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Jerod Norris
Jerod Norris has resided in Southeast Kansas his entire life, growing up in Girard and graduating from Pittsburg State University. He has brought together and published in the print media industry for 5 years. He believes that local business owners are experts in their field and finds it very interesting in sharing their knowledge within custom publications. For more information or to become a part of the SE Kansas Q&A Times Journal, please call 620-249-7462 or email jnorris@chartmarketing.com.
From the Publisher
2012-06-01 08:44:36
Child labor laws to family farms
Thank you for joining us for the June, 2012 issue of the SE Kansas Q&A Times Journal. We appreciate you thumbing through our pages each month. As I’ve said in the past, throughout these pages you will find helpful information from local experts, as well as some timely, informative and/or opinionated articles from time to time. If for some reason something offends you, it’s no big deal, just move onto the next. In that case, I have to discuss something... As many of you know, in early April the Obama administration ordered the Labor Department to apply child labor laws to family farms. Under the rules, children under 18 would be prevented by the federal government from working “in the storing, marketing and transporting of farm product raw materials” and prohibited “places of employment would include country grain elevators, grain bins, silos, feed lots, stockyards, livestock exchanges and livestock auctions.” This would make the roles in which many children have participated for centuries a criminal offense. In addition, the government would further insert itself in that the new rules would revoke approval of safety training by groups like 4-H and FFA and replace them with a 90-hour federal government training course. Essentially, the government would be training farmers in the business of farming and the disciplines which have been passed along for generations in addition to telling them who can do what jobs in the working of that business. The whole thing makes perfect sense, right??? Well, fortunately thousands of people complained about this parental exemption, as well as the government’s attempt to side-wind its way into the “management” of farming. After taking a pummeling, the Labor Department acknowledged its overreach, perhaps in an attempt to neutralize what is only one of many hot button attempts at “helping” Americans parent their children. Now, to be honest this has nothing to do with political parties or race, or gender or whatever...to me, even on the most basic level this is a concern. Young people learn a lot from doing chores on the family farm (or any family labor job for that matter). They learn life qualities such as responsibility, physical endurance, what it actually means to work and earn their money, and the value of a dollar. At the very least, even if the lesson learned to that child is the mere fact that farm life (or hard labor) is not the life for them, they take those lessons with them onto whatever profession they choose later in life. What is the lesson learned if we potentially take this away through these government regulations? On the deeper level, this means much more to rural America than meets the eye. The fight is not done. Watch for this issue to be “repackaged” and reintroduced in the near future.
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