Friday, April 27, 2012

Farms provide life skills for kids

I know I'm not the only one who was thrilled to hear the news that the government decided to scrap rules proposed last fall that would severely limit what kids can do on the farm.

When I first heard about the issue last year, it irritated me. After all, the average American is already 3 to 4 generations removed from the farm and each year there are fewer and fewer people directly involved in agriculture. This coupled with the fact that we as a country are going to have to significantly increase food production in the coming decades is a recipe for disaster.
My brother making hay

Since approximately 98% of Americans are already not directly involved on the farm, this is a major issue. Farm kids are the future of this country. Especially when you think about how much more we are going to have to produce.

Growing up on my family's farm was by far the best thing that could have happened to me. From a young age, my brother and I were taught responsibility and an amazing work ethic. The cows didn't care that it was Christmas or if there was snow on the ground and I would rather sleep in; they needed to be fed and there was always something that needed to be done.

For as long as I can remember, we had some role in hay season. Hay season was great because three generations of my family were able to work side by side and have a great time. That's really what farming is all about. Family. It's also about producing food, but the necessary ingredient is the people.

We need to invest in the future. Preventing kids from learning how to work on the farm not only takes away an opportunity to learn about hard work and responsibility, but also hurts the future of farming. Needless to say, I think they did the right thing by getting rid of those proposed rules!

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