Now I know first-hand that farms can be a dangerous place, but for the most part... any problems that are occurring are possibly due to a lack of parenting and bad luck, but not a lack of laws and regulations. While I grew up around the farm (we don't currently live on a traditional farm), we currently live out in farm country on some acreage with neighbors who farm and we work with 4H kids, many of whom live on working farms and of all the things folks need on the farm, more government regulation ain't one of them... especially when it tells us how to raise our kids.
Life is always a risk, particularly if you're livin' it to the fullest extent. The only way to minimize it's risks to your kids is to raise 'em right. You need to be involved, you need to educate them... and as a college professor... I ain't talkin' bout schoolin'... I'm talkin' about parenting.
Every kid is different, and if you know your kids... you'll know their capabilities and limitations... and if you take the time... you'll teach them more than anyone or any institution ever will. I'm sure some city folks think we're nuts, but we're raisin' a country girl.
My daughter was riding motorcycles before she was born. She shot her first gun and was zoomin' around the field out back on a go-cart by the time she was five. She was given her first rifle at seven... a pistol and a dirtbike at eight... we let her drive and operate the John Deere diesel tractor at twelve... and when it was time for her temporary driving permit... she took the test for both her driving and motorcycle permits the same day and now has her license with a motorcycle endorsement at sixteen... but that still doesn't mean she hops on the motorcycle and heads out wherever she wants, whenever she wants.
Now I know not every kid is ready for things at the same time or a specific age, but that's where parenting... not the government comes in. My main gal and I are both parents and professional educators, so education is in our blood. We try to teach our daughter everything we can and things we don't know... we learn or seek out ways to learn. While I taught my little gal to ride a motorcycle, we also took her to Honda's Dirtbike School to learn more and when she was old enough for a license, she went to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's Basic Rider Course.
4H Shooting Sports and NRA Basic Firearm courses have supplemented our raisin' and teachin' our little gal in the proper and safe use of firearms... all without the help of the government. Kids don't need regulations, they need parents and I truly am wary of the government as noted by a Senator from Kansas on this farm matter:
“The consequences of the things that you put in your regulations lack common sense... And in my view, if the federal government can regulate the kind of relationship between parents and their children on their own family’s farm, there is almost nothing off-limits in which we see the federal government intruding in a way of life.” ~Senator Jerry Moran (R) of Kansas.
So parents... raise your kids... and as far as the government is concerned... to quote and paraphrase Clint Eastwood... GET OFF MY LAWN! GET OFF MY GUNS! GET OFF MY FREEDOMS! GET OFF MY RELIGION! GET OFF MY CHILDREN! ...and while you're at it... GET OFF MY FARM!