Friday, April 27, 2012

Common Sense Prevails . . For Now

If you follow agriculture at all, you'll know that there's been an enormous outcry over an idiotic rule being proposed by the Obama Administration over child labor on farms. And I do mean idiotic.

Today, the Daily Caller (who broke the story) reports that the Administration is backing down. The rule has reportedly been withdrawn "for the duration of the Obama Administration." Here is a clip from the Daily Caller article:

The rule would have dramatically changed what types of chores children under the age of 16 could perform on and around American farms. It would have prohibited them from working with tobacco, operating almost all types of power-driven equipment and being employed to work with raw farm materials.
“Prohibited places of employment would include country grain elevators, grain bins, silos, feed lots, stockyards, livestock exchanges and livestock auctions,” read a press release from last August.
“I am pleased to hear the Obama Administration is finally backing away from its absurd 85-page proposal to block youth from participating in family farm activities and ultimately undermine the very fabric of rural America, but I will continue working to ensure this overreaching proposal is completely and permanently put to rest,” said Sen. John Thune, Republican from South Dakota. “The Obama DOL’s youth farm labor rule is a perfect example of what happens when government gets too big.”
Parents and children who grew up on farms across the country told TheDC that the rule was overprotective and would have prevented kids from learning valuable skills at early ages.
“Losing that work ethic — it’s so hard to pick this up later in life,” said Cherokee County, Kansas Farm Bureau president Jeff Clark. “There’s other ways to learn how to farm, but it’s so hard. You can learn so much more working on the farm when you’re 12, 13, 14 years old.”

Rep. Kristi Noem, Republican from South Dakota, also applauded the effort to scale back the rule.

“I want to thank every farmer, rancher and young person who joined many of us in Congress to speak out against this proposal, which would have fundamentally changed the way folks have been farming and ranching for generations,” she said in a statement. “I continue to agree that safety on farms and ranches is imperative, but telling kids they can’t do 4-H or farm-related chores is not the answer.”
I have to agree with Senator Thune and Governor Noem. This is indeed a classic example of bureacrats from Los Angeles, Chicago or New York who have no clue about rural life trying to tell the rest of us how to manage our families and our business. No one is discounting the tragedy of accidents when they take place, but wiping out the family farm and making it live like a factory on OSHA regulations is patently ridiculous. 

Senator Thune is also right that we need to remain vigilant. The "do-gooders" might be backing down for a time, but they will most certainly not give up. They'll find a way to weasel it in some other way when they think no one is paying attention. 

Sola's Note: I take this opportunity again to blast Blogger for screwing up the formatting on blog posts. You used to be able to cut and paste and have it look okay with no problem. But whatever they've done, you can't do that anymore without the font and spacing changing, and it's impossible to fix. I've tried every tool in the tool bar and it can't be done. I guess the only option you have is manually keying in things instead of trying to save time.

No comments: