Rather than babysit to help pay for my horse, I had my own stall cleaning concession at age 12, with no ill effects. Today, my 12-hyear-old self could not work at my stable, and if planned Department of Labor regulations are approved, youth under age 16, and in some cases, under age 18 will be barred from many kinds of ranch and farm work.
Instead of anti-business blockades, let’s be proactive. Keep the 4-H tractor certificate as a qualification for young workers. Add the certification 4-H already has in place for horse care, handling, and riding as a prerequisite for work with horses. 4-H is a proven education program that gives youth the agricultural and equine safety skills they need.
Quit saying “no” to our young people. Instead say, “Yes, here is your chance to develop the entrepreneurial skills that can spur this country forward.” Today is the deadline for commenting on the DOL's proposal.