Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Kids today...

The new labor laws being implemented by President Obama and his crew are threatening the very foundation of what makes agriculture what it is today and has been over the hundreds of years past. 

Under the new law, children under the age of 16 are no longer allowed to work on or around machinery, with or around livestock over 1 yr old or with or around silos and de-tassling equipment. 

This new law may seem like a good idea on the surface but let me break it down for you a little bit. 

Lets say you live in... oh, Eskridge, KS - Population 600 people.  There are about 12 businesses in the downtown area including a gas station, post office, bar that's open 2 days a week if you call and a hippy store.  Now, lets say you're a teenager who lives outside this town and you're 15 and you need a summer job to save for college. You have a farmers permit license but that restricts you to the dirt roads and to the feed store. You know you're parents aren't going to be able to afford to send you to school so you're only option is to work, work, work and the only thing you know how to do is what you've been doing for your parents for free for the last 10 years of your life.  Your neighbor owns an operating cattle ranch and he needs help rounding up his herds and working them once or twice a month, fixing fence in those pastures, delivering round bales to certain pastures and haying his one brome pasture.  For $10 an hour, the jobs all yours, sun up to sun down. 

No can do.  Under the new law, this teenager  And the neighbor are out of luck.  The only ranch he can work on in his parents and chances are, if he's looking for money, his parents aren't able to pay him for his time.   Teens under the age of 16 can't even get on a horse to round up cattle.  What is it that this law is going to accomplish??  Destroying the foundation of America, that's what. 

How will we teach our kids a good work ethic.  How will we teach our kids where their food comes from, how to respect the animals? That real hard work has nothing to do with a desk and everything to do with shear determination and sweat.  

I understand where the initial thought came from.  Ranching is one of the 10 most dangerous jobs in America... so what happens when we stop teaching our children how to respect the animals and their free will, how to properly drive a tractor and respect its limitations, how to deal with the weather and what steps need to be taken in order to protect the crops and creatures?  More accidents, more deaths, more restrictions. 

Not to mention, when we take these jobs away from our summer and after school teens who are these ranchers and farmers left to hire?  Illegal immigrants, people willing to do the job for half the pay who will be taking the money and skills away from the future workers of this Nation.


Talk back, Stand up for the Agriculture kids of this Nation and their futures! Email and tell the secretary of the dept of labor exactly what you think about this new law.

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