Free Markets, Free People
In 1960, the Democratic Party platform included the following in reference to agriculture in the US:
"The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living."
We shall take positive action to raise farm income to full parity levels and to preserve family farming as a way of life.
We shall put behind us once and for all the timidity with which our Government has viewed our abundance of food and fiber.
We will set new high levels of food consumption both at home and abroad.
As long as many Americans and hundreds of millions of people in other countries remain underfed, we shall regard these agricultural riches, and the family farmers who produce them, not as a liability but as a national asset.
Of course, in 1960, as today, children of farm families were an integral part of the success of family farms of that era. And, in 1960, that was apparently just fine with Democrats. Their labor many times made the difference in the farm surviving and flourishing. And the children learned the business and the work ethic necessary for the family farm to thrive and survive.
But apparently the party’s position has evolved over the years to one that is now anti-family farm. How else do you explain this?
The Department of Labor is poised to put the finishing touches on a rule that would apply child-labor laws to children working on family farms, prohibiting them from performing a list of jobs on their own families’ land.
Under the rules, children under 18 could no longer work “in the storing, marketing and transporting of farm product raw materials.”
“Prohibited places of employment,” a Department press release read, “would include country grain elevators, grain bins, silos, feed lots, stockyards, livestock exchanges and livestock auctions.”
The new regulations, first proposed August 31 by Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, would also revoke the government’s approval of safety training and certification taught by independent groups like 4-H and FFA, replacing them instead with a 90-hour federal government training course.
More government intrusion. Private organizations such as the FFA and 4-H club that have, for decades, successfully done safety training and certification are now to be stripped of that ability in favor of a 90 hour course taught by the same government that gave us the TSA. And, of course, with any government training, you have to wonder how much it will cost and how much of it will be worthwhile training and how much indoctrination.
Farm children have, for literal centuries in this country, worked side by side with their fathers and mothers to make a very difficult and labor intensive family businesses succeed. But the nanny state would now prohibit them from doing most of what they’ve traditionally involved themselves in because, well, nanny knows best, doesn’t she?
Of course farm families have a vested interest in insuring their children remain safe and able to work. It is of no advantage at all for a farm family to have their children do things in which there’s a high likelihood of them being killed or maimed. And, again, for centuries, they’ve been able to manage and determine what is or isn’t within the abilities of their children to do safely.
Additionally, over those centuries, private and independent groups like the FFA and 4-H have been developed and supported by farm families to ensure their children are properly trained in the safety, husbandry and farming skills so necessary to make the family farm a success and to make the US the breadbasket of the world.
Now we have government unilaterally intruding in an area that it really has no business. And it is a Democratic administration doing so … one I’m sure that would tell you, out of the other side of their mouth, that they are the party of the family farmer.
Nanny, with the supposed best of intentions, is about to take down another industry with its unwanted meddling.
And yet, there are those who will attempt to support this intrusion as something necessary to safeguard the children.
It is a travesty, it is unwanted by those it is being imposed upon and it will, in the end, kill the family farm for good.
But you knew that.
And so do they.
Big Agribusiness says “thanks”.