Governor Dave Heineman has an opinion of the latest Departmetn of Labor proposed Child Labor Changes "The Federal Government ought to rethink that regulation."
The changes would limit the way children 15 and under could work on farms. Changes include prohibiting them from standing on ladders over six feet tall and working machinery including battery operated screw drivers. They are all in the name of safety. "I'm going to speak to them tonight, I'll talk about that," said Heineman.
Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson spoke today. "I learned about agriculture by helping my dad on the farm growing up."
Agriculture teachers and Future Farmer Advisors also chimed in. "If we strip these students of the opportunity to be in production agriculture and learning by doing, then we are stripping them of the ability to learn, said Anita Wallenberg, Future Farmers of America Adviser."
Opponents say the changes could affect Future Farmers of America forever and possible eliminate one leg of the program. The one that gives students hands on experience. With four thousand FFA members in town for the state convention, it was not difficult to find opposition.
Jared Korth, FFA- "A lot of families are not that big and they don't have hired hands themselves so they need their children to help them on the farm," said Jared Korth, A Future Farmer of America Student.
"Passing these recent proposed child labor laws will also jeopardize Four-H, FFA, small towns and farming families,"
added Lexy Muesch, Future Farmers of America Student.
Heineman added, "They are the future of America. they're great kids, they're hard workers and I applaud them for that." The Department of Labor changes are scheduled to take affect this fall.