The Department of Labor vs. America's Farm KidsBy Josiah CantrallAmerica was built by farmers, and to this day, farming is a generational industry for many. So why are federal agencies, led by Presid…

The Department of Labor vs. America's Farm Kids
By Josiah Cantrall
America was built by farmers, and to this day, farming is a generational industry for many. So why are federal agencies, led by President Obama appointees, intent on taking steps that will undermine and ultimately destroy our nation's agricultural heartland?

It's no secret that liberals hold fatty, high-carbohydrate dairy and corn products directly responsible for our nation's obesity rates. They blame farting cows for a depleted ozone layer and consider farming streamlined animal abuse. Yet the government's attempt to effectively ban farm kids from working on their own farms goes beyond outrageous.

Under new standards being advocated by the Labor Department, youths under the age of eighteen would be prohibited from working in hay lofts, giving shots, caring for baby animals, and being in the vicinity of animals whose behavior may be "unpredictable." For the estimated 1.3 million youths living or working on farms, this means no longer being able to perform routine chores if the farm is set up as a corporation or a business partnership. Today, the vast majority of family farms are legally structured in this manner.

Citing agriculture's high fatality rate, uninformed liberal elites have taken it upon themselves to create an image of uneducated, backwards farmers who are too stupid to protect themselves and their children. In fact, the Labor Department believes that "[c]hildren employed in agriculture are some of the most vulnerable workers in America."

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

While America is busy engineering politically correct, "bubble-wrapped babies," farm kids are raised to endure adversity, work hard, and take responsibility.

Starting at very young ages, farm kids perform chores, fix machinery, and work with animals. I drove my first tractor when I was thirteen, and even then, I was behind the "learning curve." As a 130-pound high school freshman, I frequently wrestled 300-pound calves in order to perform routine chores like administering shots and tagging ears.

Was I a tough kid? Absolutely. We all were. We all are. My childhood was full of the strains, aches, and cuts liberal elites track as labor abuse statistics. Then and now, I view these temporary discomforts as evidence of a hard day's work.

Years beyond their peers in maturity and experience, farm kids are capable of handling adult responsibilities at a younger age. It's no surprise, then, that the majority of deaths and injuries occur to youth ages 16-19. Still, farm-related injuries among youths have declined 48% from 1998 to 2009.

On average, 113 youths under the age of twenty die annually from farm-related injuries. Dividing this number by America's 1.3 million farm kids results in a fatality rate of 8.7 deaths per 100,000 youths. However, 35% of these deaths are attributed to motor vehicles, ATVs, and drowning. Youth deaths are consequently 75%-85% lower than the 2009 adult fatality rate, which was 24.7 deaths per 100,000 workers.

In comparison, the Centers for Disease Control report that 716 bicyclists were killed in 2008, and a sample of 100 hospitals recorded that nearly 240,000 kids fourteen and younger were treated for bike-related accidents. In 2007, an additional 700-plus youths under the age of fourteen drowned.

Should we now ban kids from swimming and riding their bikes?

The University of Wisconsin attributes 63% of farm deaths to tractors and machinery -- tractor rollovers being the most common. If the Labor Department were actually concerned about farm safety, it could address this issue alone.

But it's never been about protecting people.

Bureaucrats hate the quintessential American culture of family farms. The independence-centered, "pull yourself up by your boot straps" emphasis on responsibility goes against everything they believe in. Simply put, people who think for themselves and work hard don't live off the government. And they certainly don't vote to keep liberals in power!

Farming is part of our identity. It is our way of life, our heritage, our patriotism, and the foundation of our generational values. Farming is the essence of our loyalty to our families and our God -- and there is nothing more sacred than that.

That's why unelected liberal elites don't want farm kids working on farms.

Josiah Cantrall was raised in the community of Farmington. He is a political pundit and columnist. www.josiahcantrall.com

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/12/the_department_of_labor_vs_a...

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Comment by james c. cochran on January 28, 2012 at 8:40am

your so right pat, we live in central ky and i have been trying to talk to local farmer about taking these so-call handouts from the gov. pretty soon if they are not careful. they will do whatever the gov. wants them to do ot they want be farming. it was just announced last week by the state ag. department that they want the state police to start working closer the the farmer. they didn't say why. hum! i wonder

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Political Cartoons by AF Branco

Political Cartoons by AF Branco

ALERT ALERT

Joe Biden Vows: Give Taxpayer-Funded Obamacare To All Illegal Aliens In U.S.

Former Vice President and 2020 Democrat presidential primary candidate Joe Biden is vowing to give Obamacare, funded by American taxpayers, to all 11 to 22 million illegal aliens living in the United States.

During an interview with Telemundo’s Jose Diaz-Balart, Biden forgot that Obamacare technically bans illegal aliens from enrolling in healthcare plans — although illegal aliens are still able to obtain subsidized and free healthcare at Americans’ expense — and promised that under his plan, all 11 to 22 million illegal aliens would be able to get Obamacare.

The exchange went as follows:

DIAZ-BALART: When I … NBC moderated that first debate with you, I didn’t … I don’t recall a clear answer, under your plan should … would the 11, 12 million undocumented immigrants that live in the United States, that have been here many for generations, would they have access …

BIDEN: Yes.

DIAZ-BALART: — to health insurance.

BIDEN: Yes, they … if they can buy into the system like everybody else.

DIAZ-BALART: Because you know, in [Obamacare] they can’t.

BIDEN: Yeah. Yeah, I know. Well they can, that’s my point. They continue to be able to do that.

DIAN-BALART: They cannot under the ObamaCare.

BIDEN: Well and that’s my point, they will though. They will be able to buy into … [illegal aliens] would be able to buy in, just like anyone else could.

Biden joins Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg — among other 2020 Democrats — in committing to forcing American taxpayers to pay for healthcare for illegal aliens who arrive in the U.S.

Already, due to loopholes, American taxpayers are spending nearly $20 billion every year to provide illegal aliens with subsidized healthcare, emergency room visits, and other health services.

Under the 2020 Democrats’ plan to provide taxpayer-funded healthcare to all illegal aliens living in the U.S., Americans would be billed potentially $660 billion every decade just to cover the costs. Other research has found that the plan would cost Americans at least $23 billion every year.

As Breitbart News has reported, experts have said that giving taxpayer-funded healthcare to effectively all foreign nationals who can make it to America’s borders would drive “strong incentives for people with serious health problems to enter the country or remain longer than their visas allow in order to get government-funded care.”

Despite 2020 Democrats’ continued push for taxpayer-funded healthcare for illegal aliens, American voters are overwhelmingly opposed to the plan. The latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey revealed that the healthcare-for-illegal-aliens plan is the least popular policy position, with opposition from 62 percent of U.S. voters.

Similarly, a CNN poll from July discovered that 63 percent of likely swing voters oppose providing healthcare to illegal aliens, along with nearly 6-in-10 of all likely U.S. voters and 61 percent of moderates. A Rasmussen Reports survey also found that likely voters, by a majority of 55 percent, oppose giving healthcare to even the most low-income illegal aliens.

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