Did You Grow Up Working–Working in Agriculture?

Have you forgot about the Department of Labor proposed law focused on agricultural child labor?

When I was home over Christmas I had forgotten about it, but as my sister and I were working calves, feeding cows, checking water, and working outside, I was instantly taken back to how we were raised. Working in agriculture.

LK and I had a childhood that included working side by side with my Dad pounding fence posts, or one of my favorite tasks constructing shelters with sheet metal. I could always count on my sister to help hold down hay bale (just kidding–we all bucked bales during the summer) and you could always find LK power washing the trailer after every livestock show.

LK and I at the PI show with Slayer who was selected as the Champion Market Lamb, raised by family friends Boatman Club Lambs

Keep in mind, since I was 16 my sister and I attended most livestock shows by ourselves. Not the standard, but with two working parents, it was what had to be done if we wanted to exhibit our animals. My parents would meet us where ever the show was on Friday afternoon or how ever it best met their schedule. I know they didn’t like sending us down the road like that, but that was life for us. My sister and I learned a lot from those experiences, and our numerous youth livestock projects were our life, and the majority of my family time.

Chris Chinn posted a blog that I picked up off of Facebook this morning. By far and away it is the most complete, honestly written blog post that I have seen regarding this issue. It is mentioned that building fence and operating powered machinery would be illegal for children or youth under the age of 16 to do on a farm or ranch. I know for a fact that safety was a top priority growing up, I didn’t see it then, but every time I climbed on the tractor and my Dad reminded me to put on my seat belt, I know why now. Chinn also testified last week in front of a congressional subcommittee about this issue, you can see her testimony below.


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