Saturday, February 25, 2012

Farming Families Targeted by Dept. of Labor - Agenda 21 is Likely Cause

New rules that have been proposed by the Obama administration's Department of Labor will have appreciable effects on families who engage in operating one of our last bastions of true freedom in Western societies - the small to middle-scale farm.

Under the proposed rules, young people,who traditionally form a key component of the labor force on family-owned farms, will be prohibited in performing a number of tasks. This includes operating a tractor.

Other regulations will require that farmers will be prohibited from employing young people in terribly dangerous tasks such as working in grain storage bins (silos), harvesting tobacco, working with timber or animals, or Heaven forbid, manure.


"Children employed in agriculture are some of the most vulnerable workers in America," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "Ensuring their welfare is a priority of the department, and this proposal is another element of our comprehensive approach."

The proposal would strengthen current child labor regulations prohibiting agricultural work with animals and in pesticide handling, timber operations, manure pits and storage bins. It would prohibit farmworkers under age 16 from participating in the cultivation, harvesting and curing of tobacco. And it would prohibit youth in both agricultural and nonagricultural employment from using electronic, including communication, devices while operating power-driven equipment.

The department also is proposing to create a new nonagricultural hazardous occupations order that would prevent children under 18 from being employed in the storing, marketing and transporting of farm product raw materials. Prohibited places of employment would include country grain elevators, grain bins, silos, feed lots, stockyards, livestock exchanges and livestock auctions.

Additionally, the proposal would prohibit farmworkers under 16 from operating almost all power-driven equipment. A similar prohibition has existed as part of the nonagricultural child labor provisions for more than 50 years. A limited exemption would permit some student learners to operate certain farm implements and tractors, when equipped with proper rollover protection structures and seat belts, under specified conditions.

The Wage and Hour Division employs a combination of enforcement, compliance assistance and collaboration strategies in partnership with states and community-based organizations to protect children working in the United States. When violations of law are found, the division uses all enforcement tools necessary to ensure accountability and deter future violations.

Note the last paragraph that mentions wage compliance. This smells of an effort not only to force farmers to hire outside help to make sure that the multitude of farm tasks get done, but that the employers pay  state-imposed wages, probably along with the health benefits that are required under Obamacare. (If the amount of employees meet the thresholds).

I cannot but see this as part of a campaign to make the farming business too costly for families. We already have witnessed the rise of large corporate-owned farms that clearly are able to produce their products much more cheaply than can small and middle-scale farms. New regulations that keep young people out of the picture will in all probability require farmers to hire more of the immigrants that are being forced down our throats. This will stretch the financial resources of the already-strapped farms past the breaking point. The corporate farms, with their legions of non-property-owning employees, look eerily like the Latifundia of the Roman Republic and later Empire. Note the following paragraph (With an addition) that is taken from a previous post. It describes the options left to the small farmers when they are finally no longer able to work their farms as businesses and have no choice but to sell or to face foreclosure.

Those that leave the rural zones will do as they did in the Roman Empire when faced with competition from large farms owned by the wealthy that employed massive amounts of slaves (Read unchecked immigration). The independent farmer had been, without a doubt, the backbone of Roman and early Italic society, as it was, with the exception of the Middle-Ages, with Western Societies in general. The spread of slave-worked farms resulted in cutting the prices of food to the point where the smallholders, no longer able to earn a living, had to pack up and leave to the cities, where they promptly joined in with the demands for more cheap and free bread.(Read welfare, food stamps, housing etc.) Those that remain behind will likely no longer own the land but will work as employees on their former property. They will then commute to the farm from their new homes.

Note what occurring in Wisconsin right now:

Large factory-type farms are taking over the dairy industry in that state. 
"The bad news and it is very bad is what this fairly standard Ag industry bullying effort 'Amnesty Hispanics or no food' discloses about employment in Wisconsin's Dairy Industry:

Immigrants now make up about 40 percent of the state's dairy labor force, up from 5 percent a decade ago, according to a 2009 study by the UW-Madison Program on Agricultural Technology Studies. Many of the workers are in the United States illegally"


But Obama's Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis, assured all of us that this is OK. In 1996, she stated that anyone that currently resides in the US, legally or illegally, is an American.

Along with what appears to me to be the obvious purpose of turning our yeomen-farmer heartland into vast swaths of farmland owned by corporate land barons, I see another, more insidious, purpose to these rules. 
Most kids do not become adult farmers because they thought of it as one thinks of being a cop or a firefighter. They become farmers from the having a connection to that world. Performing the day-to-day tasks of the farm is the principle means by which a person winds up deciding that he or she will farm for a living.  For most people, being a part of the farm is what results in having a connection to the land and the desire to carry on the family tradition. 

Removing young people from feeding chicken, hogs or other animals, preventing them from the operation of the tractor - a rite of passage for many, or any of the other proposed restrictions, are sure-fire ways to ensure that fewer children of farmers will choose to be farmers. As the state takes over the role of the parent in deciding (In yet another area) what tasks are too dangerous for children on a farm, these kids, who were active, strong, and used to being outside, will retire to their rooms to play X Box and PS3. Gone also will be the tremendous bonding between father/uncle/grandfather and son/nephew/grandchild  that regularly occurs during periods of work and carries on into family meals as what was done, and what more must be done, is discussed. As the state smugly gloats over another victory over the institution of the nuclear family, the now 18-year old, having been prohibtited from taking part in many traditional farm tasks, will probably be pretty used to having very little to do and very well may want to keep it that way. So the summer babies, who don't reach 18 until after their senior year of High School, will go to college, the military,or technical school with no real work experience on the farm. After four more years, are they going to want to jump in with the rigors of working on the farm? Some will, but there is a very good chance that many will not. Thus the state will have a means to slowly bleed the free farms out of existence for want of  young, experienced, and motivated labor.

The state also seems to think that farming parents do not ensure that their children have enough time for studies. (That is in one of the links) That outlook can only be described as sickening as these people have had the reputation for, if anything, overly demanding that their kids do well in school. The state, as usual, picked the wrong place to look for parents who don't take an interest in their kid's education.

Shoveling horse manure is not some sort of health hazard. Even though I grew up in a more suburban town, my family had a horse and I cleaned the stable very day. I also moved the manure to the garden. The vast majority of people who live on farms in the US are descended from Europeans who have lived with horses, cattle, hogs, goats, and fowl, for thousands of years and have inherited resistance to a wide range of microbes commonly found in farm animals. American Blacks too have developed such resistance. Stock-breeding and the keeping of horses go back to the earliest of the Indo-Europeans, easily as far back as four thousand years ago.

Another ridiculous position is that the state has the authority to legislate or regulate anything that could possibly cause someone to be injured. Except for cases in which parents are clearly endangering or seriously neglecting their children, the state has no authority to decide what activities one's children may or may not do.

While pre-pubescent children in the third-world work on cacao farms, gold mines, and more under terrible conditions, the US starts in on the American farmer. We are being moved into the culture of a third-world nation, but one in which even the children of our farmers will be made to be enervated by a lack of labor, focus, and work ethic.

Note that the Labor Department, probably seeing an uproar coming, was generous enough to allow some exemptions (Not many) for children on their parent's farms. This leaves out the neighbors, Aunts and Uncles, and grandparents for whom young people traditionally also provided assistance. 

I have to think that this is in line with the plans of Obama's White House Rural Council and the implementation of UN Agenda 21.

A friend of mine mentioned yesterday another likely reason for the Left to create a system that forces out small and middle-scale farmers and turns farmland over to large-scale corporate farms. Corporate and other factory-type farms are much more likely to be significant contributors of money to political campaigns.

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