If you're a regular listener to Agri-Talk, you've heard discussion of proposed federal regulations basically preventing farm kids from helping on the farm. Our Engineer, Gary Glaenzer, had some thoughts on that topic he wanted to share.

Well, I see our do-good, protect-all-from-every-possible-hazard,

it's-for-the-children nannies in Washington are at it again

Specifically Hilda Solis, the Secretary of Labor

The latest proposal is to outlaw operation of hazardous machinery / care of hazardous animals /just about anything farm kids are routinely entrusted to do as part of growing up, as 'too dangerous'.

Disclaimer:  I grew up on a small farm just south of St. Louis on the IL side of the river.

At age 8 I was driving the old Farmall H helping Dad prepare fields for

planting in the spring, driving the 1946 REO truck around the wheat fields

in the summer to unload the combine, hauling loads of ear corn home in the

fall AND backing the wagon up to the elevator AND operating the hydraulic

hoist AND when necessary getting up in the corn crib with a scoop shovel

nearly as tall as myself to level out the incoming corn

By ten I was driving the Oliver pulling the combine and corn picker

At 13 or 14 I would occasionally sneak the 2nd truck into town with a load

of wheat cause Mom wasn't back with the first one yet.

Every summer we baled 2-3000 bales of hay, the 'old square' bales and my job

was to stack them under a tin roof in the barn (how my brother always

managed to get the job of driving the tractor pulling them up there is still

a mystery to me).

But the bottom line is.......We learned self-reliance and farm safety at an

early age........maybe a couple more years before turning us loose with

'rotating machinery' would have been advisable, but we did it and

survived........thrived in fact.  Because our parents taught us common sense

and drilled safety into us in ways that thousands of pages of 'regulations'

can never do.

Final thought:  Secretary Solis:  Keep your d*mned nose out of how family

farms operate.  We have managed just fine up to this point without your

'assistance' and we shall continue to do so.

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