Viewers Respond to Kids Working on the Farm

December 22, 2016 01:42 PM

U.S. Farm Report host Tyne Morgan’s commentary about kids working on the farm struck a chord with viewers. We had one of the largest responses ever to a commentary on a show. This week we wanted to share the responses.

We had a few critical emails, including this one from Jan in Illinois:

"It is a disappointment you missed an opportunity to emphasize farm safety for children by changing the commentary into parental rights. Any 8 year old, yours, mine or someone else's, should not be put in danger. It goes against the machinery recommendations and common sense for a child of that age to be driving that much horse power. There are plenty of safer ways to learn work ethic on (and off) farms."

And James Knight of Michigan agrees:

"I'm not sure if this is a Generational difference, or the lack of thought of what could happen with a child in control of Farm machinery. There may be exceptions for every family, that feel its OK. However, the Lady in Iowa has probably seen her share of tragic incidences. So I stand with her. Why take the risk?"

Overall, the responses were positive. Susan Spencer says:

"If we criticize farmers for allowing their sons and daughters to contribute we are truly ignorant of the values they live by."

Dan Starr emailed saying:

“Your comments about the "Picture of the Little Boy" was not only refreshing to here, But I believe it is the sentiment of most of the "fly over country." 

Joe emailed in with this:

"If you're not comfortable allowing your kids to experience new things then don't watch. Kids are going to want to try new things, especially when they are raised on a farm. I believe that I became a much better worker and more conscious of my surroundings when I was operating farm equipment. It's not necessarily a bad thing for a kid to WANT to learn how things work and then be able to learn hands on. How else are they going to learn. Don't blast a caring, and loving parent for showing their children the ropes of farming. It's a lifelong lesson that carries over into adulthood."

And Mickey commented on Facebook saying:

“It's not age, it's the maturity of the young person. Some children are ready at a younger age than others. And responsible parents know the difference in their children who are ready and those that are not. And also they know the difference in the difficulty of the machines and the environment in which they are to be operating"

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Spell Check

Kate Burke
Visalia, CA
12/24/2016 06:08 PM

  Darling Hubby Ron grew up on a Nebraska farm in the 1940s & 50s. He told me so many tales, I turned them into the BLUE RIVER BOY series on Kindle. He got hurt more often playing football with his friends than working under his dad's supervision. That hard farm work made him independent and ingenious, as well as resourceful, meticulous and careful. It is so much a part of who he is now, I am grateful to his parents and grandparents for how they raised him alongside them. I would never tell a farmer s/he couldn't work with a son or daughter.

Edward Smalley
Salem, IL
12/27/2016 03:40 PM

  Coming in late on the issue of Children working on the farm. As a U of I grad in Ag Ed some 40 years ago, I have watched farms get bigger and Ag Ed classes virtually disappear. The uninformed public, who seldom has any more skin in the game than an opinion will wonder what happened when the lack of a trained, prepared workforce catches up to the reality of the farm situation. Moral of the story "don't pass judgement on something that you don't understand and critize a way of life tha has been going on since the Mayflour". If the country is lucky it will remain the same enough that there will continue to be a sufficient number of young people interested and trained to meet the need of US agriculture in the future. Better say a prayer on that last part too.

Annandale , MN
12/22/2016 02:36 PM

  I was in a tractor cab doing work by the time I was 8 and by 10 I was plowing fields,there is Nothing wrong with teaching kids work ethic and responsibility. Better than the worthless kids they are raising these days. When an employer looks and sees you are a Mn Farm boy you get hired immediately.


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