Debbie Mosbacher said the proposed federal rules didn't reflect the reality on farms, where children grow up understanding the dangers and are eased into risky chores.
She noted that for Jacob, that meant riding on the tractor in his father's lap when he was 4 and feeding livestock when the cattle still towered over him. Last year, he started driving the riding lawnmower.
When it comes to farm kids pitching in, "a lot of times, yes, it's a necessity," she said. "A 10-year-old may not be able to load a 70-pound bale. But everyone's got a job to do, and if you wait until they're 18 to teach them it won't be something that's instinctive in them."
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