"There are never enough farm and ranch kids." That is a quote I often hear when talking to human resource people. It seems that if an employer finds out a potential applicant grew up in agriculture that it automatically puts them ahead of the pack. Ever wonder why that is?
From what I hear it is because of their work ethic and sense of responsibility. So why is it that farm and ranch kids have something that so many others lack? Work ethic and responsibility are two things that are honed in our kids from the very beginning.
My kids are typical of most who grow up in agriculture. Rain or shine, hot weather or cold, weekday, weekend or holiday, they get up and do their chores. Weekends are spent working on the ranch tending to the cows or sheep or other chores. They realize from an early age that our family farm is just that, a family endeavor, everyone is expected to pitch in. Agriculture involves a lot of sacrifice and hard work, but in the end, it is a very satisfying way of life. I have asked my kids if they would change places with their city friends and they always answer with a resounding NO.
Now the Department of Labor wants to change all of that. They are seeking to change the Child Labor Laws in ways that would restrict or even eliminate the opportunity for our children to take part in our way of life. The Department seems to be out of touch when it comes to modern agriculture, its business structures and production methods.
I am not going to get into the proposed changes, other than to say that it is another case of bureaucrats and government invading the lives of good, decent, hard working families. Agriculture does have its risks but we love our children and watch over them to keep them as safe as possible. We would ask that the Department of Labor respect the tradition and culture of farming and ranching. If this strikes a cord with you, I would ask that you go to http://www.dol.gov/whd/CL/AG_NPRM.htm and make a comment.
I am not sure if they listen to the wishes of the people affected by proposed regulations, but we need to make our voices heard. I know, without a doubt, I am a better person for growing up on a farm and learning the benefits of working hard and responsibility. Simply stated, that is the life I want for my kids and I do not want some bureaucrat in D.C. telling me they know what is best for my family.