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 ...
Twelve and thirteen year old are allowed to work UNLIMITED hours? We are living in a world gone mad. I may never eat another berry again!
Federal agencies that should be terminated to save money have a way of identifying themselves.
Well, obviously those greedy rich Republicans who run the executive branch have no regard for the rights of children!
I love sarcasm....
I grew up on a family farm. Cotton, wheat and cattle.
I was driving a tractor by the time I was 10. My grandmother taught me to hoe cotton by the time I was that age. We all worked.
It did not hurt me a bit. But the labor laws would not apply, we did not get paid but we helped the family make a living.
When I was young and needing to raise money for school I was happy to find people who wanted to pay me for unlimited time.
After growing up in the the South Carolina lowcountry, count me as unmoved by ABC’s phony outrage.
Just doing the jobs Adult Americans refuse to do.
Ever been on a farm.....you start at dawn...then come in for breakfast....go back to work, come in for lunch, and maybe a nap, then depending upon the time of year, you are done, or you go back out and work until dinner....Agriculture is NOT like working in an office....and there’s NOTHINg wrong with kids working...in fact, it is preferable if you ask me to sitting them down for 6 hours in indoctrination centers.
I know how these labor guys work. It happened to us once and now we don’t allow women to bring their children. It isn’t against the law if the children are on the perimeter of the field but if they enter it for any reason you can get fined.
So what happened was a kid was following his mother and they were going to fine us. My husband refused and they said we had to file reports every month and my husband refused and they eventually went away and left us alone.
Just recently they showed up again. Their complaint is that the crew that is working for us is coming in a van and there are too many people riding in the van and if they get in an accident on the way to work we are going to be responsible. My husband said that we would then see them in court.
A little hard work never hurt anybody.
A TOTALLY different situation and you know it. You were helping out on the farm. You were not part of a slave labor. This farm should have been fined one million dollars as far as I am concerned. It is ridiculous to have children doing this type of work. These kids are forced to do this. I would guess if you refused that you would have gotten out of it, but you loved your grandparents so you helped out........TOTALLY DIFFERENT SCENARIO.
That was the original reason for school being out during the summer months, so that the kids could do farm work. I am sure you already know that. Even during school months, children had to do their chores after school. Plants, insects, and animals don't care a thing about school. They have to be cared for regardless.
I'm sorry but allowing 12 year olds to work unlimited hours sounds like slavery to me. I wonder how much these children are paid?
I'm sorry but allowing 12 year olds to work unlimited hours sounds like slavery to me. I wonder how much these children are paid?
Never hurt me or my siblings, we hated field work, soon as we were able we got out of it and went on to other things. But a work ethic installed at an early age to earn your keep and work for what you get is likely the best gift parents can bestow on their children.
Then the adult Americans collecting government assistance ought to be doing it.
They don't know how to do anything. They have to be taught to do the simplest of things. They can't add, subtract, multiply or divide. They are lazy and fat.
They needed to have worked when they were 10 or 11 and continued to work until they became adults so they would know how to work and be of value.
They fed us well and we all had a lot of fun. Little did we know that we were part time slaves.
Where was OSHA when I needed them? LOL
Hey, there’s some jobs that their small finfers are ideally suited for. They can pick the berry but not hurt the plant.
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.
I worked in the fields picking strawberries when I was six to 16. I was so happy when I made money at minimum wage in the cannery, instead of 2 dollars for a whole days work. My parents would have been arrested by the fascists—so would have Lincoln’s parents, and Ben Franklin’s, and Edison’s and John Adams, ETC.
Child Labor laws were created to destroy the family and make children useless to the parents—drive the Marxist wedge, so to say to give the state power over children.
In the Underground History of American Education, John Taylor Gatto explains it this way.....self esteem was created in families who worked together. They taught young children how to work the farm and gain life saving skills, which builds true self-esteem because they felt needed and important to the family. Was it hard? Yes, but it was good experience and good exercise and great for building character and reducing pride—the downfall of so many people and relationships now a days.
Schools were set up to create “group think”. To kill individualism. To humiliate the exceptional. To infantilize children—make them dependent on permission from an adult for everything. Dewey was a socialist—(Father of our American Education system in the 30’s)—He set it up to create little useful idiots who weren’t like Edison, Wright bros. etc.
Gatto explains it beautifully, although it is a little long to wade through....it is free online.
They learned by doing—the best method for learning is experience—and they learned endurance and an appreciation for things. They had great respect for just the every day food on the table because they understood how hard it was to put it there. They appreciated the hard work and suffering the parents went through to make ends meet. They hardly wasted any time. Free time was precious.
I learned to love life and appreciate all the good times and fun. Hard work is what builds character and it is what builds integrity and respect for oneself and others. It teaches “life is not all about me”—creates unselfish, thankful children.
Yes, child abuse is not good, but having children work when young was how children (prior to Dewey and the socialism of the 60;s) were raised. And there was a big difference on working on the farm and working in the India rug weaving factories or China.
But then—life is hard and the Marxists want an “easy” “lazy” childhood for our children, so they are fat and stupid, can not care for themselves, and have no perseverance, are lazy, and are selfish, like drug addicts and the worthless ACORN thugs. They have so much free time to get into trouble and hang out with “peers” who don’t have knowledge to impart or skills to impart like the family does.
Most children in pre-60’s America worked and helped in stores and were the better for it. It wasn’t child abuse.....They were much more educated and intelligent than today’s children. They memorized the Declaration of Independence and knew how to diagram sentences, do calculus, and knew geography. They had so much more “common sense” which only comes from doing things, and going through hardships, and having relationship with family who care about what they are learning.
Most children weren’t abused—But TODAY the state would take Ben Franklin away from his parents. Back then it would have been so unconstitutional they never broached the subject. Just another example of the State interfering with parent’s duty—to destroy family. My father worked very hard on a farm being the only boy with hundreds of cows and he was intelligent and started his own business after serving in WWII and he was very successful. He was so independent—(Marxists really hated him—he hated Unions).
Dad had common sense—acquired by hard work—working with his hands, learning about nature, recognized liars/Marxists....He learned perseverance-—the one quality which determines the successful adult. He was almost killed in a car accident when he was almost 50—almost lost his business because he was in a hospital bed for almost a year of his life in traction. He was in tremendous pain for the rest of his life—but he built his business back up—and never complained even though his crushed hip made him limp for the rest of his life. Never went into debt for anything. Lived to be 87 and left over a million dollars to his children.
Those kind of people are not being allowed to be raised anymore....the State doesn’t want men like my father. They want to destroy people of honor and character, who do their duty to their family. Those type of people don’t want nanny government telling them what to do and interfering with their families.
I like strawberries and I like kids.
My kids (younger than 12) couldn’t wait for the berry crop to be ready to harvest. They loved the money, but even more, loved eating all the strawberries they could hold. It was great experience and they look back on it fondly.
My grandparents farmed wheat, peas, pinto beans, green beens, and the neighbor who owned 2000 acres paid $1 per crate, and we would work all day for about $5. Finally by age 9, I saved enough to buy a $26 TV (new), and a fishing pole from the local hardware store. Then by age 10 I was driving a combine, harvesting about 30 acres per day, or moving about 50 acres of irrigation pipe and paying payrol income taxes. I’ve never been on unemployment, or welfare, and picking berries was my first step to being a responsible taxpayer. This ‘government fine’ is an attack on American family values, and is completely outrageous.
If the kids were missing out on school, they should be fined to the hilt but since this was during the summer, the Feds should butt out and let the parents make the decision about what kind of work (if any) their children should do during the summer.
From reading the article, it seems that these youngsters were subcontracted employees of their picker-parents, rather than hired hands of the farmers.
Let’s find out to whom the checks were written.
Benefits to the parents are two fold: increased earnings with no increase in their toiling; and no child care outlay...and the farmer takes it in shorts when the inspectors arrive.
Next step: parents sue the farmer for “exploiting” them.
I'm guessing, too, but based upon some knowlege of similar cases: a refusal would have gotten TF an @ss whopping, and he would have also still done the work...and kept at it until finished.
This story was ridiculous. Look at the comment section, I am sure it was not what they expected. Think!!! Allowed, which means they are NOT forced.
Sorry, but I don’t agree. I was 9 mucking stalls all morning, feeding the horses, etc. and I didn’t even get paid, I got to ride, 8hr day and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. My own sons, worked a neighbors farm, picking rocks out of the pastures and building and fixing fences.
I wonder if the government is worried about kids getting Carpal Tunnel Syndrome from playing video games all day!