Tag Archives: fencing

the value of work

So, how familiar are my TexasNorth peeps with the MCL Act of 1978, particularly Section 409.119? 

I’ll give you a minute.

While you’re pondering, lemme tell you a story.

Mister Ron is a farmer.  Easily in his 70s, the man can walk 40-acres of fence-line, hand-write an estimate, and be home in time to put up 500 acres of hay.  He’s also the president of the Ionia County Fair Board, an MSU graduate, and an Angus farmer.  He doesn’t mess around.

I’d tell you he can beat me in the 100-yard dash but that doesn’t really differentiate him from any other human being or land-animal now, does it?  No.

Mister Ron, his son, his nephew, and their sons have put in all of our fencing to date.  I am thankful for the decades they have added to our family time by finishing in 2 days what would take Curt years to do alone.  It’s money well spent.  This May, Mister Ron’s crew will outline the remainder of TexasNorth with high tensile fencing and the cows will literally head out to the Back 40.  (I’ve talked about our fencing before HERE.)  As he was walking the line with Curt, he told him this (brief, in true Ron Fashion) story:

I was putting up fence at the college last summer and the boys (the grandsons and great-nephews, ages 13-15) were out helping run wire and pound nails in.  I was sitting in the pick-up checking my notes when I noticed a sheriff’s cruiser pulling up alongside me. He got out and said he was following up on a couple of complaints concerning “young children out working in the hot sun.”  So I smiled and said, “Well, sure!  It’s their choice!  I’m payin’ ’em!  You want them to stay inside and do nothin’ all day?”  And then I looked at the sheriff and realized he wasn’t kidding.  It ended well, but it was not a pleasant visit.

I KNOW.  Hang on.

Now.  Back to the MCL Act 90.  I called in TexasNorth’s friend Megan, our expert witness and collaborator in all areas legal and accounting.  She monitors our blog-content for fact and mirth.  This is what she tells me and this is what I believe:

According to MCL Act 90 of 1978 Sec. 409.119 certain activities are exempt from the minimum age requirements for child labor. These exceptions include:

a) household chores,
b) newspaper delivery,
c) shoe shinning,
d) character building as part of a volunteer organization,
e) working for a parent in a family owned business
f) farming

…just to name a few. There is NO law to my knowledge that restricts a child from “working out in the sun”. That law would be unconstitutional on its face, but we’ll get to that in advanced con law.

So we are clear: he was not, absolutely and without question, breaking any laws.  No parenting laws, no legal laws, no ethical treatment of human being laws.  I just have to know, Folks.  Who the h to the ello called the cops on this man and what was in their sippy cup? Help me understand.  Tell me it was a misunderstanding so I don’t have to mourn the loss of humanity. 

Something.  Anything.  And then,

Tell me what you did for your first paycheck.