I wanted you to take a look at this picture. It's our boys helping out. They're learning responsibility, how to problem solve as well as caring for animals. They look happy because they are. I don't pay to put smiles on their faces, after all. =)
Now, if an agricultural child labor law gets passed, this could be a thing of the past. I haven't heard much on this up & coming bill lately to see if it went through or not, but lets hope it doesn't. From a Republican Representative out of Iowa (can't remember his name) he states that it will allow kids to work on family farms to a certain extent. But it won't allow kids to work on others farms.
I was out for a walk yesterday and two things occurred to me.
1. I didn't take five minutes to put my snow shoes on. NOT COOL.
2. If it weren't for the hard work my family did on our farm, I don't think I'd be the hard working person I am today.
I thought back on us as kids hauling wood out of the forest to split for the winter. According to that law, there would be no kids able to work int he timber business. That would mean no more Cody working for his uncles chopping/hauling and stacking wood.
At first I thought, 'That sucks, but at least it wouldn't affect this farm.'
What about all the area kids picking weeds for me? Most of these 5th, 6th & 7th graders pick weeds for me and save money for school stuff, fun money or family trips. A typical work day for us is I go and pick up the kids, (would Subway or Dairy Queen do that?) then we start exactly at 8 AM. out in our vineyard or pumpkin patch, or barns (to clean) they get music of their choice and cold drinks. We take a break at 9:45 and they get to rest in the house for 20 minutes and have a snack. Then we go back out and work til noon, then they're done.
The greater majority of family farms do use neighbor kids, or town kids, but they also get paid very well. These kids also don't have much opportunity to work anywhere else. This new law would not allow my kids to pick rock either. For picking rock, they get paid $10 an hour, they get snacks, water and take frequent breaks. The farmer also will only let them work 3 hours at a time.
Doesn't that sound like these farmers are total jerks?
If kids arent' allowed to work beside their parents, how are they going to learn the ropes and who will feed us as a nation?
I read an article from last month by a Democrat who was behind this law all the way. In one of the comments after the article, a person said, we don't need more farmers, we need more scientists. Huh?
We have to eat people! Are you going to engineer our food? Now, I know that people have discovered a way to generate cells of meat but do you want a steak from a petri dish?
Not this girl.
There's also a crack down on minority labor. Which I'm not sure what stance I take on that. I used two Mexican men right after I had Jessica to weed the grapes. It took those 2 men 4 days, working half days. I pay the school kids a lot more because it takes a lot more time but I want to teach these young people responsibilities. SO...if I can't hire kids, and I can't hire minorities because of all the red tape, whom shall I hire?
Just a hint, I could have an ad in the paper for a month and no Caucasian adult would pick rock or weeds in a million years. If most (not all) can't sit behind a desk, they don't want to do it.) Our neighbor said, I will hire any white person that will work as hard as a Mexican. He still hasn't found one. That's been 3 years. For some reason people think Agricultural work is a bad thing if they don't have a personal stake in it, (such as ownership), when its really rewarding.
When a kid is told that he shouldn't have to do "manual labor" and grows up like that, he's most certainly not going to start later in life. Maybe, but not likely. So who will feed us and other nations that depend on the food trade with the US? Do other countries have the same strict growing regulations as the US? Not sure...not sure I want to find out either.
I really feel these people who are trying to pass this bill probably don't know that a tomato comes out of the ground and they need to come visit a farm for a while. Sadly, they know nothing of agriculture and obviously take their food source for granted.
Thanks for letting me get this off my chest!