[Market-farming] child labor

Leigh Hauter lh at pressroom.com
Tue Jan 28 23:20:18 EST 2003

Recently NPR's All things considered ran a serious (I believe, they 
gave promos so often that it seemed it went for several days) about 
farming and the children of farmers working on farms. While these 
days I seldom have the stomach to listen to an ATC story all the way 
through, the pieces I heard seemed to be raising the question as to 
whether we should pass legislation restricting or regulating the 
children of farmers working on the farm.

The reasons given were: farming is the second most dangerous 
occupation (it made me wonder what was the first -fishing? 
timbering?) and that so many family farmers, because they couldn't 
afford outside labor, have their children do farm work.

What are people's comments on this?  Do you children work on your 
farm? Should child labor, even our own children's labor, be limited? 
Is it unfair for farmers, who work in a dangerous profession, to 
force their children to help support the family farm?

Or, is this whole campaign, which might be initiated somewhere else 
(very few news stories come from the actual reporters, most come from 
a pr person for an industry) just another attempt to attack family 
farms in a way they are particularly vulnerable?

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