Thursday, December 1, 2011

Is teaching kids work ethic going to be against the law?

I just submitted my comments to the US Department of Labor(USDOL) about the proposed changes to Child Labor on farms. You have until Dec. 1st 11:59pm. Follow this link the Document Type is Proposed Rule and I'D is 1235-AA06 to submit your own comments.

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App
This is my night-time calf feeding crew practicing for the 4-H fair this summer. My kids, my neice, and cousins. If the USDOL changes go into effect, this kind of picture faces extinction.
The porposed changes would effect our family farm because we are in a partnership and there is not just one sole owner.

Here is what I had to say:

I am a 4th generation dairy farmer and mother to 3 children. I am deeply concerned with the proposed changes to the Child Labor Laws as they pertain to farms.
Currently, we have 38 employees and 19 people from our family work on the farm 8 of those would be effected by these rules.
Since 1915 our family has been built on the value of hard work. This work ethic has been passed down through the generations by children working side by side their parents and grandparents. We understand the importance of farm safety and make it a priority. Safety is something that is practiced on a daily basis and becomes natural. It is not something that just happens because a child has a birthday. Working as a family also passes down a deep commitment and understanding of the importance of being a steward of our land, animals, and natural resources. Children taught at an early age have a true appreciation for agriculture that will spark a passion for providing others with food and fiber.
I understand that my children will still be allowed to participate in some aspects of the farm but at a much different level than they currently do. Giving the children incentive to work by receiving a paycheck is not only rewarding them but also giving them an opportunity to learn to manage money. This is something that most of society and even our own government needs some practice at.
Making such broad and over-reaching changes to the way our family runs our business is going to put our family farm's legacy in jeopardy.
Thank you,
Anna Link
SwissLane Dairy

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