By - April 25, 2012

NRLB To End Detasseling For Teenagers? A Must Read Update

How many of us detasseled corn when we were 13 or older?  I did, and it was an experience that helped me, even if it only lasted 2 weeks.  I grew up helping out on the family farm, pulling weeds from bean fields, tossing hay and alfalfa bales around on wagons, and laying irrigation pipes.  All of that was physically demanding but good work, it taught me the value of work and the value of working as a family unit.

Detasseling was demanding, not as physically demanding as other farm jobs I had done but a test of endurance as the days were long but rewarding.  Unlike the family farm, detasseling was my first experience working for a real employer and not having the protection of my family there with me.  I learned how to work hard for an unrelated employer and how to deal with other kids, some nice and easy to get along with…another, as big as Arnold Schwarzenegger, dumb as a rock and not a guy you wanted to have his mischievous eyes on.  I was not unnoticed, but I learned how to get around that behemoth of man, (who is probably just getting out of prison now, he had his trouble with the law).  It was during this 2 week period I got to experience the songs from Van Halen (yes, this was many years ago, Van Halen was relatively new to the Rock scene), the high schools kids were playing the new album in the back of the bus.

It was a good experience and this was during a time when kids did hard work, and there were not as many obese kids out there.  There was a lot of scrawny strong kids out there though.

Today because of the wonders of technology, many of the jobs I did as a kid no longer exist.  Machines do much of the work I used to do, with the exception of detasseling.

Enter the NRLB (National Relations Labor Board).  This is the entity who is famous for stopping Boeing from opening a aircraft plant in South Carolina because it was in a “Right to Work”state, which allows companies to be non-union if the laborers wish.  Let us not forget, the NRLB has Obama’s blessings for all it does.

The NRLB is evaluating a study from the National Ag Safety Database, which is studying the effects of farm work on children under 18 year of age.

It is believed that the NRLB will use this study to stop the use of young teenagers in farm work, outside the family.  This would directly impact the detasseling industry.  Dawn Buell with NATS (Not Afraid To Sweat) fears this will affect their detasseling business.

If this happens it will not only end the chance for young teenagers to make good money for good hard work, but will increase the cost of detasseling to both the detasseling business’s and the farmers.

With the NRLB involved they will probably require that detasseling be done by union work, with benefits and a retirement package, thus forcing this industry down the same hole the American auto industry is in.  Don’t worry though, the NRLB caused unemployed overweight public can bail this industry out just as we did the auto industry.

UPDATE:  Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis is putting the finishing touches on a new Child Labor regulation.  This regulation would affect farm children.  Children under the age of 18 would be restricted from the storing, marketing and transportation of farm products, this would prohibit farm children from being anywhere near grain elevators,  grain bins, silos, feed lots, stockyards, livestock exchanges and livestock auctions.

Not only would this negatively affect the farm parent’s, now having to hire work previously done by the children, it also negatively affects the children, first losing out on much needed  value of hard work and learning the in’s and out’s of a farm.

With that hard work comes a lot of family bonding, which would be taken away from these families by Obama’s Labor Department.  I remember, fondly my experiences taking corn or beans to the grain elevator, the hard work done in the livestock pins and the fun we had as a family during all those occasions.

Obama is threatening to take away the value of hard work from our children but also is threatening family cohesiveness as well.  Obama needs to keep his city-slicker, community agitating experience out of the farm and everybody else’s lives.

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Comments (1)


  1. Joel Torczon says:

    Yeah, those were the days when the kids would all hop onto the back of a pickup (I can hear some ACLU lawyer’s head slam against his chair in horror when I say this) to be driven over to some corn field for a long, hot day of detasseling while plodding through the fields that often were muddy from irrigation. Not the most fun but it was a way for kids to earn some bucks to buy a bike or clothes for school. No doubt the kids had to deal with the occasional knucklehead like the one who defecated into another kid’s lunch box when he wasn’t looking.

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