Kansas kids working on the farm is a tradition that goes back generations in the Sunflower state. But the role of kids on the farm could be changing. Lawmakers on the federal level want to make kids safer and that means change could be on the way. . .
The Department of Labor is in the process of planning to change child labor laws. Under the proposal, kids under 18 could no longer work with farm animals. . .
Also, the proposed changes would prohibit anyone under the age of 16 operating power equipment like tractors. . .
Source and entire article found here>>> KSN New labor laws
edited; I keep finding tasty little tidbits
For instance, children under 16 would not be allowed to help in any tasks that involve inflicting pain, like branding or vaccinating source
branding and breeding farm animals, and working atop ladders at heights over six feet. (under 16 yrs of age. source
Children would not be allowed in confined spaces with animals -- for example, a child in a stall with a horse, or a cow that has calved . . . Also, they wouldn't be allowed to ride horses in order to trail cattle. . . source
If your family farm is an LLC, the child doesn’t work for the parents solely. That’s a concern because a huge percentage of family farms are now set up as an LLC. Where the ownership or operation of the farm is vested in persons other than the parent, such as a business entity, corporation or partnership (unless wholly owned by the parent(s)), the exemption would not apply source
Officials from the South Dakota Farmers Union say if the regulations go into effect, farmers could be fined up to $11,000 if they are found in violation of the new laws. source
the proposed rules would prohibit the use of any sort of electronic or communication device while operating a tractor, but it's common practice to use two-way radios or cellphones to communicate between tractors, trucks and combines in the field. And many modern tractors come equipped with GPS systems and other electronics that teens might not be able to use. source
The Labor Department can only regulate employer-employee relationships, so Hancock said the proposed rules shouldn't affect 4-H, Future Farmers of America or other educational programs. And, they may not keep children from helping on their grandparents' or uncle's farms if they aren't paid. source
DOL Press Release on this>>>;Here
Editorial begins now
um . . . ok so this will not affect those whose parents solely own the farm. But what about 4-H? Many of those kids don't live on a farm, and raise animals on another's or the 4-H's compound. What about the FFA and the college scholarships they give out? (Anyone work with 4-H or FFA that might have a bit of insight?) And that was answered, if you don't pay the child you can have them do whatever you want and the DOL can't say a thing. nice. . .
This will also affect those of us who have children that have taken it upon themselves to go farm to homestead asking for paying work. These kids want to work, to earn money and show responsibility. Yes, there are deaths, average 104 a year. edited because I am now questioning those stats. What are the deaths? Are they actually work related or merely death on farm related? Because there is a difference. They could drown while swimming on property, or slip and fall on a wet kitchen floor. stats are weird like that, pull everything that says death occurred on a farm and there you go.
30 children die in bicycle accidents each year
240 children drown every year
21 die in Go Karts
100 children a year are abducted and murdered, 60 of those are by someone the child knows, and most the time it is a parent. source
So outlaw swimming pools and bathtubs, as well as bicycles (they are already trying to restrict go kart and motorcycle use) and parenting.
Farm kids learn from an early age about safety and responsibility. We re-enforce what could happen if they are careless. Many accidents, are just that, and tend to be unavoidable unless you do not live on a farm.
17,000 children are treated in ER's for lawn mower injuries.
But what does that really matter. The pediatric society has issued warning and guidelines for that in which most parents don't follow. Yet we on farms, who have our children help with chores, or children that want to raise animals for show, or want to earn extra money because they have work ethics and know that their parents aren't just going to hand them an allowance just because, are going to be made to suffer by people that have probably never stepped foot on a working farm, and only read flat statistics on paper.
Our children are not sweat shop kids. Sure there are some that mistreat their kids, but that goes for any family, any where, doing anything.
Those under 16 typically engage in the following types of restaurant work:
Hand-cleaning fruit and vegetables
Some limited cooking duties such as frying
I have burned myself frying, I have cut myself on broken dishes, yet the laws allow youth under 16 to do this dangerous work. And those evil paper cuts from bagging! But it is safer then a chicken plucking out your eye balls, rabbits ripping your throat out, or a goat butting you. Yes there are dangers, like cow kicks, rooster talons, goose bites (which a goose can break a, child under 4 yrs old, arm). There is potential illness from mice droppings in a chicken coop. You could get injured from a horse bite, kick, or buck. Cows with horns and bulls with testosterone rage can be an issue. Goats and sheep are evil with their butting, and rabbits can scratch. But precautions are taken on most farms.
As long as the parents have been responsible and have taught their children the do's and don't of farm life, it should be ok for a 12 yr old to milk a goat, or feed the cattle to earn a bit of money. 14 yr olds drive to the co-op often here to help out the family. We get farm licenses that the State issues saying it is just fine and dandy with them. Car crash stats are only available for 15-20 yrs old, with the highest rates between 16-17. Possibly because 14 yr old farm kids aren't with their friends in those trucks, nor texting while driving.
Large likes driving the tractor. It is an old 9-N. He drives it much better than I do. He is also working at a friends hay farm, no animals there, but he is working and earning money to buy a new X-box.
And what if you work them for free, like horse back riding? Many people board horses on other people land.Will this affect those as well. Riding a horse, is working a horse. And many feed and groom while there.
As for Large working on another farm, so be it. He is safe. He knows the rules, and I trust the family. And he prefers it to babysitting, or mowing lawns.