitting still for it anymore.
    Sally_Oh\’s last post: Oh, How My Garden Doth Grow!

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  51. We don’t need any more government intrusion and control. I’ve read the Bill and it’s over reaching and not needed. If the government truly cared about saving children – they’d start by making abortion illegal!! I don’t think this really has anything to do with children, but rather a way to make life harder for small family farms . . . . because we know big ag has the millions of special interest money behind it.

    Reply
    • So true! Great analogy. Most commenters here have never stepped foot on a true rural farm. Not the pretty pumpkin patch that’s 5 miles from our surburban home where we pick blueberries come Summer. These are working farms with combines, grain silos, hundreds or thousands a head of cattle, hay balers, etc. And most of these farmers are in debt up to their eyeballs buying these $250K machines so when things break or stall or jam, kids are right there with their hands in machines doing risky things. Every farm kid can tell you of someone they know who’s had a major accident or worse. Most of these equipment have been rigged to work around safety features, etc., and no OSHA is coming in to be sure they are up to snuff. Even though this has been repealed, it’s not because of some special interest twist, etc., – it truly has to do with if this was allowed to go through, the small farmer could be out of business and we as a country couldn’t survive the backlash. Children are absolutely needed on the farm – no way around it – and all the risk that comes with it. A backbone to the economy as was child labor in the early 1900′s. Don’t see this changing soon. Unfortunate.

      Reply
  52. Dawn Lane via Facebook April 26, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    So kids will be able to learn on their own parents farms, but not on those of their relatives. Well, regardless of the wording, the other point here is that our president is not the one who is supposed to be making up the new laws. And there shouldn’t need to be a law for every little detail of our lives! Nobody in our government seems to realize these days just what their jobs are supposed to be. Our representatives really just represent big corporations, or whoever has the money to sway their vote. The FDA is run by Monsanto. The selfless people who defend our country with their very lives are considered so dispensible that our government will withhold their pay when things get tight. Our country’s founders must be rolling in their graves by now at the mess their pride and joy has become.

    Reply
  53. I have a fantastic idea… How about we wake up and realize that this is yet another form of legislation that allows the government to regulate our lives and strip personal liberty. What if a child chooses to work at a family farm? Should ANYONE be able to take away someone’s right to choose? That’s a big fat ‘NO’.

    On another level, this law would take away the experience and education needed to have a family farm for future generations, giving the disgusting, unethical, anti-environmental practice of factory farming MORE power.

    This law is nothing more than corporate greed.

    Thanks for posting.

    Reply
  54. While I agree that it’s a sh*tty law, your headline is misleading and sensationalist. You make it sound as though Obama actually said video games are better than farm work, which he didn’t and I doubt he ever would. You assume that video games and TV are the only alternative to farmwork for these kids, which is absolute b.s. and I can think of a thousand things in between. You do yourself and your point a disservice by being misleading and appealing to people’s emotions rather than rationality.

    Reply
      • L-I understand you comment b/c I’m sure this is not Obama’s intent but we need to realize that making these laws do not improve the greater good but instead paralyse them. Why should government have a right to tell parents how to raise their kids in this scenario? This proposed law was not created b/c 1,000 of kids/year lose their lives to farming accidents but instead to kill the family farm so corporations can take over and regulate it. Perfect timing as the sustainable living movement is gaining momentum and a perfect way to kill this movement since these corporations probably feel threaten by it. If you want to regulate something…… regulate the corporation. Of couse that can’t happen b/c they control the government. In reality, this has nothing to do with Obama but instead government (all parties) as a whole.

        Sara, is there petitions or contacts that can be made? Has Change.org started one? Or other organizations starting to protest this? If PETA can influence government laws I would have the hope that the american farmers association (is there such a thing?) and the common man could have similar influence although this is only determined by man’s willingness to get involved which unfortunately does not happen as much as it needs to.

        Reply
    • Excellent point! Couldn’t agree more! I respect Sarah’s work and enjoy reading most of her articles but this is out of line. Very Glen Beckish. Disapponting. Sarah’s posts are starting to lose creditibility more and more for me.

      Reply
      • Yes. Glenn Beckish. And that is NOT OKAY.

        Yes, the law is absolute hokey. But I think this is sensationalist way of describing the issue. It feels like a slapshot to get people to read the article. I don’t know…it bothers me when people claim a president or other politician says something unless it actually comes out of their mouths.

        Reply
        • The law may be bad, if some people who did the research, are right in claiming the law said nothing about farm kids, and just other people’s young kids. . .that tells me it’s a law for protecting our youth from being sucked into child labor. Yes, there should be a similar one that says you have to be older and hopefully wiser before you can work at McDonalds, then maybe no one would! Seriously though, it’s not likely going to make any difference. The people who want to work will just call it play and not get payed, or do some bartering. No one’s simply going to send their kids to their room to play video games now because they feel thwarted by the government. Peoplemay be stupid in the city, on drugs and bad food, but not country folks! That title made me really think poorly about the president, and I think that would be called slander. If you want to mock and slander your “God given” leader, maybe you need to read up what God tells you to do for our leaders. . .correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe it’s “pray”. Not that I recommend only that, or even a lot in the Bible, but as I believe you claim to follow it, maybe you should just try to be a little more respectful of his position and how hard he tries, without having to put words in his mouth and presume his motives. (Not to mention misquote the purposed law.)

          Reply
  55. They (the government) don’t have a clue!! I grew up on a farm working ground; throwing hay bales in the elevator — learned what hard work is. I still drive by farms now and wish I was back doing what I used to do.

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  56. The only reason I want a farm is so my 3 boys can work it and stay out of trouble and away from a screen as they grow! This makes me so angry. I feel powerless.

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  57. James Horning via Facebook April 26, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Joseph, I disagree.

    Yes, the parent-owned farm part was an error… let’s take the political excuse and say that someone “misspoke”. BUT, it is not a distortion to say that many children will still be unable to learn the business from their parent’s. Not all farm-working families own the farm anymore; yet, they are still in charge of the farm. I am frustrated by how quickly this issue is being cast aside due to a error in reporting (and that happens on both sides of any issue, all the time – so thank you for your input bringing clarity).

    That error is now corrected; however, the regulation is still highly faulty. There are better ways to achieve safety for workers of all ages – this isn’t one of the better ways.

    Reply
  58. This is so sad.
    Unfortunately until we repeal Citizens United, the Corporations own our political system and our food system.
    A couple states have started to try to gather the momentum to repeal Citizens United–we need a total of 30 states.
    With unchecked power, Corporate America will bleed this country dry.

    Reply
    • This isn’t a result of Citizens United. This is control-freak, special-interest-bought politicians and power-hungry bureaucrats doing what they do best — bullying in the name of the people. In theory, protecting people from themselves. In practice, protecting the sources of their campaign cash. Citizens United has nothing to do with politicians having the lobbyists in their back pockets; that’s been the state of things since the beginning. It was no less before Citizens United, nor has it increased since its passage. It’s the way Washington has always worked.

      Reply
  59. I have to agree with Jessica on this… I think the topic deserves closer scrutiny to really root out the purpose and the both the benefits/drawbacks… But for the first time I don’t think this post is considering enough sources… Here’s the link to the DOL statement. http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/whd/WHD20111250.htm

    I didn’t grow up on a farm, but I grew up in farm country. I worked on farms from 12 yo to 18 yo. My dad has worked for a local farmer since he retired from GM many years back. Some of my mom’s best memories are visiting/helping on her aunt’s farm when she was young. I buy local meat/chicken/eggs direct from farmers year round and veggies & fruit seasonally. I plan to enroll my son in 4-H as soon as he’s old enough. I care about this topic greatly! I do hope the outcry will help our politicians clarify their recommendations and address public concerns. But please give the government some credit for trying to address some very significant safety issues!

    Reply
  60. Joseph Marsh via Facebook April 26, 2012 at 11:28 am

    This article goes on about not allowing our kids to learn the business of Agriculture from their parents. This is at best a distortion. I own a small farm and I understand the dangers having children in roles that are more suited for an adult decision making process.

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  61. Sarah, I was horrified by the article and shared the link on my wall. My daughter-in-law responded: “I read lots of the comments and the article is a tad misleading. Here is a quote from the comments: “The first information that came out on this change in child labor laws was inaccurate. It will not prohibit children from working on family farms or FFA or 4-H programs…The reasoning for the change was to address the increasing number of deaths and injuries from children of migrant farmers and agricultural workers that were not directly related to those owning the farms. Furthermore, it doesn’t apply to kids whose parents own the farm. Here’s a link to explain better: http://www.examiner.com/article/kids-can-still-work-on-family-farms-and-do-4-h-under-proposed-law” I’m presenting here for clarification. :)

    Reply
  62. THIS INSANITY HAS TO BE STOPPED!!!!!!! Our founding father’s are spinning in their graves. The government was NEVER supposed to have so much control over our lives! It’s just ridiculous!!

    What can WE do, you ask?? Getting a new President elected would be a great start! And I don’t mean just another puppet, no matter what “party” they are with! (Obama and Romney are two sides of the same coin!)
    I would suggest you do WHATEVER YOU CAN to get Dr. Ron Paul elected! He is the only HONEST, conservative candidate and his track record proves it!! Do the research!
    http://WWW.RONPAUL2012.COM
    For Liberty,
    Misti

    Reply
  63. James Horning via Facebook April 26, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Modern-day slavery exists; however, this regulation is NOT about that in its truest sense – that is where the Kool-Aid is getting a bit too sweet and the “being well informed” has become a title for supporting that which looks good on the surface only… dig a bit deeper for true awareness.

    This regulation would have prevented all of my childhood farm working experience because my parents didn’t own the farms. It would exclude working on a relative’s farm. Most of my friends who worked on farms as children and young adults would have been prevented from that simply due to this ridiculous regulation.

    There are better ways to prevent child abuse in this setting; so, quite frankly, wake up and see this for what it is.

    Reply
  64. That is totally sick!!! I just don’t understand why anyone would vote for OBAMA!! What a control freak!!! This government has totally gone mad trying to control people like this! This really infuriates me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why wont’ people wake up and fight back against the government over these constant intrusions of our freedom?
    Petra\’s last post: 405Cassingham

    Reply
    • Obama is just doing what his corporate masters are telling him to do. That’s why so many people have lost the ‘HOPE’ that he campaigned on 4 years ago. I never thought Democrats / Republicans: same thing – but after these past four years, I do now. Both parties are in bed with big business at the expense of all of us……and as we have seen ‘BIG’ is as preditory as ever.

      Reply
    • Dale- As much as I would like to believe that Ron Paul would be the person to make a difference in all of this, the truth is is that NO man can change this mess. It is a multi-layered fiasco that is so deeply tied to the almighty dollar that it would be impossible for Dr. Paul to change a thing.

      Reply
  65. Janna Leitner via Facebook April 26, 2012 at 11:11 am

    Just one more way to ensure that we are dependent on other nations for all our needs…incredible.

    Reply
  66. Someone mentioned that they will just pay the fine and let the kids work, but I wonder? Will it only be a fine that has to be payed, or will the parent then be considered guilty of child endangerment? How far will it go?

    Reply
  67. I am seething at this executive order, law, whatever you want to call it. I certainly hope every farm group, FFA, 4-H, etc etc etc opposes this with every ounce within them! I may have my 6 year old write the President himself. He’s been “working” farms since he could walk, literally. Not out of force, but because he WANTS to. He loves it and it is all he ever talks about!
    Kate S.\’s last post: Skin Part 2: Beyond the Face

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  68. Linda Hisdahl via Facebook April 26, 2012 at 11:06 am

    I’ve seen several posts regarding this, but I’m glad to see it here also in a non-political format. IMO it’s another useless and costly piece of legislation that will only hurt those closest to it and will prevent next to nothing. Thanks for spreading the word.

    Reply
  69. Linda Hisdahl via Facebook April 26, 2012 at 11:06 am

    I’ve seen several posts regarding this, but I’m glad to see it here also in a non-political format. IMO it’s another useless and costly piece of legislation that will only hurt those closest to it and will prevent next to nothing. Thanks for spreading the word.

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  70. Joseph Marsh via Facebook April 26, 2012 at 11:04 am

    I have a “healthy” respect for you and your back to basics approach to family nourishment. However, reposting this distortion about our president erodes the respect and trust I’ve developed. There was a time when we had a healthy respect for our president. I often time wish we could return to those traditions as well. The real press release from the department of labor states specifically “The proposed regulations would not apply to children working on farms owned by their parents.” Posting this distortion is strong evidence of our inability to work fairly with a President who is simply trying to protect kids who might have to be employed in some very dangerous jobs. This is the link to the real press release. http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/whd/WHD20111250.htm Just in case those that follow you might want the truth.

    Reply
  71. This is more government intrusion into our lives which we do NOT need. I did go to the Department of Labor web site, and the proposed regulation does NOT apply to children working on farms owned by their parents. That is the only bright spot in this otherwise dark cloud. Keep up the good work – I really enjoy your blog.

    Reply
  72. Yes… Modern Day Slavery is very real and it’s sad that many people are not aware of it. There are so many children who are being trafficked to work under hazardous conditions. People think that they are being trafficked only for sex but that’s not true. This proposal is to prevent such horrific acts and to save the many children that are mistreated. It does exclude children of families who own farms. I’m not drinking kool-aide. I’m just well informed about the atrocities that surround us. If it helps to save the life of at least one child, then I’m for it.

    Reply
    • Thank you for saying this. The proposed (now dead) rule was instigated and urged by migrant farm workers and their advocates. It was written in a way as to protect farming families, but perhaps didn’t cover every eventuality.

      Hundreds of migrant children are injured, maimed, exposed to dangerous agricultural chemicals and killed on farms every year. And they are shocked and dismayed that all of their efforts to protect their families died on a huge disinformation campaign created by Big Ag to rile up the small family farmers and their fans, all so they could avoid regulation and keep exploiting their workers.

      We basically handed Big Ag a victory by falling for it. We could have simply had the rule amended to totally cover every extended family farming eventuality, but instead, migrant children will continue to lose their lives to abusive Big Ag operations and the “brokers” that exploit and traffic them.
      Dawn @ Small Footprint Family\’s last post: How Safe is Your Sunscreen?

      Reply
  73. It may not apply to farms owned by the child’s parents, but it will prevent them from working on anyone else ‘s, including grandparents, uncles, aunts, neighbors or farms not solely owned by the parents.

    Reply
    • The govt is just saying whatever is necessary to Get The rule through. Thats what they do All tje time And then change The interpretatiom later. Most Family farms are not owned anyway they are incorporated for tax purposes even if one Family runs it

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      • Yes, it happens just like you say. Remember when Obama decided not to authorize the Keystone Pipeline? Now he’s trying to slide it in sideways……

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  74. A Labor Department press release read that “Prohibited places of employment would include country grain elevators, grain bins, silos, feed lots, stockyards, livestock exchanges and livestock auctions.”

    FEED LOTS? Well, there goes my son’s dreams. At 2 years old, he would accompany Daddy to our neighbor’s feed lot farm and would “work” the farm by stacking the small, plastic pallets used to load the bags of feed. He would greet the customers and after the workers would load the feed into the customer’s truck, my then 2 year old would take the plastic pallet and stack it on the pallet rack. When it would be time to go, my 2 year old would cry and cry because he WANTED to work the farm. Still does! Unfortunately, insurance laws alone are prohibiting him from doing too much there. He used to be able to ride with Daddy in the enclosed tractors, but not anymore.

    It breaks my heart. It isn’t about slavery at all. It is about suburbanites and urbanites not understanding the TRUTH about farm work. This isn’t going to prevent slavery, it’ll encourage it through the need to hire illegal immigrants and pay them slop in order to keep the farm from going under. This is akin to Southern California Environmentalists lobbying to put an end to wood burning because it is polluting the earth, when we northerners rely on the renewable resource of wood to heat our homes through the bitter cold winters.

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  75. I am completely sick to my stomach. Who do we even vote for in this election??? Who doesn’t have ties to Monsanto???? Where is the freedom in this so-called free country?!!!!!!

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  76. This goes hand in hand, too, with the trend in our society to push parents to literally spoil their children, to claim that children with regular chores are being used as slave labor, that the parents who gives chores are lazy and selfish.

    I have seen more outward and emboldened proof of this wrong thinking in the last year than I had in the previous 5 years before that. People are out in public, and especially online pushing and campaigning for us to believe that we are mistreating our children by teaching them responsibility and even if they cannot convince good parents of this absurdity as it applies to their own home they are making headway in the department of casting doubt and suspicion on households that essentially appear to have happy, healthy, well-adjusted kids that are not rebelling enough to satisfy the demands of these advocates of advanced sloth and frivolity.

    There are a lot of people out there who genuinely want to completely destroy and eliminate all semblance of the traditional family. And farm families are a threat to their vision in the same way that small farms are a threat to globalists. With all the overlap between the family haters and the globalists circles, it isn’t surprising that they have come up with this.

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  77. If this was about “preventing modern day slavery” then it would force Walmart to treat their employees better. What child is “forced” to work on a farm against their will? Most of the farm kids I know, even and especially my 6 year old son WANT to work on farms. They LOVE it. Thrive on it! When I read this proposal to my 6 year old, he said it would make him very sad if he was not allowed to work on a farm.

    At 14 years old, my husband drove a tractor hauling two full wagons of hay down the side of a highway for more than 10 miles and helped unload that hay. He butchered hogs, shoveled manure, did field work, etc etc etc. And he LOVED it. It made a man out of him, a hard working man, a dedicated man, not to mention a strong handsome man too….ooooohhh…love those farmer muscles!

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  78. When I was a teenager my mother moved us out to a small farming town..I have never met more responsible, hardworking teenagers in all the many places I have moved. The great work ethic they had at home, carried through in school, in that particular area the farm kids went to college for agriculture, etc. Hard working kids make great adults. I have so much respect for farmers and their families, what a great way to raise a family…..what a bad idea this rule is.

    Reply
  79. I followed the links to the original government press release and it clearly states that this WOULD NOT apply to children on farms owned by their parents.

    Reply
    • This is definitely hopeful, but I would still want to read the actual legislation itself. You can say anything you want in a press release, but it’s how the law itself is written that matters. Even if the labor department intent at this time is that farm family children would be excluded from this law, if the legislation itself is not written clearly to explain that, it could still be twisted at any future time to disallow farm kids to work on the family farm.

      Reply
      • Can you tell me why you think it doesn’t apply to children whose parents own farms? I went and looked at the actual proposed legislation (which is not even referenced in this article) and this is a direct quote:
        “The proposed
        agricultural revisions would impact
        only hired farm workers and in no way
        compromise the statutory child labor
        parental exemption involving children
        working on farms owned or operated by
        their parents.”
        I’m all about preserving freedoms, but I think sometimes we start making accusations before learning all the facts. Sarah is referencing another article written about the legislation, not even the legislation itself.

        Reply
          • Exempt from working on their parents’ farm, yes. Not their uncle’s and aunt’s farm, not their grandpa and grandma’s farm, not their brother’s or sister’s farm, not their brother or sister in-law’s farm. Not the farm down the road. Just the one farm. They can work on that one farm.

            Because we all know federal bureaucrats care more about Mr. Farmer’s kid’s health and safety than Mr. Farmer does, when he allows him to go work on grandpa’s farm.

            Also the part about taking the authority away from the 4-H and FFA to teach farm safety to farm kids, and handing it over to the federal government, is true.

  80. James Horning via Facebook April 26, 2012 at 10:48 am

    If I could “like” this page again, I would… mainly BECAUSE of this post. Why? Because it makes people aware and assists in correcting certain misunderstandings, etc. It is true that this wouldn’t apply to kids working on farms owned by their parents (or so it seems); but, a child would be prevented from working on “Grandpa’s Farm” for the summer, or learning on a neighbor’s farm.

    OR, as was my case, working on a farm that my father managed… something that I still cherish. It’s bogus, and if anyone doesn’t see this for what it really is (and preventing modern-day slavery is an excuse if ever I’ve heard one), then the Kool-Aid must taste really, really great.

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  81. There is a war on small farming right now. It is not a form of slavery if someone chooses to find work in which they are being paid. In fact, most youth I know desire responsibility and being a part of something productive. They have to keep the sheep in line!

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  82. Jaime Van Den Bosch via Facebook April 26, 2012 at 10:38 am

    This is crazy!! I mean from reading it, my kids wouldn’t even be able to gather eggs from our chickens…much less participate in any of their current 4-H projects! It is a totally STUPID idea and I hope it flops big time!

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  83. I just love how things are always taken out of context. This is to prevent MODERN DAY SLAVERY!!!! I’m sure he’s not trying to prevent children from learning the family farm business. Notice that it states, “The proposed regulations would not apply to children working on farms owned by their parents. “http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/whd/WHD20111250.htm

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  84. Naomi Eaton via Facebook April 26, 2012 at 10:32 am

    I am sure that he is not banning kids under 18 from working at places like Mc Donalds. Now parents do not have the freedom to raise their kids to learn about where their food comes from and real work ethics. There is one more plus for Monsanto in so many ways. This is messed up.

    Reply
  85. I’m sicken by the whole thing. I just got a reminder from Democrats Abroad because, although I’m a Hoosier, I’m a longtime overseas resident. Anyway, I’m certainly going to send them a reply on what I think about THE POWERS THAT BE THAT ARE RUNNING THIS COUNTRY INTO THE GROUND.

    When I come back home to Hoosierland on my yearly visits and look out on the corn and soy fields, they no longer hold the beauty they once had: sadly a scull and crossbones comes instead into my field of vision.

    Reply
  86. Jessica Klanderud April 26, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Hi Sarah,
    I too have been following this issue closely. I am the grandchild of a farming family (we no longer farm the land we own sadly but we do rent it to a family friend.) The first information that came out on this change in child labor laws was inaccurate. It will not prohibit children from working on family farms or FFA or 4-H programs. The labor department issued a statement on these concerns recently. A group of urban farmers and others interested in farming in America also posted similar concerns to those above and this morning they posted the new guidelines. The reasoning for the change was to address the increasing number of deaths and injuries from children of migrant farmers and agricultural workers that were not directly related to those owning the farms. These workers were often untrained and pretty exploited in my opinion. I understand the outrage over the issue. I was too when I first read about it, but I do think we have a duty to make sure that children are not being unduly exploited in their labor or exposed to preventable danger in their work, even if that work is agricultural. It is easy to assume that “The Government” is up to something because they often are but we also have to recognize that we do have a duty to look out for those who cannot look out for themselves, IMO. If you wish I can post the link to the article I read most recently.

    Jessica

    Reply
    • Jessica Klanderud—I would love for you to share the link to the article you mentioned. I’m trying to get all of the information I can find on this topic. Thanks!

      Reply
    • Jessica,
      I am concerned about a few things.
      First, the Obama administration has done the same thing over and over with their policies and executive orders. As soon as anyone criticizes it, they come out with new information stating that the law will not actually be what was originally written in black and white. They are simply trying to placate and hush the naughty child who decries their policies.
      Second, while as human beings we do have a personal responsibility to care and watch out for those who cannot help themselves, we cannot accomplish this by federal government mandates. The responsibility for oversight should be as local and personal as possible. When you take responsibility away from individuals and make it a national law, apathy sets in and people just obey the government rather than think things through for themselves. Children on family farms are NOT being abused, neglected and exploited. I am sure there are a few cases in which that may have happened. You can’t prevent every bad thing from ever happening. You will find that those who do exploit will continue to do so, no matter what Mr. Obama and the US Department of Agriculture and Department of Labor say. This executive order is more about controlling the nation’s food supply while stroking the corporate food and agricultural company’s egos and pocket books so the flow of money keeps rolling in Mr. Obama’s direction. On the other hand, if those who exploit children are gone after on a more local level there would be much better results. It is hard to live in a community that comes after you for doing something wrong. Let the counties deal with it on a case by case basis. Less costly and more effective. I think, over all, the reason there hasn’t been much in the way of local legislation is because it simply is not the big problem that the current administration is saying it is. They are using it as a reason to enact this order, but the real reason as I said is $$$$$$$ and control of the masses. I was a farm kid, had chores. NEVER was exploited. I LOVED it! I felt like I had accomplished something. The quality of my life significantly decreased the day my dad had to sell the family farm due to his health. I’d love to buy a farm now and give my son the same experience I had, but it is extremely difficult to do so. Don’t be fooled. This administration looks upon it’s citizenry as nothing more than ignorant foolish children. Hoping there is a huge wake up call and that Mr. Obama is put out of office come November.

      Reply
      • Jessica Klanderud April 27, 2012 at 9:06 am

        Hi Jennifer C,

        First in reply, I would only say that the flow of money from big AG and corporate food flows both ways… I don’t trust ether party to do anything other than support big corporations over the family farm. That has been a consistent theme of the past 30+ years… Family farms and farm kids are still exempt in this ex order. I am concerned about the immigrant/ illegal and migrant farm workers. In my home state of Michigan there were many farm workers who were underage and quite exploited. The local government tried to deal with it but the AG corporations often escaped any penalty because the rules were unclear.

        Secondly, the local level is trying to combat the exploitation of AG workers in many areas but they did not have clear ability to do so under current labor department rules. This ex order would hopefully help that. I realize I am being optimistic and maybe naive but in my opinion this is not the issue of one party or administration or the other but a problem in our current corporate-ocracy, which comes from both sides of the aisle. This country values individual rights and states rights. The labor department doesn’t have a huge force at the federal level, they work through the local and state government. This order could only be enforced at the local level but it gives power for states to address AG businesses who cross state lines. I guess I just get tired of hearing all the ways the government is out to get me… it is still a representative government, I vote, participate, write my representatives and expect my voice to be heard. I will look out for my individual rights. I’m not afraid of the government or the corporations.

        Reply
  87. Kristen Sawberger April 26, 2012 at 10:27 am

    This makes me so mad! If it wasn’t clear before, it is crystal clear now that the government is bent on destroying family farms and only interested in further building up commercial farms. What would this do to the majority of local, organic, and pasture-raised products? These are produced mainly on small family farms. Is there anything we can do to fight this proposed legislation?

    Reply
  88. This makes my stomach churn.
    I can not believe what gets by without the slightest mention on cable “news”.
    How can we fight this? And why is the government becoming so involved with every aspect of our lives!?

    Reply
  89. Well,that will surely kill the family farm, once and for all. And there will be nothing left but the corporate food factories, which is exactly what the food industry wants. This is one of the most despicable things done by any government, It reminds me of the “get big or get out” policy of the Nixon administration, which destroyed so many family farms. But this is worth, as it stops the training of the next generation.
    Stanley Fishman\’s last post: Only Small Farms Produce Magical Food

    Reply
  90. This just floors me! I grew up on a lily farm (granted, I’m not sure if that would fall under this agricultural “law” or not). The best thing my parent’s ever did for my brother and sisters and I was make us work on the family farm. I had cousins (about 10 or 12 of them) who would also come stay for the summer and work on the farm. It taught us all an incredible work ethic, the value of a job well done, the value of dollar earned. We learned to take pride in our work. It also taught us to respect our father, who worked 18 hour days during the fall harvest season. He learned HIS work ethic growing up on a farm himself. We also developed a great love and connection with the land. The lessons learned on our family farm stay with me today in everything I do.

    I think it’s a great travesty, and practically criminal to take this away from children.

    Reply
  91. If it wasn’t clear before, I hope we are all paying attention now and realizing that we all have a responsibility to work against these attacks on the public’s health, well-being, privacy, work, homes, finances, and best interests. That we cannot afford to be divided.

    Reply
    • wow. that is so much worse. I didn’t realize the details. Is there any way this can be overturned? How can they just do that… I wonder how much MONSANTO had to pay to get that thru. Still makes me so MAD.
      Kaley\’s last post: Is juice healthy?

      Reply
      • Kaley… It is just the nee way things are done in this country don’t you know? The closest thing to eternal life this side off the pearly gates is a government agency, and thurs follows their bureaucratic rules! No law, no committee hearings, no tedious public readings…its so much simpler that way. You reeeeealy need to study what its really going on my dear. Not in a condescending way am I telling you this. Sarahs sight hear is awesome, but to find out the real facts of the nightmare that is closing in on us all at increasing speed, please go to http://www.Infowars.com http://www.prisonplanet.tv & http://www.naturalnews.com Search terms like UN Agenda 21 & Codex Alimentarius (sp?) for starters. Those should open your eyes to the real horror. These rules aren’t just some short sited govt bureaucrats idea to be chalked up to govt incompetency… it its all part of a systematic plan of depopulation, accomplished via stealth through bureaucratic systems with mind numbing rules & regs that “eat out our substance”like the framers of or constitution

        Reply
        • … Oops, hit send on accident.
          … like the framers complained of in the declaration of independence. It is a system that will push as many people off the land as possible, (called the “rewilding”” of America)… And into the cities where everyone its more easily controlled. They are achieving it through the poisons they feed us and put in our water supplies, the GMO crops, the Vaccines… It is called corporate Fascism, the govt and private banks to include the federal reserve in collusion with each other to form an effective dictatorship! You think this us fast out, coo coo tin foil hat type stuff I’ll bet? Think again, this is the mild stuff! Please look it up!

          Reply
      • Monsanto didn’t have to pay anything, obeyme put a Monsanto CEO on the highline of the FDA…govt is in bed with big business..the govt WANTS people sick

        Reply
    • Sad, Sarah, I expected more from you. Truth, truth, truth. It’s the only way to the ultimate truths. Misinterpretations for your own agendas – is that what your site is really about?

      Reply
  92. This makes me so upset. We have family farms and the boys love being a part of it. They are little right now, but I always knew when they got older they would participate more. I can’t believe the government is legislating what parents can and can’t do with their kids when it comes to farming. I still don’t know what to think of this whole thing. I will gladly take the fine if it ever came to that.
    Kaley\’s last post: Is juice healthy?

    Reply
    • If the fine is anything like breaking the current child labor laws on the books (such as giving under 18′s a 30 minute break every 4 hours, not over 28 hours a week, etc.) then you’re looking at paying about $10,000 per offense. Let’s hope that this one dies before it even makes it to the president’s desk to be signed!

      Reply

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