Skip to comments.Who's Picking Your Berries? Feds Find Young Children on Strawberry Farms
Posted on 08/11/2011 8:23:17 PM PDT by Melissa 24
Three southwest Washington strawberry growers were fined $73,000 last week after the U.S. Department of Labor found children between the ages of six and 11 working in their strawberries fields in June.
While an exemption in the federal child labor law allows 12- and 13-year-olds to work for unlimited hours on large agricultural operations, children under the age of 12 are strictly prohibited from working under similar conditions.
(Excerpt) Read more at abcnews.go.com ...
You bet I did. There were 7 of us (parents, grandparents, uncle and my bother and I) that worked together and ate 2 meals a day together. I could have thrown a rock and hit my grandparents home from our home. It was a great childhood. My brother and I had the run of the place when we were not in the field. We had a jeep that was "ours" and we hunted and fished a lot. We became great shots for quail and dove. We outshot most of the adults. Instinctive quail hunting is a reflex and you never forget it when you learn it.
When we were kids in boyscouts we spent a whole summer cutting and bailing hay and pulling poisonous weeds from a farmer’s pasture.
Our troop leaders called it the “Agriculture Merit Badge”
Hell - we didn’t even get paid!
thats “fingers”,, apparently whiskey affects my spelling. Odd,,,
That does sound like fun. However, these kids did not have that experience. I went to my Grandparents for two weeks in the Summer and picked strawberries and various other fruits and veggies. But it was a couple hours in the morning and then running around the property with friends. In the afternoon, we might go up and help Grandma “break’ the peas for an hour or so. This was a wonderful fun experience too. These kids in this story did not have that experience either.
You are completely misunderstanding the "unlimited hours" aspect. The reason that farm labor is deliberately unlimited is because sometimes, for very short bursts, there exists a need to go harvest stuff quickly. Food that is about to rot in the field can't wait for the same asshat bureaucratic rule-maker idiot to render a verdict. So farming families have a pass on the normal rules that encumber most other types of family businesses.
"Unlimited hours" doesn't mean that there's some jerk making kids work an infinite amount of time. It means literally what it says. It's not limited, in the passive voice sense. There is no idiot outsider who knows almost nothing about how food is pulled up out of the ground who is given power to direct how farm labor is applied.
I had working papers but no one would hire me. Babysitting was about it.
That lack of skill and education also means that you are probably one of the last people who should be trying to effect changes in the policies that direct how your food is provided to you.
I well remember when babies and young kids were pulled on cotton sacks as their mothers picked.
As kids we got out of school in the spring to work until crops were laid by. Went back to school until the fall, then back out to gather the crops in before winter.
And, it was not just for family farms, during cotton chopping, the contractor trucks would pick us up at 5 am. We worked ten hour days swinging a hoe for 50 cents an hour. It was just the way of life for us back then and was no big deal, didn’t like it, but we did what was expected of us to help out.
Once again, as I told one lazy 18 year old that he was a P---y. There were kids his same age getting killed, losing arms, legs and being horribly burned so he could be a lazy slug.
Did you even read the article. This is not working a family or neighbor family. This is commercial businesses who are forcing these kids to work the fields. Plus they are not even getting paid minimum wage. No wonder they got slapped with a fine.
Good that your kids are all pro and all that.
Not all families and all kids have that luxury. That's friggin' life.
My mom picked Cotton and soy beans in her childhood. It was tough on her. But she never saw herself as a poor abused baby.
No. She raised children who knew the value of work, and of education..we did not want to go where she had been.
So, some children have it hard...that's LIFE.
I should let my parents know that I was abused as a child! I wonder if I can collect any back pay? /s. I don’t remember getting paid for working in our garden, feeding cows, pigs and chickens. Abused, I tell ya!
The government says it hurts the kid’s backs to bend over and pick berries. I wonder if they care about the kids carrying book bags that give them back aches because the teachers give them so much homework?
When picking berries you get paid by the flat....the kids are helping their family earn money. I first did this when I was about 10 years old (my sister was 9, and my brother was 7).
YOU didn’t work until you were out of high school? You must have been RICH!
“ABC News Investigation: The Blueberry Children”
Oct. 30, 2009
The Obama administration's Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis, promised a crackdown on child labor violations after taking office.
This summer, labor inspectors cited blueberry growers in North Carolina, Arkansas and New Jersey for using children in their fields, with fines averaging $1,100 per child.
We need more Federal raids.
Strawberries? One neighbor raised them and had a very willing picking crew living next door too him. Nine kids IIRC who's parents were dirt poor and this meant money too the kids they could spend. Money their parents didn't have to give them. When crops came in farmers hired willing too work kids. Yes some parents FORCED their kids to go and work for Farmer Joe even as far as shoveling manure out of his barn. Others send their kids out with the tractor. When I lived in town parents sent kids out with push mowers to earn money. Unfortunately for me allergies kept me out of most farm work as a kid especially with hay and strawberries.
In my state I dare say a neighboring county known as the the tomato capitol uses kid labor for harvest time as well.
BTW my wife spent quite a few years of her childhood in the 50's and early 60's in southeastern Arkansas. One school field trip was a day of picking cotton in a local field. Yes they got paid by the farmer.
I picked beans and berries on farms and I’m better for it. Also mowed lawns scooped snow and split firewood; I don’t remember a gun to my head just money in my pocket.
When I was a child in grade school, and all grades, in up state Michigan, we were let out of school for two weeks in october for potato picking vacation..... and that is what we done, picked potatoes off the fields to go to market, and it did not hurt any one.... We picked cherries at a very young age, to earn money, and also strawberries paid by the quart, by the farmer, actually picking strawberries is not hard labor, especially as a small kid, close to the crop...
Picking berries is piece work and I don’t believe you could force a kid to work unless it was fair.
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