The federal government hates independent farms. I understand this because large agricultural companies spend a lot of money lobbying for laws that hinder their smaller competitors. First the federal government attempted to make a rule that would require anybody driving farm equipment to obtain a commercial drivers license then they attempted to prohibit anybody under the age of 16 from working on a farm that wasn’t owned by their parents and now they’re trying to prohibit anybody under the age of 18 from doing many standard farm chores:
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.
As a former member of Future Farmers of American (FFA) (it got me out of school several days a year) I would just like to state that I’d much rather have that organization do safety training than the federal government. FFA, at least when I was in it, was a well run organization that did some damn good work. The last thing I want is an organization that has been attempting to shut down independent farmers be the sole entity that deals with safety training certification.
Sadly with the power large agriculture corporations hold there is almost no hope for independent farms to continue legitimately. If you’re an independent farmer let me just say it’s probably time for you to acquaint yourself with agorism, because that will be the only way for you to continue farming.