(NaturalNews) -- For civilization to persist, each subsequent generation must be equipped by the previous one with the knowledge and skills to grow food, which traditionally occurs on family-scale farms from parent to child, or from seasoned expert to young amateur. But new labor laws being proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) would prohibit children from performing many of the routine farm chores they have been involved with for centuries, which some see as a direct attack on small-scale agriculture.
The Daily Caller reports that the DoL, under the guidance of the Obama Administration, is proposing that child labor laws be modified to prohibit children under the age of 16 from working with animals, for instance, or from being allowed to work with food storage bins. The proposal also seeks to prohibit children from "being employed in the storing, marketing and transporting of farm product raw materials," which essentially makes it a crime for farmhands to touch produce once it has been picked.
Originally put forward by Labor Secretary Hilda Solis last fall as a way to further protect children from unsafe working conditions, the proposal threatens unprecedented government overreach into the normal operating procedures of private farms. And while the new provisions would reportedly contain an exemption for children working on farms owned by their parents, they would still drastically limit the freedom of children to learn about agriculture from a young age.
You can view the DoL's proposal announcement here:
"I started working on my grandparent's and uncle's farms for a couple of weeks in the summer when I was 12," said John Weber, a 19-year-old college student majoring in agriculture, to The Daily Caller. "The work ethic is a huge part of it. It gave me a lot of direction and opportunity in my life. If they do this it will prevent a lot of interest in agriculture. It's harder to get a 16-year-old interested in farming than a 12-year-old."
Many others also share Weber's sentiments, as they too have told reporters in recent days about how being immersed in a farming environment that involved performing farm chores from a young age was crucial to their now-developed understanding and appreciation of agriculture. Without these experiences, many of these individuals likely would have ditched farming and chosen other professions instead.
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