Farmers Disagree With Child-Labor Laws

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

child labor A six-year-old and a nine-year-old pick cotton at on a farm in West Texas in 1913. (Library of Congress)

The Takeaway has been talking about child labor in America this week, from paper routes to custodial work. Now, a look at the farm. Should children be restricted from doing certain kinds of agricultural work? The Department of Labor thinks so. In a new proposal, they are hoping to bar most farm hands younger than 16 years old from jobs such as driving tractors, rounding up cattle on horseback, and working on ladders over six feet high. Is the proposal in the best interest of the children, or going too far?

Cassie Chittenden is a 19-year-old college sophomore majoring in animal science at Cornell and a member of 4-H. She grew up doing farm work, and like her parents, she hopes to be a farmer someday.

Norma Flores López works for the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs as the director of the Children in the Fields Campaign. Up until eight years ago, she was a child farm worker. She thinks that some farm work is incredibly dangerous for children.


Cassie Chittenden and Norma Flores López

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