Labor Department Poised to Ban People Under 18 From Performing Chores on Family Farms; Update: Government Does an Election Year Cave-In

“Hope and Change” in theory — “a Federal regulator on every family farm” in practice.

Here’s the latest example of big-government gone wild:

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.

Would you rather have the 4-H teach your kids farm safety, or some DC bureaucrat whose only experience shoveling bullshit is in the figurative sense?

Yes, what was once referred to as “carrying eggs from the chicken coup to the house” may soon be known as “illegally transporting farm materials.”

Last month, Republican Senators John Thune and Jerry Moran introduced the Preserving America’s Family Farm Act to stop this madness. Thune pointed out that the new regs are so specific that they would ban people on a family farm under 18 from using battery powered screwdrivers and pressurized garden hoses. Somebody needs to turn the hose on the Department of Labor… and the EPA… and the Department of Energy… and the….

If you have a family farm and are concerned that you won’t be able to make ends meet if your kids can’t help with the work, just contact the White House and I’m sure they’d be happy to put you in touch with one of their Big Labor pals who would be more than happy to help you get the job done… at a cost.

Coming soon from the administration to farmers: “You’re also going to be needing to install some solar panels on that farm, Mr. Green Jeans. Fortunately we’ve got some friends who can help you with that too!”

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Update from the Daily Caller:

Under pressure from farming advocates in rural communities, and following a report by The Daily Caller, the Obama administration withdrew a proposed rule Thursday that would have applied child labor laws to family farms.

Critics complained that the regulation would have drastically changed the extent to which children could work on farms owned by family members. The U.S. Department of Labor cited public outcry as the reason for withdrawing the rule.

There’s no such thing as keeping too close an eye on these people…

Author: Doug Powers

Doug Powers is an author, columnist and blogger covering news of the day from a conservative viewpoint. Doug is also a guest blogger for Michelle Malkin (MichelleMalkin.com). In Doug's spare time he enjoys playing with his kids, football, baseball, basketball and speaking in the third person.