Friday, July 18, 2014

Farms: The Abuse of Children

Recently, I was reading some blogs and websites of organizations and individuals that oppose farmers. These websites have "facts" that are outrageous. Luckily, these facts have "sources" attached....that link back to their own website. Anyway, it's humorous to me, and gives me ideas for my blogs. And let me tell you what. I am fired up.

There was a sentence on one of the websites (which no I will not link to their website) that stated:

"Farmers are awful people that often take advantage of underage children, often their own, forcing them into a life of work and learning of inhumane ways."

Let me tell you something. With the exception of the "inhumane ways" addition, that statement is damn true and I am darn proud of it.

Yes, growing up on a farm my parents made me work. The second I could walk I was carrying bottles to baby calves, mending fence before grade school, and could deliver a baby calf before middle school. I was driving a tractor long before I was legal to drive, and no, I've never once been paid money for all my work.

I've stood embarrassed at the edge of the elementary school as my dad pulled up in a farm truck with a trailer load of cattle leaving poop in our school parking lot. I've begged to have a family vacation that was always denied with the reason "we can't leave the farm that long". I've worked cows in the sun so long I've been sunburned an uncountable amount, and have an almost permanent 'farmers tan'.

Yes, my parents made my brother and I work. No questions asked. And know what happened? Character. 

The daunting task of feeding calves EVERY SINGLE night taught me responsibility. 
The unforgiving smell of manure on my tennis shoes in math class taught me humility.
The field full of hay bales that had to be loaded on a trailer then unloaded in a barn taught me work ethic.
The stubbornness of cattle not wanting to move pens taught me the value of team work.
Newborn calves born in the snow who just didn't want to eat taught me gentle patience.
Sorting 2,000 pound bulls before I got into kindergarten taught me courage.
And, at the end of the day, the sunset beaming streams of warmth down on a green field full of cows taught me happiness.

Growing up on a farm, children are able to learn valuable character traits that are becoming a rarity in today's society. Out here not everyone is a winner, not every harsh truth is shielded from our innocent minds, and to earn something you have to first work for it.

Additionally, I would also like to point out that the same websites that claim "underage working abuse" also claim farmers and ranchers are cruel to their animals. Somehow I fail to see the connection considering we were all taking care of animals.

It was the way things were done. We were all needed to take care of our animals and ensure that each animal was well taken care of. Our animals were, and still are, given precedence over our own comfort. Farmers and ranchers love their animals, love their profession, and have a passion for cows, and a passion for passing it on to the next generation. In fact, of the 97% of family-owned farms in America, over half have been in the family for more than three generations. As a fifth-generation farmer, I can attest to the fact that farming is in our blood.

In any light, however, my conclusion is this: yes, as a child I was forced to work on my family's farm. Looking back I wouldn't have it any other way.

And one day I hope to raise my children the exact same way.


183 comments:

  1. AMEN! That was well said! From your Canadian Farming counterparts!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are many life lessons taught to farm kids that are completely missing in todays world for sure! Glad we all grew up in the country and on the farm, No better life.

      Delete
    2. Well said for sure. I grew up in a rural community and started working on horse farms as soon as i wad old enough to hold a pitchfork and cary a bucket of water. Most people can't even grasp the reality of farm life. And while I am sure there are some inhumane farmers out there they are the minority but since the general public is completely ignorant to farm life they will believe the hype. Great to hear something positive from a farming family spanning generations. We desperately need family farms in this world of factory farms!

      Delete
    3. Farm life teaches kids the value of hard work..something a video game does not. If Americas kids were brought up farming and WORKING our nation would be in a whole helk of alot better shape than it is now! Hard work keeps kids from having time to sit around and be bored and think of all the crap they can get into!

      Delete
    4. You have to forgive these ignorant people who think we were miss treated growing up on a farm. They truly are uninformed, but still feel the need to comment on something they know nothing about. These are the same people who say, "We don't need farmers anymore, we simply just need to go to the grocery store to get everything we need."

      Delete
    5. Nobody thinks you were mistreated growing up on a farm.

      The entire issue is about MIGRANT FARM CHILDREN'S WORKING CONDITIONS. It's NOT about the farmer's children doing normal farm chores. Please, show me a single article that states that the need for child labor reform is due to farmers abusing their own children. A real source that you can show me. Or even show me where ANYONE, ANYWHERE, EVER said, "We don't need farmers anymore, we simply just need to go to the grocery store to get everything we need." Please, go ahead, I'll wait.

      It's disgusting how you all conflate your own idyllic experiences growing up on a farm AS A MEMBER OF THE FAMILY, THE LANDOWNER, with the experience of half a million minority children who are exploited for the sake of a farmer's bottom line. I'm sure most of those kids would kill to be in a similar position - attending school, getting enough time to eat, being able to rest, having a reasonably secure roof over their heads, not being needlessly subjected to pesticides and herbicides.

      But go ahead and enjoy your self-pitying circle jerk that everyone's out to negate your childhood experience.

      Delete
    6. No the only issue is not about migrant children! In 2012 the Obama administration tried to propose that no children could work on the farm. Even on their own parent's farm. Fortunately the proposal was withdrawn. That is the root of this discussion. In the midwest we are predominantly grain and livestock farmers, and most are family owned, and do not employ migrant children. I cannot speak for corporate farms, or other types of farms, like tabacco farms. Fact is until you lived farm life you cannot have the same appreciation for the type of lifestyle we have had.
      SOURCE:
      http://dailycaller.com/2012/04/25/rural-kids-parents-angry-about-labor-dept-rule-banning-farm-chores/?utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F

      Delete
    7. "No the only issue is not about migrant children! In 2012 the Obama administration tried to propose that no children could work on the farm. Even on their own parent's farm."

      Except that's not even close to true, although I see by the weaselly vague wording in the article you've cited wouldn't give you the slightest clue of what actually in that proposal.

      "the rules would only have affected minors who were formally employed and on farm payrolls, preventing them from operating heavy machinery, handling tobacco crops, working in grain silos or performing other jobs considered potentially dangerous.

      in fact, they could have done even the work deemed potentially dangerous on family farms, due to a parental exemption"
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/27/white-house-child-labor-agriculture_n_1458701.html

      What a breach of family values! You Fox News enthusiasts are so willing to sell everyone out to powerful business concerns.

      This was all done before, and again Big Agriculture handled it with aplomb in the 1920s:

      "business interests frightened farm families with propaganda about a government conspiracy to forbid chores on the family farm.

      In the 1920s, as now, reformers were explicit that their legislative efforts would not affect children working on family farms or on the farms of relatives acting in parental roles." http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/08/opinion/pitting-child-safety-against-the-family-farm.html?_r=0

      So, next bit of evidence, if you please?



      Delete
    8. If all kids worked on the family farm, Michelle Obama wouldn't have to be as active in fighting childhood obesity!

      Delete
    9. Well said. I would not change a thing. I love my animals and I love my farm and I hope to keep it going for years to come. My children learn sooo much each and every day. They will keep the tradition going even with todays generation.

      Delete
    10. Ha...farmers are some of the fattest and unhealthy people I know. Many farmers and farming families live off of highly unbalanced diets and abnormal exercise habits. Go ask a farmer to go and run 3 miles...odds are they give up. Sad but true. Cardio and endurance workouts are a key ingredient missing in 85% of the farming community.

      Delete
    11. Huh? Where do you people live? Under a rock? Yes, there are fat farmers just as there are fat doctors, teachers, and other professionals. Hell, a large proportion of Americans are overweight, partially due to the cheap food that is available in this country, unlike the rest of the world. And I know for a fact that my farmer husband could give you a run for your money in a 3 mile race but I am not sure that you would have the endurance to continue working a very physical 20 hour day because the crop is still out in the field but bad weather is on its way.

      Also THERE WERE significant issues with the bill that was being proposed limiting children's ability to work on a farm. It was questionable that my children would be able to continue raising animals to show in 4-H due to the EXTREMELY small risk of being injured while preparing them for the fair. The lawn mower that we use to mow multiple farm sites would have been considered too large and dangerous for our children use although they have been mowing with it for the past 8 years with no incidences. And since we are in a partnership with a family member, our children are paid for their work on the farm which would have further complicated things. I can guarantee that having to get out of bed to be in the field by 8:00 to hand pick rocks for 4 hours is not child abuse. It simply teaches them that they are part of a team and that there are many unglamorous jobs that need to be done on a daily basis.

      In the school that I teach in, we have a significant number of migrant families that arrive in the fall and the spring and it is my pleasure to work with those children. They are some of my smartest, most polite students. In the area where I live, I do not see this abuse of migrant children. It is not happening in the Upper Midwest.

      By the way, I grew up on a grain farm where we had a side business that involved running a pick your own berries. Yes, I had to get up early. Yes, I didn't always like everything I had to do but it prepared me for the real world of work where everyday is not a picnic in the park. I liked it so much I married a farmer.

      Oh, and I'm conservative but I DO NOT watch FOX News!

      Delete
    12. My dad is a cattle farmer. And because he makes scraps working a family business now made almost unsustainable by modern day industry, he also works as a full time paramedic. On top of that, he's in fantastic shape. He DOES. And WILL!! Run 3 miles on a regular basis!! As he also bikes 14 miles from the farm to his paramedic job to work 12 hour shifts. Completing his first full marathon at the age of 48, he is hands down the strongest, and hardest working man I know. That being said, your comment?? Is fucking stupid. Family and industrial farming are two different matters. I'm surprised you didn't clue into that, seeing as you apparently know so much about this topic. Disallowing kids to work on a farm to prevent child labor is like disallowing pregnancy to avoid bad parenting resulting in child abuse. The answer is not black and white, and way to be an arrogant ass in the way you choose to present your argument. Stereotyping farmers as obese and lazy?? Just won you zero respect on my scale. 1) Keep your facts straight and 2) be careful who you choose to insult next time. They may very well be the one keeping you alive during a coronary one day.

      Delete
    13. It is all about unionizing illegal aliens and securing dem party cash flow and voters. Farmer's aren't voting the way they are supposed to anymore, time for change and hope.

      Delete
    14. Amen Sister! I wouldn't trade my farmer's daughter status for a million bucks!!!

      Delete
    15. To the person who said farmers are fat and not healthy what planet are you from ? why don't you come over and follow my husband around for a day. That would not be YOUR 8 hour day but his 16 - 20 day depending what goes wrong or what needs to be done. You have no idea what your talking about . I bet you work a 40 hour week and probably sit behind a desk and also you probably get a lunch break and a paid vacation. Farmers don't get lunch breaks or vacations. You wouldn't make it one day working on a farm. My husband could probably run circles around your ass. The next time your biting into a juicy burger or drinking a glass of nice cold milk try thinking about how hard a farmer worked so your fat ass could eat and drink that. This stupid remark can only come from an idiot that has never stepped foot on a farm and who wouldn't want to because they might break a nail or get something on their shoe. go back to your 9-5 job and try eating or drinking something a HARD WORKING FARMER didnt bust his ass to make it available for you. Oh wait I don't think there is much of a selection of food for you to eat then.

      Delete
    16. Also I would put my name on here and not Anonymous. That is why this person can say the stupid things they said because they hide behind a keyboard and don't even have the balls to put their name on the post. like I said my husband could and would out work you any day.

      Delete
    17. I have 3 daughters age 21,25,26, They are all responsible hard working adults paid their own way through college, never asked my husband and I for a dime. All 3 live in different states and are with excellent jobs paying their own way. We could not be more proud. They were raised on a dairy and had to work and help out. They thank us everyday for the great life they had and for teaching them love , kindness, respect and responsibility! Wish everyone could have this great life!!!

      Delete
    18. I agree growing up on a farm can teach work ethic and build character. However, an education and a life long love of learning can carry a person much farther. A solid and well-rounded education will teach a person to express both sides of an issue while executing that argument with impeccable grammar and punctuation.

      Delete
    19. I grew up on the farm too....ask a kid in grade three today, if they could milk 8 cows before school in the morning and again at night after dinner. That wasn't unusual, that was the norm for farm kids in the 50's. We didn't go on summer vacations because a dairy operation was 24/7. We didn't go to camp because we had everything the kids had, right here at home. Tent sleeping, horse back riding, swimming in the river...and nobody was FAT...We drove tractors and trucks from about age 12 and when on our 16th birthday, if a weekday, we got our license for the road, because we did custom work for other farmers too.....the life of a farm kid, in most cases, was the best ground work for a successful life. We knew how to fix things, how to work hard, how to have fun in simple ways...independence and a work ethic...our good parents gave us everything we needed to succeed

      Delete
  2. Growing up on the family dairy farm, I was resentful of the fact, I was missing out on after-school activities, for afternoon and weekend farm chores. Not until much later in life, did I realize... It was my schoolmates who were missing out on life!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was the same way growing up. Now I realize how fortunate I was and even moved back to be close to the farm my brothers now run so I can lend a hand when needed.

      Delete
    2. Never, EVER bad mouth a farmer on a full stomach.
      Better yet, take your 3 mile run, your vegetarian ways, and crawl back under your city rock. Or the next time you meet up with a farm gal driving a tractor worth more than your fancy ass yuppie mobile, she may just hit you with said tractor.

      Delete
    3. What a stupid argument. Any city kid would rather be on a farm. I've been both and can tell you farmers (white landowners) that all those city kids who you hate on would actually rather live with you then play video game. They only play video games because outside they will be shot by police or abducted. So please farmers, go adopt an orphan from your nearest metropolis today!

      Delete
    4. Maybe if more kids were raised like us farm kids our society would be in better shape. There'd be less of the drama queen crap and less people abusing the welfare system. Kids would learn to value what they had because they earned it... Beyond throwing a temper tantrum till mom and dad gave in. We learned values respect and responsibility on the farm parents who don't teach their kids these are the true abusers and the reason that people who wrote that farm kids working is abuse are so ignorant.

      Delete
  3. YOU have a new blog follower! I whole heartedly agree with every word you typed! I grew up on a farm in Northern Illinois, where my husband and I are now raising our 4 kids. I remember one day in 6th or 7th grade when I was SURE I smelled like cow pee ALL day because I didn't have time to take a shower before school, after feeding and watering our 4-H steers-one of which had peed all over my overalls and boots while I was dumping 5 gallon buckets of water in their tank in the middle of February. I changed my clothes, but it was all I could smell all day, and I was sure everyone else could, too!
    Love your blog! Keep up the great work! You can read more about us at www.livingthedalylife.blogspot.com
    I recently ranted about agricultural misinformation, too! See my post from May :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Very well said!!!! We quit working very good well paying jobs in the city when our daughters were 4 and 5 years old and moved them to the farm in order to give them "a better life" than what we saw living in the city. We both grew up on farms and then lived and worked in a city for 13 years so we know both sides of the coin... we chose the best life to raise our kids in!!! And we even had another child after to moving to the farm and he wouldn't give it up for the world! Our daughters are now in university and can't wait to complete their education and get back to the country life they love. And yes all three kids had farm chores and help out... and they now have that good old fashioned work ethic that is so hard to find these days!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great blog, Emily ! It is the same in The Netherlands, raised as a farmer's daughter and now living and working on a farm together with my husband and our two boys.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is how we get the next generation ready.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love your post! The abuse we put our children through on the farm is incredible! :-) I came home one day to find my then 6 year old sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor sobbing. When I asked why, his father replied "Because he wants to go out and cut firewood with me and I don't want to go right now." Our son had just learned to drive the skid steer and was responsible for hauling the wood back to the furnace and dumping it while daddy continued to cut it up. He loves driving the equipment and is safer than most adults (he's also going slower than grass grows). I pointed out that they better go because in 10 years, he won't want to help. I had the same thing happen a few weeks ago as at age 8, he has now learned how to drive a small tractor and can bush hog the weedy fields. I had promised him he could mow a pasture for me but I was busy doing other things- I changed my plans and he got to mow. My 5 year old is ALWAYS looking for things he can do to help on the farm. If this is abuse, we need more of it in the world, not less. We don't get to take long holidays but we make sure to do little things with our kids like go to the local splash pad or the movies. We go swimming at family's cottages, we take in as many fairs as we can. They don't seem to complain. They love the farm and both say they are going to farm when they are bigger.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Small children operating dangerous machinery isn't cool. Even for farming families.

      Delete
    2. You call it dangerous because you don't know how it works. You grew up in a suburbia environment with fences that protected you while mommy put the lotion on your hands, and you turned out like a little shit, while farm kids were learning how to use machinery safely and effectively. Get rekt

      Delete
  8. Hurrah for that. You got to stick your feet in the dirt and connect with nature. Lucky, lucky you.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Every youngster should grow up on a farm, where they are up and going hours before the TV is ever turned on. On a farm there is always something to do, so you don't get bored. Every minute is precious and every chore is important. It's neighbors helping bring in the animals or lending a hand to bring in a crop. Good things, making good people.

    ReplyDelete
  10. More children should learn farm work, they probably would not get into trouble as they do now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true ... or maybe keep them out of the malls everyday ... Love living on the farm !!! Very grateful our kids had the opportunity too !!! Both are married ... one is involved in custom combining and the other married into a feedlot / farming family !!! <3

      Delete
  11. Those who claim farmers are cruel to their animals are looking at one of the hard facts of farm life: These animals aren't pets, they are stock. At some point in all this tending, caring, sweat, toil and effort, the farmer will have to sell that animal to be slaughtered. Where do these nay-sayers think their hamburgers and nicely wrapped packages of steak, pork, chicken and sausage come from?

    I grew up a city kid, but thanks to several family friends, I have experienced a LITTLE taste of the joys of having to clean out a hay manger after one of the cows has pooped in it ... and spent a day detassling corn (just one day! I couldn't have imagined doing this a whole season). I have also seen these same friends be some of the hardest working students in school, because like you they have come to love their family heritage and look forward to continuing in the work. Bless you and your family! May your family prosper and we all benefit from your work!

    ReplyDelete
  12. You go Girl! I am so sick of city people and their animals rights crap. If we abused animals, we wouldn't have a business or a place to live. We would lose everything. Farming is hard work and team work. I loved being beside my dad working. Even if it meant I would be so tired I could barely walk to the hose for supper. I wouldn't change anything about my childhood. God Bless You for putting this out there.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hooray! My 3 kids have all said that growing up on the dairy farm, having their own animals, gave them responsibility and a great work ethic. They are all thankful they learned to work. And one of them is now a dairy farmer also :) Can't be that bad of a life if they return to it of their own accord :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Very well written and so true! Farmers are the only people I know who choose a job that puts them on-call for their animals 24/7, to help with birthing, to treat an injury, etc. and to provide care no matter how tired they are or what else they might have wanted to do. America was built on farming and it is time that people remember that.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Amen and Amen... As a farmer's daughter, I don't remember ever being forced to jump on the tractor to plow or bale hay. Or for that fact be ready to help with the birth of a new calf or cute litter of piglets. A experience of a lifetime that so many have never known.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Could not agree more with your sentiments! Growing up on a farm is not a choice but if it were I would chose it every time. I learned more about the real world, life cycles and humility growing up on a farm than I ever did in our piss poor education system. Amen to all the hard working farmers out their and there families.

    ReplyDelete
  17. A great reply to accusations made by people who have probably never lived on a farm. I grew up on a farm and it was a wonderful life.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Very well said. Couldn't agree more!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I begged to do chores. Bottle feed get the eggs for grandma. Feed grandpa's kitten.even out the dirt road with a tractor till 4am. Branding and riding horse around the fence lines to make sure everything was okay. I love that part of my live and it's where my roots will stay. Can't wait to get back out there

    ReplyDelete
  20. Well said !! Were do those people think food comes from? If you've eaten today thank a farmer.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Would you look at that, well educated and a farmer. Takes that stigma off of society's impression of farmer's now doesn't it? Well said young lady, more people need to raise "farm kids" instead of the kids today who all have this aura of self entitlement about them. Good for you!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I think the real reason these anti-farm bloggers spew is that they fear the hard working, strong, skilled people that come out of the farm and ranch life. It is easy to control people who have no idea how life really works. The farm and ranch folk know how important it is to stay connected to our food sources, not just animal but plant as well. And as for PETA, they lost all credibility with me when they supported the notion of vegan lifestyle for cats! How the hell is that "ethical" I am up to here with the anti farm & anti rodeo goofballs that can't handle the life and death cycle of nature. Yes, Virginia, carnivores eat herbivores and that is how it works. Humans and bears are omnivours and eat both plant and animal. And farmers take excellent care of their animals; its their livelihood.

    Keep Calm and Farm On!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Amen to all of this! Teaching/showing my children how to work - a good work ethic - best thing you can do - best thing I did. Even in loss of animals - circle of life - "what's the rooster doing mama..." - all of it PRICELESS! Farmville???....get off the computer! If you don't have animals - find a farmer that you can help - especially at hay time - nothing builds character like loading or unloading a wagon full of small bales.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Amen! I'm not a farmer. I never grew up on a farm. I've never even been to an actual working farm. But I believe farming is undervalued in today's society. The lessons you can learn on a farm are priceless.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I have 4 children..my 17 year old son is right now outside grinding steer feed and pig feed. My 13 year old twin girls help me daily with all the bottle babies and cow/calf chores. My 15 year old son has some medical issues, so his chores are in the house because that is just as important as the chores outside. Fast version to this?? We all work together.....we have fun......yes, it is hard work, but it also can be fun when you do it with the ones you love. I don't "force" my children to work. They see what needs to be done and they do it. I couldn't be a more proud parent that wonderful traits are being instilled in my children right in front of my eyes. They will grow to be responsible, caring adults.....all because I "made" them work right beside me.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Great life lessons growing up as a farm girl myself. Your story is great keep getting the message out there! Yes it's a hard life to grow up in but the life long lessons are worth it.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I grew up on a farm. What I learned there created a work ethic that lives even today. My only regret is that my sons were unable to be farmers kids. But I did my best to instill that work ethic, that I learned on the farm, to them. Too many kids grow up these days with the instant getafication syndrome thinking the world owes them a living. No wonder our society as a whole is headed to Hell in a handbasket.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Growing up I ran the swather during haying ( along with lots of other responsibilities). Apparently some of the town folk thought my parents were awful forcing me to work. Little did they know I had air conditioning, my Walkman, a nice cushy seat and I got paid by the hour. Plus my horse was my best friend. I wish we could raise our boys in that environment.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I grew up in a farming community although I didn't live on a farm. My dad hauled milk cans from the farms to the dairy plant so I was introduced to heavy work at an early age. I learned to drive a stick shift 2 1/2 ton milk truck at the age of ten and was rolling and stacking 75 lb milk cans by the age of 12. I helped my dad draw cream to Canastota or helped pack and move a family or helped to haul ice from Sandy Pond to the ice house in back of the dairy plant. I went "minnowing" to catch bait so I could go fishing with my dad. He taught me how to shoot rifle, pistol and shotgun and, later as I joined the Coast Guard, I was designated as expert and assigned as a "sniper" when they shipped our asses overseas to the "nam to pull our boys off the beaches after they were wounded. I worked on farms as a hired hand and was happy to get 20 dollars a week at the age of 14. I have a work ethic that was instilled from those days of my youth that has carried me through life. I'm 69 years old and don't plan on slowing down anytime soon since my Mom is almost 98 and still active. If farming is an abuse of childhood then something is wrong. I say kids growing up in the cities and having to deal with gang violence and drugs is an abuse.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I experienced more violence in my first three years on a farm than my daughter has witnessed living in a major city the years. In high school I saw a girl carried out from overdosing at school. Small town where most kids lived in the country. Here I see people smoking pot, but that's it. They mostly appear happy and drunk. I saw a drunk guy go by the farm on a regular basis. Sorry if this has posted more than once.

      Delete
    2. And here, children are shot everyday or beaten for a pair of shoes. Young people steal their parents drugs or alcohol and drive drunk. Yes, there are good kids too, but most of the young people I know are way to involved in violent computer games or TV shows.

      Delete
    3. I haven't seen or heard about anyone being shot or beat up over their shoes. Except my husband talking about when he was a kid. After being in small town Oklahoma and getting about people I knew growing up, he pointed ohgr that the things said against inner city kids was a crock of bull. Also, for your second line, farm kids do all of that too. I could use an example from my family about stealing from relatives for drugs. I have yet to see a video game that's more violent than killing an animal with your own hands. Or we could talk about the people, no matter where they grew up, that join the military and go shoot people and blow them up. But yeah, computer games and t.v shows.

      Delete
    4. I really hope that you aren't so ignorant that you are badmouthing the sons and brothers, daughters and sisters, mothers and fathers in our military that lay down their own lives to protect that very right that you just exercised called freedom of speech.

      Delete
  30. We need more people like you! With people so self entitled today we need to stand up. My brothers and I are all 3 raised on our family farm and I couldn't imagine growin up any other way

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I definitely agree! Our culture does have an entitlement issue. I didn't grow up on a farm, but thankfully had parents that put us to work as kids. I now live on a farm and am so grateful to have the opportunity to raise my children here!

      Delete
  31. I grew up on a very active dairy farm, and yes, was expected to work hard at age appropriate jobs. I didn't think of it as work, I was happy to contribute to the family and absolutely loved being around the cattle/horses. I was always happiest in the barn...instead of doing housework. In fact, after marrying into another dairy farm, I still would rather be in the barn than doing housework. We have successfully raised 3 children that are now well-adjusted, contributing members of society with their roots firmly placed on the family farm. And yes....we 'made' them work at age appropriate tasks ....didn't hurt them a bit. I can still remember how upset our oldest was when he came home from grade 10 (!) and had overheard a classmate swearing about his mom because she had asked him to take the garbage to the curb (city driveway...very small driveway). He thought the classmate should come out to the farm for a couple of days & clean out calf pens for awhile to learn REAL work. hah ! Learning responsibility, compassion, ingenuity, sense of pride in self, humility and the knowledge that nothing lives forever are amazing life lessons that farms teach children so well......I wouldn't have wanted to be raised anywhere else & I'm proud to have raised our children the same way. Farmers rule !!!

    ReplyDelete
  32. I wanted to read this, but your refusal to link to your source - and my inability to find any source other than this particular blog entry - indicated I should not waste my time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just google it. There are a lot of links. Government trying to make laws without talking to the people they pertain to...

      http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/17/opinion/traina-child-farm-labor/
      http://www.hrw.org/support-care
      http://www.good.is/link/child-abuse-in-agriculture-in-the-united-states

      I grew up on a farm and still go back to help. It is called contributing to the family - something much bigger than myself. I was not put in situations that were dangerous nor was I overworked. Yes, I worked all year round and attended school regularly. I also had jobs off the farm. I participated in multiple extracurricular activities and sports. I graduated high school with a 4.0. I graduated the university with a 3.85. I was not abused.

      Delete
    2. Those are all about commercial farms hiring kids, not parents who have a farm where their own kids do work. They all specifically mention those wouldn't be effected. To MidwestDragon, that's probably the person didn't actually link anything.

      Delete
    3. I did google it, as you say, and it came back with only links to this very blog post. Here's the thing, each and every one of those reference links you have are about migrant child farm workers - who, rest assured, do not have the same work conditions or life as those children within the family.

      I looked at this post because I wanted to know more about the conditions of child workers on farms. I live in a rural agricultural area, all of my family and extended family are farmers. I was intrigued by the title and when the author quoted "Farmers are awful people that often take advantage of underage children, often their own, forcing them into a life of work and learning of inhumane ways." I wanted to know more. Anyone researching these kinds of claims has to be able to see the original quote in context - which the author here plainly knows, as she complains about these other bogeymen not having sources for their facts and figures.. Presumably this was some anonymous commenter on some tired message board, if not a Strawman set up to knock down easily.

      In any case, I now see that this post is only very tangentially related to child farm workers, being used mostly as a jumping-off point to rah-rah about how awesome farm people are. And, so, nothing to take too seriously. Cheers.

      Delete
    4. The author of this post is apparently so desperate to feel victimized that she needed to invent an attack on her lifestyle. This phrase ONLY exists on this site, nowhere else on the internet. It's kind of sad.

      https://www.google.com/search?q=%22Farmers+are+awful+people+that+often+take+advantage+of+underage+children%2C+often+their+own%2C+forcing+them+into+a+life+of+work+and+learning+of+inhumane+ways.%22&oq=%22Farmers+are+awful+people+that+often+take+advantage+of+underage+children%2C+often+their+own%2C+forcing+them+into+a+life+of+work+and+learning+of+inhumane+ways.%22&aqs=chrome..69i57&sourceid=chrome&es_sm=122&ie=UTF-8

      Delete
    5. Yes, just a Strawman bogeyman to rage against. Best to leave them all to soothe each other by feeling superior to ever non-farmer on the planet.

      I've got no problem with someone writing a blog celebrating the things they feel are important. I just think it's unfortunate that, in search of page views, the author tried to completely misrepresent and derail any conversation about child workers on farms.

      Delete
    6. And yet none of you have felt the need to contact the author in a personal and private manner to ask for the specific quote. You took it upon yourselves to just consult Google and get defensive when you can't find what you want. Not everything on the internet is fully accessable to everyone, nor is it immune from being delete or altered. Please at least have the respect to contact the author before assuming that they are making things up. Thank you.

      Delete
    7. It is publicly posted, and I am asking questions publicly. The burden is on the author to back up her quotations and statements if she wants to be taken seriously. I don't see any need to keep it hush-hush when someone refuses to source their quotes. I don't have anything to defend, so we'll just forget your claim that I'm being defensive. I asked for a source which should rightfully have been provided - the author even says as much in her first paragraph, stating that she doesn't have to take those other sites' citations seriously because they only link back to themselves. As her citation only links back to her own citation.

      Seriously, you're not getting the weird hypocrisy here?

      Delete
    8. When you google a phrase or anything else, it will show the most relevant, this post most likely has received many more hits than the article she quoted.

      Delete
    9. No, Celeste, this isn't a case where there are several Google listings and just the top few are to this blog. This blog is the ONLY thing that comes up. 3 entries on the Google page, all of them to this blog, and NOTHING ELSE.

      Today I checked and there is also a link to the HOME PADDOCK blog, but it is a reference to this blog.

      Delete
    10. The topic is old, much of the rhetoric has been removed, but here is what the arguments were about. Again, it is all in the wording. While intent was about migrant workers, the wording wasn't specific enough and here is why.
      Here is the links:
      http://dailycaller.com/2012/04/25/rural-kids-parents-angry-about-labor-dept-rule-banning-farm-chores/
      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.

      Rossie Blinson, a 21-year-old college student from Buis Creek, N.C., told The Daily Caller that the federal government’s plan will do far more harm than good.

      “The main concern I have is that it would prevent kids from doing 4-H and FFA projects if they’re not at their parents’ house,” said Blinson.
      Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/04/25/rural-kids-parents-angry-about-labor-dept-rule-banning-farm-chores/#ixzz38nVIo0TP

      Delete
    11. Thank you - but I'm still not seeing the quote from this posting:

      "Farmers are awful people that often take advantage of underage children, often their own, forcing them into a life of work and learning of inhumane ways."

      Delete
  33. My mother was also raised on a farm, and everything you discussed reminded me of her childhood and also reminded me of every year helping my family haul beets and doing whatever else needed to get done. But abuse on animals does happen, but for those sites who had "facts" to say all farmers and ranchers are abusive is inaccurate. I've seen videos of pigs being kicked and beaten for no reason, horses being malnourished and chickens sitting in small cages not big enough for more than 1 full and seeing some lay dead in there own feces. Abuse on animals is very real, but its unfair for all farmers and ranchers to be accused of it. I enjoyed your blog and can't wait to read more posts!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well said, thank you. And yes, I run a farm.

      Delete
  34. Thank you for sharing this! I did not grow up on a farm, but married a construction worker/farmer. I have learned a lot and my two sons (3 & 5) know way more than I ever did at that age. They love working cows, sorting, loading, feeding, watching calves be born, etc. They have asked for their own "chore" buckets so that they can feed the cows themselves...yes this takes longer, but they enjoy it. They also like to help dad and grandpa bale hay. They understand that this is our lifestyle and how we provide for them. They still have time for fun things as well. They know mom and grandma will play ball with them in the yard, watch them ride their bikes, take them to the park, etc. They participate in tball and swim lessons just like their peers.

    Thank you for sharing the values that are learned through growing up on a farm!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Very well said. I can say most of your farm kids are hardly in trouble, better mannered, and arent lazy opposed to town/city kids. I too grew up on a farm and still live on one. Loved your article

    ReplyDelete
  36. Very well said, I agree whole heartedly - there are good and bad with city and country / farm kids but I now loved being on the farm and want to raise my girls the exact same way.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Love this! Thank you so much for pointing out that there are children who are born to farmers that appreciate their lives.

    I unfortunately (yes, you read that right, unfortunately) did NOT grow up on a farm and every day of my childhood I wished I had been born to farmers because I had a family that lived in the suburbs and my passion growing up was horses. I would spend every day after school at the barn. I was known as a "barn rat", the kids that hung out at the barn daily even when we had no scheduled lessons. We were often put to work, which was manual labor. We are talking hard, physical labor. You name it, we did it! Cleaning tack, cleaning horses, cleaning stalls, fixing fences, bailing hay, putting hay up, feeding, watering, dragging rings.

    I would beg to be brought to the barn at some ungodly time (according to my parents) every weekend morning or every morning I didn't have school.
    I wouldn't trade those days for anything.

    I was looked at funny in school when I wore the only sneakers I had that smelled like horse manure or if I wore my breeches because I had a lesson the very second I arrived at the barn (after having taken the bus to the barn and not some friends house).

    I learned all the those traits you spoke of. I worked hard so that my parents didn't have to pay for my lessons. I worked all summer, every day, even begging and pleading to not have to go on vacation with my family because that was time that I could be spending at a horse show (I didn't mind sleeping in the barn)!

    We were blessed with many foals that we often helped deliver if the vet didn't make it out in time. We learned how to give shots to horses, we knew what medications to give if a horse was colicing, we could get a cast horse up with the best of them and often with just a peer of the same age (and we were about 13 at the time). I learned to drive the tractor long before I had a license and knew how to hook up every accessory and change oil in the farm truck.

    I learned what it was like to have REAL friends, friends for life that I still speak to and am friends with today, because we had shared a bond like no other friend.

    My parents didn't understand where my passion and love came from, but I think they are glad I had it for I turned out pretty damn fine. I never got into trouble, I was never into drugs or drinking or sex. I loved having them show up to a horse show to cheer me on in a class or come visit me when I was showing at the county fair.

    Just because you don't live on a farm doesn't mean you can't be a "farm girl".

    ReplyDelete
  38. Although I did not grow up on a farm, I have strong ties to farming and I agree with every word you wrote. But I wanted to add, in response to one of the other commenters, growing up and/or living in a city doesn't make one ignorant about farming (although I do know where you are coming from because I've seen how big city people act around farm animals at the state fair). I lived in town as a kid, but I still had chores to do. They were different chores. I still had to help weed the garden & pick beans, shuck corn, and stuff like that, and yes, I hated every moment of it, but I still had to do it because that's how we got most of our food and it had to be done.

    And maybe this is only anecdotal evidence, but I have never seen any kid who lived on a farm or helped out on a farm every have to do a job or chore that was not age appropriate.

    ReplyDelete
  39. As a 4th generation farmer I agree with everything you said we and not here to raise spoiled ungreatfull brats. We are here to raise the next generations that will feed the world.

    ReplyDelete
  40. farmers are so unappreciated we are being targeted because people who didn't grow up this way don't understand the life style. There was no paying for daycare mom and dad are home so take the kids with and you just grow up learning how to do everything watching your parents seeing how much they love saying hi to the animals every morning giving them a nice pet it just rubs off on you I grew up on a hog farm and we also had some chickens and my parents made us help there was no sitting around the house watching tv there was house chores and barn chores to do. In the summer holidays my dad always had a project for my sisters and I to do that would take us everyday all summer long to do. I never saw it as child abuse that's ridiculous it taught me many things in life respect and responsibility. I loved tending to the animals seeing all the new born animals running to the barn after school to see the new yellow fuzzy chicks petting them loving them feeding them. Working with the pigs was gross and stinky but i would never change it i love the farm and even though we had to sell due to non farmers making up all these rules and such that is making it hard for farmers to make a living now. I think all schools should visit a farm and learn some valuable lessons. I live in a city now that i have graduated from highschool and there is such a big difference between city kids and farm kids. City kids are mostly selfish and disrespectful they do what they want when they want they don't even know how to use a broom Mom and Dad do everything for them its not abusive if you teach them the value of work instead of how to turn the tv on. Just because farmers get there kids to learn the family business doesn't mean its abusive these are everyday farm duties that must be done and i think the sooner you learn the better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will be more appropriately appreciative of your farming efforts the very moment farmers stop taking government handouts to subsidize their vacation homes, snowmobiles, motorcycles, hobby horse ranches, etc. And also the moment I see any farmer work at any time other than spring and fall, jetting off to Arizona for the winters spent lounging by the pool and spending their summers at the lake cabin.

      It's not just that they're not working - their dollars are not coming back into the community. How are you going to keep your local ag support businesses going when you're spending your money outside the community for half the year?

      Delete
    2. Farmers shoulder most of the burden in property taxes where I live. No farmer here has a vacation home, hobby horse ranch, etc. I do agree about the subsidies, but they are not used for those excessive luxuries you are talking about. They do need to learn to make a living without those subsidies, however.

      My biggest problem with farming is all the GMO crops and tons of chemicals they dump on the earth every year. Many claim to be environmentalists, but I say most are far from that. They do what brings in the money at the moment. Farming is a necessary and noble profession. It is also a very hard, but rewarding life. There are problems that need to be fixed, but around here at least there is no jetting off to Arizona, etc. They are here year round working hard.

      Delete
    3. I do live in a rural area of the country and our entire industry is agriculture. I work in an ag support business myself. Believe me, the farmers here do indeed spend one-third to one-half of their year out of the county.

      This area is dying. The people with money - the farmers - do not want to invest it in their community. All this talk of how selfless and sacrificing farmers are is a crock. Noble? Sure. But like any subset of people, some are great, some are jerks.

      Delete
    4. That is too bad farmers in your area aren't more supportive of their community. The farmers in my area are very generous in donating money to organizations and causes in the community. In addition, they don't just work 8-5 in the spring and fall, they're working nearly round the clock, and around the calendar too. Summer brings brandings, irrigation, cultivating, pasture/fence maintenance, repairs, and preparation for harvest (and sometimes harvesting wheat) and putting up hay. Winter brings calving at all hours of the day/night, daily feedings, paperwork and planning for spring planting, and more repairs, and oftentimes hauling grain. The only time most of them can take a vacation, if at all, is during the winter. I don't know any farmer that only works spring and fall and vacations the rest of the time in my area. I do agree that the subsidies could use a makeover though.

      Delete
    5. Obviously you work where it is more of a cooperative farm and not the family farms that are fading every so fast! I am a farmer's wife and to be honest the "government handouts" that we get are for new farmers. if you had any idea how much it is to start farming you would crap your pants! We have to take out $250,000 every year and it does go up every year as to how much we take out! We also have to pay it all back at the end of the year. Some farmer have to take out more than that. So before you say stuff you have no idea maybe you should check the facts... Because that money helps pay our bills for the farm or our house. We donate when we can to our school, town, and church. I hate the fact that these big corporate farmers give us family farmers a bad name. My daughter who is 4 would rather go with her dad out to the farm and work in tractors and such...

      Delete
    6. MidwestDragon . . .your replies are comical. I live in the Midwest, and have all my life lived in MULTIPLE rural farming communities whom's population is made up of family farms. Your community must be some isolated little unknowing one as I have yet to come across a single family farmer that "only work in spring and fall, jetting off to Arizona for winters spent lounging by the pool and spending their summers at the lake cabin". -- the stock needs to be fed year round at the very least . . . and during the summer there is manure to spread, feilds to hay, bales to unload . . . the work is endless year round lol--


      I have also never came across a family farmer whom "takes governmental handouts to subsidize their vacation homes, snowmobiles, motorcycles, hobby horse ranches" . . . . lol many have a snowmobile or 4 wheeler for work and play but most also take more to keep running then they are worth. Again I can poll multiple communities, but I am telling you they also do not have 'vacation homes' because again . . . the work is every day of every month-- though the wives would LOVE to convince their farming husbands to take just a night off to go to a hotel. ---- But mabey your version perhaps of a 'vacation home' is the old trailer set in their plot of woods without heat or electricity connected they use as the hunting cabin???

      I also do not know of a single rich family farmer here in the Midwest . . . so again your community must be some secret wealthy one hidden in a valley here in the Midwest were unicorns frolic and they ride dragons to their vacation homes . . . where they reside 6 months out of the year . . .

      Delete
    7. I lived in South Dakota for ten years. In a town of about 800 people. Most of my friend's growing up lived on ranches. None of them went on family vacations ever. They worked in the winter trying to keep their castle alive through snow and ice storms. While most people were curled up inside warm and toasty, they were out checking their cattle. Obviously not the younger kids, but the older kids were more than happy to work all through the winter. They also care dealer deeply for their bucket calves that they pretty much raise themselves.

      Delete
    8. I am right in the Red River Valley for the past 25 years, all of my extended family are farmers, and most of our farms here ARE family-owned and operated. They no longer keep stock animals precisely because of the year-round responsibility. Believe me or don't - it's all anecdotal anyway.

      Farming is a business and it's like any other business, there's no magical noble quality about it that sets it above any other. It's NOT a holy calling. Farmers are NOT in the business for the pure joy of being salt-of-the-earth nobility, feeding an ungrateful and abusive populace. Its a profession, and you're either good at it or you go under. Anyone running their own business works hard. Success for hard work is awesome. But if Joe Blow's business has a bad year, he certainly doesn't have the government making up the difference so he earns as much as he did last year.

      I just think it's pathetic to continually mythologize a profession to the point of absurdity like this, especially when that mythologizing obscures actual, real exploitation of child farm workers. It's disingenuous and detrimental to say (paraphrasing) 'Oh, I grew up on a farm and it was ANYTHING but abuse, so ABUSE OF CHILD WORKERS DOES NOT HAPPEN'.

      Disingenuous because anyone with a 3rd grade reading comprehension understands that the vast majority of child workers on farms are NOT family members growing up on that farm.

      Want to celebrate the awesomeness of farming? Proud of your upbringing on a farm? Want to bitch and moan about how every person eats but somehow forgets to publicly kiss a farmer's ass every time they have a meal? Go for it. I applaud you for it.

      But don't take valuable attention and discussion away from a real quality of life issue for (mostly) minority and disadvantaged children so that YOU can feel like the put-upon victim.

      Delete
    9. MidwestDragon, do you eat food? That is the importance of a farmer. You seem to have a personal vendetta against farmers if you would come onto a site specifically dedicated to farming and spew such hate. We are all proud of our farming heritage. We don't like our way of life being attacked. The government shuts family farms down every day with over regulation. This vacationing your talking about certainly never happened in my family! Our first vacation was when I was 12 and we had one more when I was 17. My grandfather and my dad both wore their bodies out from working too hard. I personally, do not know any farmers that do not work hard. I think maybe you should do a little more research about the accusations against farmers and their hardworking children. Check out bills that have been voted on in multiple states trying to stop the child farmer from being able to help out the family. You're not only biting the hand that feeds you, you are waging a full on assault on those that provide your nourishment, unless of course you can live on twinkies for the rest of your life.

      Delete
    10. Oh dear lord, I just realized - you honestly and sincerely believe this crap. O Noes, everyone is gonna DIE without the benevolent farmer feeding us out of the kindness of their unappreciated, overworked, and superior heart! Sorry, not kissing your ass for choosing to run a business!

      Delete
    11. Honestly MidwestDragon we do not hire anyone under at least a high school freshman, and we talk to their parents before hiring them. It's not about kissing some farmer's ass, because you MidwestDragon have this misunderstood complex that you think every farmer thinks they are far better than anyone else without a working background. I agree that no matter where a person is from they can be a jerk farmer or not, but you are most certainly acting like a jerk on this forum.

      Delete
    12. I can't seem to post as MidwestDragon right now, but it is me.

      Here's the thing, Anonymous - if I may call you that. The issue at had has nothing at all to do with farmer's kids or the work they do on their family's farm. The issue is the exploitation of mostly minority migrant children working on farms under very poor conditions. I would appreciate seeing a single source or reference for this war on the farm-raised lifestyle the author and commenters here claim exists. Even just one single verifiable source that states "Farmers abuse their own children by making them work hard on the family farm." PLEASE.

      To equate your childhood growing up on the family farm - that your family presumably owned - with the experience of the hundreds of thousands of minority child farm workers is not just insulting and despicable, it does actual harm to those children by diverting any attention from their conditions.

      Read this post and these comments again: tell me with a straight face that nearly every one of them isn't claiming to be superior to almost every other person who didn't grow up on a farm. Hijacking a legitimate concern for the working conditions of MIGRANT CHILDREN just so you can sit around on message boards pitying yourselves for being under-appreciated victims of an imaginary war on farmers is disgusting and pretty blatantly racist.

      I ask everyone here who grew up on a farm: did you get to attend school and receive an education? Were you protected adequately from pesticides and herbicides? Did you have a reasonably secure roof over your head, rest breaks, time to eat?

      I'm pretty sure every one of those half million kids working for pennies per day at 12 hour stretches in deplorable conditions would change places with the well-fed, mostly white kids who grew up on their idyllic farmstead or ranch.

      Farmers use and exploit underage migrant workers for their bottom line. Profits. It's a business, like any other. To bemoan that anyone not raised on a farm "doesn't UNDERSTAND" is disingenuous at the very least. Why do you think exceptions were made to the Fair Labor Standards act? Because deep-pocket farmers lobbied for the exclusion and then set about to exploit every available loophole to keep their overhead down.

      So yes, I believe that most farmers and farmer-adjacent do unequivocally and whole-heartedly believe they are better than everyone else. Especially better than the brown-skinned kids that are so supposedly ungrateful for the opportunity to learn good old-fashioned salt-of-the-earth farm values.

      Try getting an adult American citizen to do the work for the same pay and under the same conditions. Oh dear no, that's for the powerless brown people. Sheesh.

      Delete
    13. Most of the farmers I know are the most humble, hard working, care for your neighbor type of people. I'm sorry that you have such a skewed view and misinformed opinion of them. Farming is a little different than 'any business'. It cost a lot of money to farm, most farmers have debt. Input cost is high, then we may not even get a crop, that's up to mother nature. In 2012, we had the worst drought in many years, with insurance we barely covered our input cost. So there was no pay for all the work we did. We get no paid vacation, no holidays, no overtime, and sometimes no paycheck! My husband leaves in the morning and most nights the kids are in bed before he gets home, everyday of the week, he doesn't get weekends off. If we can get away for a few days we have to hire a friend to do chores, etc. I can't speak for all farmers, but I think most average size grain and livestock farmers of the midwest would agree with me. You obviously didn't grow up on a farm, because you don't understand. May I ask what you do for work? I would like to comment on your job and way of life, I'm sure I know all about it and see what you think! Since you think you know an awful lot about farmers, just wondering if you knew that in 2012 Obama proposed to prohibit all children from working on the farm, even if their parents owned the farm. That is why we may get a little defensive. I think you should get your facts straight and take your farmer inferior complex someplace else. Clearly you have nothing better to do than cause drama.

      Delete
    14. Midwest Dragon here.

      "I just don't understand" - that's right, I don't understand why your way of life - that you CHOOSE (and by the sounds of it, aren't all that successful at) has to be subsidized by hiring underage migrants.

      I will put this right up there with "The War on Christmas" as a bogeyman created to scare the simple farm folk into doing exactly what their Big Ag overlords want them to.

      When I first entered here, I thought this was a genuine farm-advocacy site. I now see I've just stumbled upon some Ditto-Head Fox News cozy cubbyhole for reactionary white folks. Carry on, I shall "troll" no more!

      Delete
    15. Ha..exactly that's a farmer's life, they work very hard, and love this way of life. It is so worth it to us to live here and do what we do. We may not be vacation home owning rich, but we get by just fine. I can't help it that you are intimated by us 'well fed', 'simple', 'white people'. And the biggest 'ag overlord' is our federal government!
      Didn't want to share what you do huh?

      Delete
    16. CLEARLY you must be misunderstood as the rest of us since you are grouping ALL farmers into your worry about migrant children's rights. Midwest farmers don't hire migrant children to work for them. I think you're thinking about some other part of the country, like California, that hires many migrant children to work on their big CORPORATE farms. I think maybe you should get YOUR facts straight, as you say we should, before opening our big fat mouths...right!

      And yes, you should look a little bit more on the internet, as I don't believe you looked very hard for the items we have been talking about. Such as no children under 17 being able to handle any farm machinery, OSHA standards for ALL farmers and their families AND the people that work for them and also trying to prohibit any children, including our own, from working on their own family farms.

      I believe you are the one with a God complex as you spout out how much you know about everything, especially when you say you work in an agricultural business. Good thing you're using an alias because most people in the agricultural community would probably be sickened by your words and not want to do business with you. Your family, that are all farmers, must be so proud of you. Sounds like maybe your a little jealous of your family and taking it out on everyone else. If they are the ones abusing migrant children then maybe you should take it up with them and leave the rest of us alone because we have nothing to do with your migrant children except getting taxed beyond belief to pay for all of them to live here.

      Delete
    17. Just a guess Midwest Dragon...."if I'd have known then what I know now....I'd have picked my own damn cotton" .....or maybe better border control in the past......

      Delete
    18. MidwestDragon, do you buy only American made products? If not, then you are contributing to child slave labor over seas. Do you buy anything at Walmart? Those of us that you are attacking have nothing to do with migrant children laborers. We are small family farms, not big corporations. Oh, and the "race card" ! Good one! You must have voted for Obama.

      Delete
    19. I have no idea where Midwest dragon is from but I grew up on a farm in the mid east and my brother still has the family farm. In order to keep it, he has to work a full time job away from home plus the farm work.
      The dairy farmers in our area are currently being paid about $4 less a hundred lbs of milk than my father was paid in 1988. However the cost of their equipment and the fuel to farm is many times the cost of the same things in 1988. I saw that someone made the statement that if all the farmers went out of business it would be fine. In light of the current scandals on the amounts of pesticides and other things coming into our country on the food coming from China and other farming producers, Do your really want that food for your family?
      Few farmers in our area are getting the farming subsidies. Most of those go to huge corporation farms. There are many families that would love to farm but they cannot afford the land, nor the equipment to even begin a small farm. If you want to grow produce instead of animals, You will work hours that are not only insane but are just as much of a commitment as animals. Your income is totally dependent on the weather and timing of your crops, insects and disease. You do not plan your life on the 8-5 schedule, nor do you have worker's comp or insurance if something goes wrong. It is nearly impossible to be able to afford even Obomacare if you can qualify for it.
      My father after a whole life of working long days and many years, gets a retirement SSI check of $700 a month. Were my brother not buying the farm, my father would not even earn enough to pay the real estate taxes each year My parents figured out one year that after they each and my brother at home worked 16 hours a day 6 1/2 days a week, they earned a whole 25 cents an hour for their labors.
      Yes I have seen some of those rich farmers who take vacations that you have pointed out. They don't live around here. Nor do they represent the average true family farm and if you think they do, you need to check out their corporations and the debt load they carry vs their actual equity. They may be one crop from bankruptcy.
      My children would love to follow in their grandparents footsteps. However it will be a hard follow. Few people this day and age are willing to work that hard, be that tired and live on so little money.

      Delete
  41. From a former farm girl well said. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Amazing! I work with a lot of people who have no farm background. Will happily share this, couldn't have said it better myself.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Well spoken. As a child I never realized I was mistreated by working on the farm. I thought I was lucky. I found this article because my oldest daughter linked it to her Facebook account. Believe my wife and I have done at least one thing right.

    ReplyDelete
  44. For those that live the farm life you know that we do not force our children to work. My 3 children (who are all three girls) jump up in the morning to go help their dad on the farm. They would rather be outside working then in the house helping me. Would you rather they spent all day at the pool, running the streets, play killing games on x-box, or watching tv all day? My kids love the farm life and their town friends love coming to our house so they can help put fence up for the cattle, shuck corn, bottle feed the calves, gather the chicken eggs. It teaches responsibility, character, work ethic, and respect for our livestock. They have cousins that live in the city, so they get to see both sides and they can't wait to come back home to their farm life.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Bravo I didnt live on my Aunt and Uncles farm but I grew up on it and, after being gone for Military here I am back on it because I love and wouldnt have it any other way

    ReplyDelete
  46. I experienced more violence in my first three years on a farm than my daughter has witnessed in three years in a large city. When I was in high school one of my classmates was taken to the hospital because she overdosed at school. I haven't seen that where I live now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And what does a classmate overdosing at school have to do with living on a farm again??

      Delete
    2. It seems as though ur saying she did it cause she lived on a farm. But you seem to forget that its not only farm kids that try to end themselves. Also id bet why this girl tried to overdose had nothing tob do with living on a farm. Kids all over the world commit suicide not because they were made do work but because they were horribly picked on in school, raped, has a parent that beats them ect and dont know how to cope with it.

      Delete
    3. I'm having a hard time with where my comments show up. This was on someone's else's comment who said that raising kids in the city was abuse due to drugs and gang violence. My point was simply city doesn't necessarily equal violence and country doesn't exactly mean no kids on drugs and no violence.

      Delete
  47. I went to a high school that was a actual working farm. W. B. Saul High School of Agriculture. Main purpose of the school was to teach Agriculture to kids who lived in the city. It was the best experience of my life. I really enjoyed working with the animals, being a menber of the FFA. And knowing I was learning valuable skills that would stay with me for the rest of my life. I have a great appreciation for those who are into Agriculture as a whole. Its a very tough job but very rewarding when you see something you have raised or cultivated from the earth grow and blossom. My strong work ethic was built because of that school. Cows didnt care if I was sleepy they needed to be milked or the chickens didnt care if I stayed out late with my friends eggs needed to be collected. Farm life waits for no one. Thats what this young generation needs is good solid honest work. And maybe they will appreciate all that they have.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Where do people get that hard work builds character? My husband grew up in the city. He didn't even have chores. He's one of the harder workers I know and would give the shirt off his back to someone in need. I grew up on a farm, all I learned was to associate being home with pain and misery. But I guess getting hit and yelled at every time you turn around will do that to you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your experience and your husbands experience have to do with bad parenting vs. good parenting, and the farm and city were not really the issue at all.

      Delete
    2. I know they weren't. My point was hard work doesn't automatically build character, lack of it doesn't mean lack of character. I don't like the stereotyping, the this way is the only right way, everything else is wrong arguments. Different things work for different people. What works for one person may not work for others.

      Delete
  49. Love reading your blog. I too grew up on farm and working as the rest of my family did. Married another farm kid. Helped out on his family farm after married. Loved every minute of it. Sad though, his siblings didn't get the farm bug like hub and I did. In the end, we now farm our own farm with crops only for now. I also garden every year and have taught the heir to our farm to work with us. She loves helping and she's only 4. She will inherit from us and hope she carries the pride we have in our land.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Those of us who grew up working on a farm are the ones who now are people that employers respect and hire. Why? Because of our work ethics, We care about doing our best in our jobs and for others. Farm life is hard, but there is freedom in learning lessons, town children never learn

    ReplyDelete
  51. I just told my 6 year old about this blog and about the article that caused it. Her words were 'that's stupid. It isn't child abuse. It is called helping out.

    ReplyDelete
  52. I too was raised on a farm and there were 4 of us kids. We all had our chores to do and never complained. We didn't have to wait to be told to do them either. We knew that when we got home from school, it was raid the refrigerator, change into our work clothes and out the door. We did terrible things like saddle a horse and travel up the road to the north pasture and count the cows and calves and make sure there were none missing or any having calving problems. How awful that chore was on a beautiful fall afternoon!:D We also did things like turn in nurse cows to the baby calves or maybe get to feed a few a bottle, nurse prolapsed pigs back to health and then once they were big enough to go to market, you got a paycheck. We all got an allowance every time dad got a milk check. We had to do things like flick a switch and let the silo run the feed down the feed bunk. That was tough, or put a milker on a milk cow. My very first job on the farm was to help mom case up eggs for the egg man to pick up twice a week. I was probably 5 or so when we had 1000 laying hens. I had the privilege of growing up on what I call an "old MacDonald" farm. We had chickens, sheep, beef cows, milk cows, sows and pigs, horses and ponies, and later my dad had goats and turkeys. We learned responsibility, team work, and the advantages of having a pet pig or pet lamb or bottle calf. We were lucky enough to love it when it was a baby, feed it and watch it grow and reap the profits of our work when they were sent to market. We used to play cowboys and Indians and pretend we were tracking the bad guys. Yes, there was work and no real vacations, but we too, spent time at the local county fairs, and went to the neighbors pool occasionally and even swam in the pond or waded in a creek. Our fun time was hitching up the team and going for a wagon ride on a Sunday afternoon. In the winter time, dad played with us kids on the frozen pond and in the snow. Then we went for sleigh rides. If this was a horrible way to grow up, someone needs to explain to me how. I'm almost 60 now and I look back on my childhood with the fondest of memories. I guess we didn't have much money, but we never did without. And the things that I learned can never be replaced with a formal education. I not only learned how to care, look after, feed and nurture an animal, I also knew what their purpose was and although you might get close to a 4-H animal, you always knew what their purpose was. I learned how to butcher beef and pork and we even did our own curing of the meat in the smoke house....something most people today don't even know what is. We raised lots of meat chickens in the summer and I learned how to pluck a chicken, cut it up, fry it up and fix all the sides to go with it. We had a huge garden with lots of green beans. I learned how to pick green beans from the best. Those days are gone for me now, but I had the privilege of raising my family on a farm. It wasn't an "old MacDonald" farm, but my kids learned a work ethic and how to take care of animals, plant a garden and preserve it's bounty. They know how to cut up a chicken, a hog and skin a buck. Those who think that having our children work on a farm are ignorant to the advantages the farm kids have over town kids so unless you've walked on the other side you best keep silent. They don't know what they're talking about. Go farm families!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  53. You want to talk about abuse to animals and children! Neglect is the worst form of abuse! I see children today who leave my classroom at 3:30 and are off and running! They are in every extra curricular event so mom and dad can look good. But when they get home there are no rules, no guided reading time, and there is absolutely no time for home work. On our farm it was mandatory to do home work then chores came. At supper time we sat down and discussed the " important questions" we asked at school that day. Then we discussed our chores, how much time we put into the livestock and fields. There was no talk of "mine" it was "ours" and that philosophy still applies today, with three families sharing! Yep we were taught sharing, things are a privilege and you had to work for it! I wish I could tell some parents today that high marks are not their child's right, it must be worked for. And neglecting your child's demanding behaviour is worse treatment than any child or animal encounters on a farm from hard work. Take the time to really look at your child and think: "if he/she was someone else's child would I like this child?" Then think how this farming philosophy of raising good responsible and caring children might work for the betterment of yourself and your children. There are a lot of students who enter my classroom that I would be absolutely embarrassed to say that I raised him/ her. As well I am embarrassed to say I was a part of giving him/her a diploma and letting that child out into the real world because there is no character, responsibility or work ethic evident and that should be mandatory to graduate! It is mandatory to have those qualities to be a farmer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very well said! I still don't understand how "afterschool" activities are now 5-8pm more than 3 days a week and often on weekends......What ever happened to sports being directly after school so there could actually be some real family time at the supper table??!!

      Delete
  54. Growing up on a farm in Iowa taught me many lessons. It was hard work and that has made me for who I am today. I'm sure I smelled like hogs every day going to school, but nobody dared to tell me. Everyone knew it was expected of me to help my brothers and folks. I'm blessed to have had the experience and wish my children could. Nobody knows what hard work is until they work one day on a farm!

    ReplyDelete
  55. Most of our military elite come from farms...... Just another attempt to weaken our nation. Kids need to learn responsibility. The earlier the better.

    ReplyDelete
  56. While not exactly a farmer, I grew up in a butcher shop (kill floor and everything else), and most of my extended family were farmers. So I got to help a lot on the farms, and I had my own set of chores to do in the family butcher shop. I agree that farmers teach their children all the things mentioned in the original post.

    In junior high and high school I didn't like that I had to go help my dad in his shop, especially during deer season. But now, later in life, I know it's exactly what I needed. My only regret is that I didn't buy the shop from my father to carry on the previous 3 generations before me, and help my children learn the value of what hard work truly is.

    ReplyDelete
  57. emily anazagasty. . .it sounds as if your opinion stems from abuse, not anything to do with farming. while it is tragic that you had to endure that growing up, don't correlate it to farming and/or farm life. the two are not related. as for your husband, the hard worker you say he has become is still due to someone, somewhere, instilling a worth ethic in him, even though it wasn't on a farm. hard work, where ever it is taught, builds the character everyone is speaking of.

    ReplyDelete
  58. I grew up in Chicago. City slicker! BUT, all during the summers I would go to my aunt's farm in Wisconsin. I looked forward to going every summer. Up at the break of dawn to feed the chickens, milk the cows, help with various and sundry other things. I wouldn't have changed it for the world. Thanks for your awesome blog!

    ReplyDelete
  59. Damn straight!! If more people were raised on farms and ranches, this country wouldn't be in the mess it is now because people would actually understand about working for what you get. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No kidding, it's a damn shame that not everyone is a farmer! Only farmers matter! Only those raised on farms and ranches are quality people!

      If everyone farmed, or aspired to farm, who pays the taxes that pay the subsidies you spend more time than any Welfare Queen gaming the system for? Don't forget purposely planting a crop to fail to take in all that sweet insurance money too - for which taxpayers pay the premiums.

      If everyone farms, who's going to manufacture the machinery and equipment you have to use to farm now? Who will repair it? Who will build your houses and outbuildings? Where will you get your seed, insecticide, herbicides? And that's not even counting secondary and tertiary support businesses.

      Cram it in your ears. Farm folks are just regular people like everyone else, no better, no worse.

      Delete
    2. The farmers pay huge taxes on their land. You obviously have no true idea of what it is like to farm. The price of the machinery, seed, insecticide, etc that you mentioned has tripled, quadrupled and sometimes more while the price of the grain most years is not even close to double what it was. How would you like to have to pay $300,000.00 for a piece of equipment that you only use to combine for two weeks. Then you need a tractor that costs 250 - 300,000.00 to run the different equipment you need to work the land. Then you have to pay high insurance rates. Believe me your taxes are not paying for our subsidies because most of the time we don't even get the subsidies. There are all kinds of rules and requirements to get a subsidy and usually it doesn't even cover the costs that we had.

      Delete
    3. That MidwestDragon guy is a real dick. Haters gonna hate..

      Delete
    4. I am a dick for believing farmers are just like any other people running every other business, rather than the superhuman shining examples of heroism and perfection that this blog and Paul Harvey would have us believe? So be it.

      Delete
    5. MidwestDragon, There is nothing wrong with people being proud of who they are. You obviously have some pent up anger towards farmers. Build a bridge and get over it. Find another blog to troll.

      Delete
    6. What I have a problem with is complacent, well-fed white people who grew up in a farming family are feeling that their entire lifestyle is being attacked, when IN REALITY, in any article you care to cite for me, the overwhelming issue with kids working in farming is the abuse and exploitation of the MIGRANT CHILDREN HIRED.

      Stealing the legitimacy of an actual oppressed class of people just so you can puff yourselves up and feel victimized by an uncaring population of parasites because you're not getting what you feel you deserve IS REPREHENSIBLE. You make those very real kids INVISIBLE when you do this!

      Let me ask you awesome farm kids: did you get to go to school and become educated? Did you have a place to sleep? Regular meals? Adequate protection from the elements?

      Conflating your idyllic upbringing on a quaint family farm with the plight of a half million mostly non-white children working on farms is disgusting.

      Delete
    7. Seriously dude, do you even actually live in the Midwest? We don't have any migrant workers on our farms. These are family run operations. No one outside of my family has ever worked on our farm. As for taxes, take how much you pay for a dinky half acre lot and multiply that by about two thousand. We own more property so obviously we pay more property tax. Is that concept so hard for you to grasp? And unless you think your food in the grocery store comes from the magic food fairy, farmers play a vital role on supporting America's survival. Unless you want us to stop selling our crops and livestock to stores and just let everyone fend for themselves when it comes to food? If you buy food at a grocery store, complaining about farmers only makes you a hypocrite, as you are benefiting from farmers by buying their product. Either grow your own food or go suck a taint.

      Delete
    8. MidwestDragon -- You want something to read? Read this: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=WHD-2011-0001-0001
      Included in these 50 pages is the "Child Labor Provisions For Employment in Agriculture" with regards to the "Fair Labor Standards Act" which was was enacted in 1938 and has been an ever-changing document throughout the years. If you read through the document it plainly states that there are parental exemptions... please note:
      "Under section 3(l) of the Act, children under the age of 16 who are employed by their parents or person(s) standing in place of their parents may be employed at any time and in any occupation other than manufacturing, mining, or an occupation found by the Secretary to be particularly hazardous for youth between the ages of 16 and 18. Section 13(c) of the Act expanded the parental exemption as it applies to agricultural employment in two ways. First, the parental exemption in 13(c)(1)(A) applies not only to youth who are employed by their parents or persons standing in place thereof on a farm that is owned by such individuals, but to youth who are employed by their parents or persons standing in place thereof on farms that are operated by, but not owned by, those individuals. Youth who are working pursuant to this “operated by” exemption must be employed outside of school hours. Second, section 13(c)(2) permits youth who are employed by their parents or persons standing in place thereof on farms owned or operated by those individuals to work in occupations that have been deemed by the Secretary to be hazardous to the employment of children under the age of 16."
      This has been a hot issue throughout history, so the exemptions have always gradually changed with the times. I realize I am making your point for you, I am going somewhere. I want to call attention to the fact that many people were worried about their way of life and/or their abilities of their children to work on their family members farm/ranches. It quite clearly states that would be possible in the cited text above no? Not really.

      Delete
    9. Please read:
      "The Department has, for many years, considered that a relative, such as a grandparent or aunt or uncle, who assumes the duties and responsibilities of the parent to a child regarding all matters relating to the child's safety, rearing, support, health, and well-being, is a “person standing in the place of” the child's parent (see letter of Charles E. Wilson, Agricultural Safety Officer, Division of Youth Standards of April 7, 1971 to Mr. Floyd Wiedmeier). It does not matter if the assumption of the parental duties is permanent or temporary, such as a period of three months during the summer school vacation during which the youth resides with the relative (Id.). This enforcement position does not apply, however, in situations where the youth commutes to his or her relative's farm on a daily or weekend basis, or visits the farm for such short periods of time (usually less than one month) that the parental duties are not truly assumed by that relative. The Department also interprets the term “parent or person standing in the place of the parent” to mean a human being and not an institution or facility, such as a corporation, business, partnership, orphanage, school, church, or a farm dedicated to the rehabilitation of delinquent children.
      The Department interprets “operated by” the parent or person standing in the place of the parent to mean that he or she exerts active and direct control over the operation of the farm or ranch by making day-to-day decisions affecting basic income, work assignments, hiring and firing of employees, and exercising direct supervision of the farm or ranch work. A ranch manager, therefore, who meets these criteria could employ his or her own children under 16 years of age on the ranch he or she operates without regard to the agricultural hazardous occupations orders, even if the ranch is not owned by the parent or a person standing in the place of the parent, provided the work is outside school hours.
      It is important to note that a child who is exempt from the Ag H.O.s when employed on his or her parent's farm would generally lose that exempt status (not be exempt) when employed on a farm owned or operated by a neighbor or non-parental relative. This is true even if the youth is operating equipment owned by his or her parent."
      These three paragraphs are very important in that if I want my children to visit their grandparents on the family ranch, they should not be allowed to work on the ranch if they are not staying for a period greater than one month. Noting the last paragraph, the children also should not be able to work on any of our neighbors / non-parental relatives ranches. This is troubling to me in that my family is very close with our neighbors and our community and we must rely on each other for help during the tough times of the year. Continuing to build on these provisions with a non-regulatory proposed ruling is what caused upheaval when this ruling was brought to people's attention. This litigation strikes very close to many people's homes and hearts.
      If you visit this link which brings up the documentation for the 2011 proposed rule: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=WHD-2011-0001
      At the very top it states very clearly ---- Impacts and Effects: Small Entities (Business) ---------
      So if you are trying to take on big business and the corporations etc. etc. the proposed rule itself lists its largest impact will be to "SMALL BUSINESSES"

      Delete
    10. The proposed rule from 2011 can be found here: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=WHD-2011-0001-10340
      And stated:
      "On September 2, 2011, WHD published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), 76 FR 54836, that proposed amendments to child labor regulations issued pursuant to the child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. 203(l), 212, 213, primarily to address the employment of children under 16 years of age in particularly hazardous agricultural occupations. The FLSA's child labor provisions do not apply to the employment of children working in agricultural industries once they reach the age of 16. The proposed amendments would have, among other things, amended existing hazardous occupation orders related to the agricultural employment of children under the age of 16 to address specific recommendations made by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health; created new agricultural hazardous occupation orders; and revised the agricultural student learner exemptions that permit the employment of 14- and 15-year-olds to perform certain hazardous agricultural work that they would otherwise be prohibited from performing because they are under the age of 16."

      Note that this states the proposed rule will "address specific recommendations made by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health; created new agricultural hazardous occupation orders;"
      So the proposed rule in 2011 that was withdrawn in 2012 was focusing on recommendations made by the NIOSH? It was also a proposed rule by the Secretary of Labor in which she was "pursuing a non-regulatory approach to addressing the safety and health of children employed in agriculture rather than amending the existing child labor rules.The FLSA affords the Secretary broad authority to set and order her rulemaking priorities." So a non-regulatory approach would allow her to fully use her authority and make this rule law had people not been adamant to stop this ruling.
      Oh yes, the NIOSH also is referenced again in this document stating the following data:

      "The demographics of hired farm workers under 16 years of age are such that they are relatively few in number, but work in an industry with one of the highest incidences of occupational fatalities and of injuries and illnesses involving days away from work, according to the BLS (see Report on the Youth Labor Force, p. 56). Although these incidences exceed those of experienced young workers employed in nonagricultural sectors, they are significantly fewer than those experienced by their peers who are not hired farm workers but perform work on their families' farms. NIOSH, in its NIOSH Childhood Agricultural Injury Prevention Initiative, Progress and Proposed Future Activities[2009], p. 8, available at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/review/public/145/), notes that “[y]outh living on farms accounted for the most farm injuries in 2006 (approximately 11,800 injuries), followed by visitors (approximately 5,600 injuries), and hired workers (approximately 1,400 injuries).”"
      So if this data were extrapolated to 2011 and used in the 2011 decision, how long will it be before the Secretary of Labor decides to pass a "rule" hoping to save all of those 11,800 injured on farms where they lived. Hired workers injuries is a pretty small statistic.

      Delete
  60. Thank you. My 12yo son is an apprentice on a hay farm this summer and LOVES it. His dad's is a born dairy farmer now working in other areas of agriculture due to the sad loss of our family farm (prices were low and our was no longer sustainable).My kid was complemented on his work ethic. Scout s honor.

    ReplyDelete
  61. As Paul Harvey would say " That's Why God Created a Farmer"! I am a farmers wife and have raised seven of my own children along with doing licensed family daycare in my home for almost 40 years.I recently went back to college now that my children are grown. Ironically this article would fit right in with one of the papers I wrote for a class. I have seen a huge increase in what I call a detachment syndrome from children that have been brought up in a world of electronic gadgets and phones of all sorts they have lost touch with feelings and reality. I do not see this in any of my farm kids!

    ReplyDelete
  62. The world would be a better place if all children --- and many adults would ----have the pleasure of working on a farm.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Thank you for publishing your article! I could feel your passion as I was reading. As a child, I was involved with livestock, as are my children, and my grandchildren. Building character? You bet! Stand proud, American Farmers!

    ReplyDelete
  64. I grew up on a farm and went through all the "hardships" in the blog and more such as daily chores, nursing and treating feeder cattle in -30 cold, irrigating crops in the blistering heat, tilling fields on a dusty tractor for 12 hours a day, putting up thousands of tons of hay, caring for and successfully raising 3 4-H steers....yep I had it tough and to this day do not regret it a bit. Life lessons that are irreplaceable and lessons everyone could use to be a productive member of society.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Maybe these people that oppose farming and see farmers as awful people aught to educate themselves a bit more on what farming is really about!!! I grew up on a farm and now my daughter is growing up on one. She is not forced to do anything on the family farm, but she sure does love to go down and feed the babies and learn through experiences the farm offers her. I would much rather her be on the farm than sitting in front of the television all day or playing video games. How many video games teach respect, responsibility, patients and work ethic? As for farmers being awful people... Someone near and dear to me is a farmer and it outrages me to think that there are people out there that think he is awful. He cares more for his animals on the farm than he does himself as do most farmers!!! To say that farmers are awful is a lack of education on farming plain and simple. These people really need to stick to what they know and stop criticizing things they are not fully educated on!

    ReplyDelete
  66. I wonder what these people would think about our raising our own chickens and turkeys, then when slaughter time came, we did it in our back yard! My brothers were early teens cutting off the heads an feet, then my mom cleaned out the insides while I sat there around age 7 with 2 big pans, one had a bird in it the other the feathers I was plucking while watching Captain Kangaroo on TV! LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes they do run around for a bit without a head!

      Delete
  67. Excellent post. Beats having most of today's kids sitting in front of the tv, phone, computer ect. Playing violent video games and have no interaction with anyone other then the other kids on the violent video game. There is nothing wrong with teaching your children how you were rised and there grandparents and even great grandparents. Teaching them self confidence, respect, love, honor and so much more is much better then just ignoring your kids and letting them live life through an electronic device. Farming is a very hard job and I appreciate all the hard work farmers put in on a daily basis.

    ReplyDelete
  68. I don't think you have to work on a farm to have good work ethic. I have been working for the last 15 years at the same job and I wasn't raised on a farm. If children are taught properly then they will have good work ethic, no matter where they grew up. I have no issues with farmers, but I don't think it's fair to say those not raised on farms don't work for what they have

    ReplyDelete
  69. I'm 15 now and I live and work on a farm. I wouldn't choose doing anything different. It teaches me that everything I do is needed and I have to work everyday to get what I want its not just handed to me. All,my friends say that they,are sitting inside all,day and think its great. But they don't get to experience they life I do.,I get up at 4 am,everyday just to take care of they animals and most says don't go to bed until 11 on. But I would never change a thing about,they way I'm raised I love every minute of it.

    ReplyDelete
  70. absolutely. growing up in a population 139 farming community was the best experience I could ask for. driving a tractor before a car taught me more than I could have imagined, despite my under the breathe cursing that happened for having to do so. my parents sold the White, Case and Gehl equipment that our farmers used. I shoveled and sprayed cow crap until I was 15, while simultaneously working at our thrift store so we could put food on the table. After that, I got 2 jobs so I could pay my own gas and any school needs for the following year. Today, I stand proud to say that those experiences absolutely enabled me to be happy professionally and personally. There were many bumps in the road. Many. But they make us, us. And we farming descendants should be grateful forevermore. Thank you for your dedication.

    ReplyDelete
  71. I lived with my grandparents until I started school as both my parents worked in the city (3 hours away) and had built in babysitters being being my aunts and uncles. I spent EVERY summer at the farm with them after school let out for the summer. I believe spending time doing everything you mentioned does make me a better person. I work hard at everything I do because that is what I was taught! We are called Minnesota NICE for a reason!!!

    ReplyDelete
  72. Well done! When I married my husband and moved to his Iowa farm, I was THRILLED to know our children would be raised there!! My son who is almost two would consider it much more abusive to NOT let him go out on the tractor with his dad and grandpa! He LOVES his farm. He also knows ALL of his animals, their sounds, where they live, how to feed them, and I'm quite confident that if given the chance would be able to drive the tractor all on his own! I can't wait until he's old enough to have his own 4-H animals. My husband and I talk often about how having a farm is such a great and easy parenting tool. Kids HAVE to learn important life lessons. Way to go farm girl! :)

    ReplyDelete
  73. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  74. I to agree, if more kids worked on farms growing up we wouldn't have these disrespectf teens. the years growing up on a farm taught me a lot, and yes there was times I got my butt kicked but it was a lesson learned. kids now days have no respect for anyone, they thing everything should just be handed to them like they deserve it just for being there. I to was doing all the same things as a kid such as driving tractor fixing fence watering etc. in fact I remember one day in school I didn't do my school work and the teacher asked why, I simply told her I have my own school at home called the school of hard knocks. and I don't have time like most kids to sit and do home work and play video games. kids now days are so lazy and don't wanna earn anything they have to work for. I wanna thank all the farmers that are left for raising your kids right.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Amen to that!! So well said. More kids should be taught the values that our farm kids are - through hard work and discipline - doesn't hurt them one bit. If more kids were taught those valuable life lessons, it would result in a much more caring, compassionate society!! We'd have fewer couch potatoes who think they are owed the world, just because they are here!! Our 3 grown kids understand exactly what you are saying! This comes from Canadian, former farmers & now grandparents.

    ReplyDelete
  76. I agree with you. I grew up on a dairy farm. My family vacation was a hard working week at the county fair with our cows. It was with humility that I went back to school each fall with blue ribbons and trophies to share of my summer. I still can see the day I walked into 7th grade after spending a school day at the state competition showing cows and I had won 1st in the whole state. I even bought an animal at a sale when I was only 9. Now alot of my friends are those I made while showing cows.
    To top off my list, I was crowned Dairy Princess when I was 16 and at 17, I was a state Ayrshire princess. I learned so much about myself and how to grow as a person. I had more appreciation for where my food comes from. Today, my big brother has a farm and still shows, it is great to go visit and help show.
    I finally married a man who grew up on a farm and has a work ethic like myself. We don't do video games, and sitting still is not easy.Honestly, since we were married-I hunt every fall and I have been successful! We have a garden at our house and help with my inlaws. I treasure going out there to see what is growing and then canning. I have not bought canned vegs from a store in many years. It is funny when my co-workers or new friends realize-there isn't much I don't do!
    I work full time with school age children-I attempt to pass on my life lessons to them. I have taught many to sew with a machine and I have helped the garden my company has to be more of a teaching tool for them all. They enjoy learning where their food comes from!

    ReplyDelete
  77. I was picking grapes, digging ditches, cutting wood, picking fruit at 11 and I loved it wanted to do the work and choose to work to help my family. I do not feel abused a bit and feel the working helped me be even more productive the rest of my life.

    ReplyDelete
  78. Amen! Best farm blog that I have read thus far (and I read a ton of farm blogs). When I entered public school at 4 years old my teachers were amazed at how well I understood "life" and where things we had came from. Like you I began bottle feeding calves early on and from selling those calves I can now pay my way through college. Where I happen to be majoring in agriculture. Thank you for standing up for farmers against this anti farmer world!

    ReplyDelete
  79. Love this. I too grew up on a farm and the lessons I learned were invaluable. I can remember having to get up early EVERY DAY to change sprinklers and feed our bummer lambs. We worked hard and I have grown up into a pretty responsible, hard working adult.

    ReplyDelete
  80. I was born and still live in Nottingham, England - my Father was a builder and my Mum was a 'stay at home Mum' and to make ends meet, too feed 7 mouths, they keep a 'small holding' behind the house and workshop. I and my 4 sisters grew up with a chore list as my Father raised a small menagerie of different animals. (Horses & ponies (mostly for our entertainment), geese (guard-dogs with feathers), chickens (for eggs), goats (for cheese), pigs and cattle (for meat - note:before I was born mind). As children we lived off the large veg patch out back and the healthy 'free range eggs' supplied because of this simple life. My child labour was memorable because we were always enlisted to 'pluck chickens' at Christmas time. At a young age we thought nothing of watching chickens having their necks pulled, this taught us the importance of where food came from - the circle of life (?)

    In the corn shed my Father would bait traps for the rats, the trapped rats being kills and my Dad made us understand the pecking order and which animals are considered foe and which animal contributed to the wellbeing of the livestock.

    I recently saw a blog/posting on facebook where a small 8 year old was pinching the sesame seeds off the top of a burger - when asked why? she replied "because I'm gonna plant them and grow burgers for all the family". Dooh.

    I have my Mother and Father to thank for what I considered an idyllic childhood and as and adult a respect for the animals becoming the food on my plate. I think I was truly blessed - not hindered by my upbringing - I cannot compare my childhood and our 'small holding' with that of the chores undertaken by the children living at a large cattle farms but I learnt lessons no schoolroom could teach.

    ReplyDelete
  81. Boy, did you hit a nerve. I have read through about half of the comments. I grew up in a city and married a farmer. While I miss the convenience of the city, I would not readily choose to live there again. I have taught in a rural school and at a regional high school. You can definitely see a difference in attitudes among the students. Farm kids know they need to get their work done because they won't have the time later. I have never seen any signs of abuse to animals or children by farmers. You can't say that about some people who move to five acres and want to have a couple of horses, etc., and don't take care of them. A farmer is a Professional and takes care of his animals.

    The issue with "migrant" children is one for concern. The children need to be in school and not allowed to work in fields during the school year. We don't get migrants in our area any more, but the elementary age children did attend school when they were here. If you can find other people to do their jobs, please do....like some inner-city delinquents.

    ReplyDelete
  82. We begged to go stay at several relatives' farms when we grew up... we lived in a small town of 2100 but were a few miles from these farms and enjoyed the opportunity to go work hard on the farm..... from milking cows, feeding the cows, throwing hay bales, picking chickens, working up corn and green beans from the garden, walking out to pasture to get cows home to milk and many more. Those aunts and uncles provided great memories and the love of farming for this small town city girl

    ReplyDelete
  83. Curious as to what kind of journalist would actually record these words: "Farmers are awful people that often take advantage of underage children, often their own, forcing them into a life of work and learning of inhumane ways", I searched for the sentence using Google. I can't find it, which - unless you provide a source - makes me disinclined to trust you. Furthermore, clearly your parents did more harm than good when they had you focus on your farm chores rather than your homework. The word you are looking for is humorous, not humerus.

    I think what irks me the most is that you have a good premise in talking about the character building growing up on a farm offers. I grew up on a little farm, and I loved taking care of my steers and roaming the fields on my horse more than just about anything. Heck, I even loved mucking out the barn and stacking hay. However, you can't spell, and from the sentence above, you've a problem with the truth. Just because you have a good point, doesn't mean you get to lie to make it. You're just as bad as the people you are claiming to be better than.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shhhh, you're going to spoil their pity party against their strawman oppressors.

      Delete
  84. I grew up on a farm in central Kansas. At the time, I hated it - hated the chores, hated the dust while plowing the fields, hated lugging buckets of feed to the calves, hated the mean chickens... But as I look back, I realize that I had experiences that a good majority of people never had and will never have and now I proudly tell everyone that I was/am a farmer's daughter. As my daughters grew up, I would often take them to a farm to watch the wheat being cut, the hay being baled, the cows being milked. I wanted them to appreciate the hard work farmers do every day to feed this great nation of ours. You're right - farm kids have some kind of special work ethic - they don't have a sense of entitlement - they know that to get it, you have to work for it. Too bad that so many family farms have gone the way of corporate farming. And, let's support our local 4-H clubs and FFA chapters - they're still working to get the word out about the value of the farm. If you haven't seen it - check out this video by the Peterson Brothers of Salina, Kansas: http://youtu.be/48H7zOQrX3U They have nailed it. CHEERS FOR THE FARMERS!!!

    ReplyDelete
  85. I have been following you on facebook for a while (This Uncharted Rhoade) but for some reason didn't have your blog on my reader! It's probably pretty clear that I agree with this 100% - good job and enjoy the success you've gotten from this post!

    ReplyDelete
  86. I very much agree with the author....I was farm raised...when I was growing up in the late 70's to early 80's, honestly, I didn't have any shopping network product when I was done.........Right now, at my laptop, I Have to hear about how great muscle mess-ups were killing people.
    I left the farm for 10 years, but I came back, just cause my family is still here, hence the "Family Farm"
    I have read A lot of what has been said. Honestly, ALL of you are talking out of your friggin hats. Seriously. Yes I would Never give back my up bringing, I loved it, more than anyone Ever could know. But other than the sleep, its not helping me any other way.
    I do have many opinions against our backs but seems anything they, but if you are thinking of helping her afterwards, forget it Man.
    All my name registration is variable. \\You both get how fast that in sider info not with you now.
    Risking working with Wor

    ReplyDelete
  87. BRAVO! Agree 100% with every word you say. It is too bad now days that more kids "aren't abused and forced to help on those horrible farms" as we might have kids with more common sense, work ethic and a sense of pride for what generations of these special people have been doing: feeding America and the world. The big industrialized farms who have greedily gobbled up family farms is another subject for a different day but I will just say that the family farms have been ravaged by bad tax policies and lobbyists who favor the industrial farms. But I thank the Lord these hardworking, wonderful families continue to bring up their children in the generational farms and all of us should support and thank them for what they do.

    ReplyDelete
  88. Our family recently had some family who lives a very large U.S. city come stay on our farm for a long weekend. My kids who are 11, 10 and 8,ran circles around them and did not take an afternoon when the city folks needed one. The city folks were so shocked at the amount of hours we worked on a weekend. We just chuckled ..."weekend".

    ReplyDelete
  89. I grew up on a farm and had a very health well balanced life. My father and Mother never made their children give up anything to work on the farm.We participated in every school function,also participated in all summer programs that our town offered.Yes we helped out but never were over worked.My parents were the ones over worked,it was nothing for them to put in 16hr days.My mother and the girls weren't expected to do heavy manual farm work,If the brothers where off playing sports or riding in a rodeo my father would work by himself,never once complained. We where very fit and healthy.My mother was an amazing cook,much of our food was produced on our farm from our meats to veg and fruits.I am so thankful for the life our parents gave their 8 children.I could go on for hrs.telling you what a great life we had but if one prefers to believe that growing up on a farm is a tough hard life for children than I would be wasting my time. Thank you Mom and Dad for all you sacrificed,hard work to give us a wonderful life.

    ReplyDelete
  90. lol - all i have to say is that you people are wasting too much time on the computer -

    I have barn chores to do...

    ReplyDelete
  91. I want to thank my first leaders, my parents, Thomas and Virginia Gilbert. Thank you for teaching me and a big thank you for moving our family to the farm. I learned about work ethic, urgency, preventive maintenance, how to build and fix things, care, compassion and many other things that helped me in leadership and life.

    The time spent and lessons learned in our barn/shop have been invaluable. Where else would a fourteen-year-old get the knowledge, courage and support to totally tear a Suzuki 50 motorcycle apart to replace high gear?

    If I had to rank the importance of my education, it would be my years in Human Resources first. My years on the farm second. My years in a classroom third and every other educational experience after that.

    From my book "The Power Of Better." - Greg Gilbert

    ReplyDelete
  92. Ok, I read one comment on "Migrant Children" The migrant kids I have seen around here are treated just as well as the farmers kids, and given an education. There are also housing standards. If these kids are being used in anyway, it is by their own parents.

    ReplyDelete
  93. I was just reading about how the modern concept of childhood (not working/contributing to the family) affects teens by making them feel as though their only value is in child like vulnerability, and how schools don't probide the opertunities for kids to feel proud of and own their work or develop an adult identity, such as people do through their careers, and how this pushes kids to take unsafe risks rather than developmentally helpful risks.

    This farm work seems like such a solution for some of that for some kids.

    ReplyDelete
  94. And, I just had to comment... thanks for writing this. I just have to say that those character traits you mention learning from working so hard... those same traits are of huge benefit to a soldier. And is it any wonder that these same country/farm/small towns in the heartland kids are the ones who grow up and overwhelming serve in the military... I think not. Because other things these parents teach is love of God and love for your country. Keep up the good work. And let the Social Justice Warriors keep on whining. When the going gets tough, it won't be them who keep on fighting.

    ReplyDelete