1Like Chris’s kids and little Hannah, my three kids would be devastated if they could not work along side their Dad and Grandfather on our farm. Feeding cows, helping with calves, helping with our horses is just fun to our 8,6, and 4 year olds. Learning how to balance chores and school teaches the kind of grown up time management skills that are crucial in any profession, but as I have said, my kids don’t see that. They just see time on our farm as time with Dad, Mom, Grandmama, and Grandpa. I would hope that by hearing stories like my kids and Hannah’s, the DOL will rethink their current proposition on the changes to the child labor laws.
Originally posted on chrischinn:
I had a comment on one of my blog posts about youth working on the farm from a person who thought farmers were forcing their kids to work on the farm. They indicated we were wrong to do this and that our kids needed to be in school. In my blog post, I clearly stated my children willingly worked on our farm and it was something they loved doing. In my response to this comment, I pointed out our children do go to school. They help on the farm when they are not in school and they do this willingly because it is fun and they love being with Kevin and I.
I found a blog post this morning from a good friend of mine, Garrick Hall, who has a dairy. His daughter, Hannah, who is 7 years old, posted on his blog. She talks about what she does on the farm with her parents. I thought it was a great post from the eyes of a child. It shows how much our children enjoy being with us on our farms. And it proves that my kids are not alone, they are not the only kids who love to work with their parents on the family farm. Garrick’s blog has some great pictures of his kids working on the dairy and it shows working on the farm is safe.
I wanted to share this because it is an accurate image of family farming. I know some people are trying to say the parental exemption would allow our kids to work on the farm. What they aren’t telling people is that most family farms are not solely owned by the parents, but owned by several family members. The Department of Labor is not clearly defining if the parental exemption will carry over onto the farms owned by grandparents, aunts and uncles. It also doesn’t state if it carries over to our neighbors farm either. In rural America, neighbors still help neighbors on a regular basis.