The U.S. Department of Labor has withdrawn its proposed rules to limit teenagers in helping on farms. The agency said it proposed the rules for safety reasons.
Teenagers and even preteenagers have helped on family farms since the nation was founded. They learn a work ethic that stays with most of them for life. To deny these teens the opportunities to work on the family farm made no sense at all. The proposed rules must have been written by someone with no knowledge of rural life and what can be learned by doing farm chores.
As to safety, sure, there are a few accidents but no more than with other activities that young people are exposed to in their lives.
Gov. Jay Nixon and the Missouri Farm Bureau voiced their opposition to the proposed rules. After the proposal was dropped, Gov. Nixon said the withdrawal of the rules restores common sense for farm families. “Baling hay and doing chores are rites of passage for many young people on farms here in the heartland. Helping on the farm is how young people learn responsibility, dependability and the value of hard work,” the governor said.
The federal government needs to apply common sense to many other matters that affect the daily lives of Americans.