If any of you have been following the changes that are attempting to be made to the child labor law you probably already know that they are not in favor of farmers at all. Currently farmers are the exception to the rule in the current law; for many obvious reasons. Now I realize that the law has not been updated in quite some time and perhaps some things should be updated but not to the extremes that they are requesting.
This is very frustrating for me because growing up on a farm it showed me an extreme amount of responsibility. At a young age you are expected to help out and pull your weight. My parents did an excellent job at keeping us safe around equipment and animals and making us aware of dangers.
With the new law it would almost abolish 4-H. If you are under 18 you are not allowed to help with any acts of animal husbandry. Herding animals, branding, breeding, treating of animals is all prohibited. Another rule would require everyone under the age of 16 to take a 90 hour course to be able to run any type of equipment that can only be taken at a vocational or secondary school. This is an interesting rule because with funding at many state levels being cut many schools are having to cut Vo-Ag which would be providing the class. It is going to be a utter burden for most if not all farming families.
With all this being said it is very important for all of us to voice our opinions. Many people think that their opinion doesn't matter or that it doesn't really make a difference. That is completely not true. Most of the people making these rules for the law I'm sure are not from a farm or have no idea what the day to day activities are that make up a day on a farm. We need to let them know! Speak out! Every opinion counts!