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Who's Picking Your Berries? Feds Find Young Children on Strawberry Farms (Amish?)
abc ^ | 11 Aug | Avni Patel

Posted on 08/11/2011 3:42:35 PM PDT by flowerplough

(Or just some other kinda ordinary farm kids? My brothers and I dairied well over 40 hours a summer week when we were still in elementary school.)

Nearly two years after ABC News cameras uncovered young children toiling away in Michigan's blueberry fields, federal investigators have found yet another disturbing example of illegal use of child labor in the berry industry.

Three southwest Washington strawberry growers were fined $73,000 last week after the U.S. Department of Labor found children between the ages of six and 11 working in their strawberries fields in June.

While an exemption in the federal child labor law allows 12- and 13-year-olds to work for unlimited hours on large agricultural operations, children under the age of 12 are strictly prohibited from working under similar conditions.

Andrea Schmitt, an attorney with Columbia Legal Services in Olympia, said that the low wages made by workers in the Northwest berry industry are a key factor driving young kids into the fields. She said that berry pickers, who are usually paid a piece rate instead of an hourly wage, often struggle to make the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

(Excerpt) Read more at abcnews.go.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Food; Gardening; Government
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 08/11/2011 3:42:36 PM PDT by flowerplough
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To: flowerplough

Picking my own (with a little help from two daughters). Blackberries, Rasberries and Huckleberries. Huckleberry makes a good jelly, The Ras and black are going combined into pies.


2 posted on 08/11/2011 3:44:15 PM PDT by Grunthor (Faster than the speed of smell.)
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To: flowerplough
She said that berry pickers, who are usually paid a piece rate instead of an hourly wage, often struggle to make the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour....

So they take their kids to work with them? That's my suspicion.

3 posted on 08/11/2011 3:45:17 PM PDT by Rio
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To: flowerplough

The local creepy guy stated:

“I used to ride my bike to the berry farm on summer mornings to do exactly that.”

Parents are united in keeping this fellow out of the berry fields.


4 posted on 08/11/2011 3:45:24 PM PDT by humblegunner (The kinder, gentler version...)
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To: flowerplough

Where are these poor kid’s parents? Oh, that’s right! The parents are the ones making them pick the berries. The only villans in the article are the companies...


5 posted on 08/11/2011 3:50:17 PM PDT by Onelifetogive (I tweet, too... @Onelifetogive)
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To: flowerplough

The liberals want these kids in school so they can learn the proper way to put on a condom.


6 posted on 08/11/2011 3:51:04 PM PDT by Realman30 ("I've already made a donation to Haiti. It's called taxes". . . . El Rushbo.)
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To: flowerplough

WOW. Kids working in the fields in the summer, instead of TV and video games. The horror!
Good lord. Maybe is was just California but everyone I knew picked berries in the summer for a few extra dollars.


7 posted on 08/11/2011 3:52:15 PM PDT by svcw (democrats are liars, it's a given)
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To: flowerplough
U.S. Department of Labor found children between the ages of six and 11 working in their strawberries fields in June.

Nothing to get hung about.

8 posted on 08/11/2011 3:53:08 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Onelifetogive

Really? You don’t think...the parents have any skin in the game here?


9 posted on 08/11/2011 3:53:15 PM PDT by Osage Orange (HE HATE ME)
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To: flowerplough

Oh heck! Picking berries and cherries were great summer kid jobs when I was growing up. It was especially funny the first day because you could eat all you wanted, and you could always depend on some kid eating until he puked.

It wasn’t a lot of money, but it was something to do and it kept you busy during the boring part of summer. Plus all the movies, soda and comic books...

I miss those days.


10 posted on 08/11/2011 3:56:00 PM PDT by Ronin (Obamanation has replaced Bizarroworld as the most twisted place in the universe.)
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To: flowerplough

I use to take my grandkids to the strawberry farm to pick. They loved it and I was ready to leave before they were..got to eat all the strawberrys they wanted....It took a lot of quarts to make 4 batches of jam plus strawberry shortcake...


11 posted on 08/11/2011 3:58:06 PM PDT by goat granny
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To: flowerplough

Growing up in Tacoma WA in the 1960s picking Strawberries was a great way for us kids to earn summer money. You had to be 12 with signed permission from you parents is all. The “Strawberry bus” would pick kids up at a stop two blocks away from my home and take us to the Puyallup Valley, where we would get paid by the flat, so the amount you made depended on how hard you worked. It was great fun, and I always had enough after each day of picking to buy a new plastic model, a bag of candy, and have some left over to save for our family vacation to Disneyland.

Leave it to the Government to call it an abuse of child labor.


12 posted on 08/11/2011 4:00:04 PM PDT by NavyCanDo
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To: flowerplough
I picked apples when I was very little...sold strawberries at the end of our road....

why can't kids work?...especially picking blueberries.....its not like we're asking them to work with heavy machinery....

13 posted on 08/11/2011 4:00:58 PM PDT by cherry
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To: flowerplough

Obamaville
Even children are slaves to the system.


14 posted on 08/11/2011 4:02:41 PM PDT by mnehring
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To: Rio
we picked "drops" for cider when we were kids....all of us would go up with Mom and Dad...we'd pick apples that had fallen off the trees but were still in good condition...not too many mice bites or smashed up....we got paid about $.12 a crate .....a CRATE....

one weekend, with all of us working, the family made about $35 !....of course that was when work and money meant something....

15 posted on 08/11/2011 4:04:17 PM PDT by cherry
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To: cherry
we got paid about $.12 a crate .....a CRATE...

Two words for you:

Crack & Meth

Bruised fruit... not so much if you want to make money.

16 posted on 08/11/2011 4:09:02 PM PDT by humblegunner (The kinder, gentler version...)
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To: flowerplough

Don’t tell anybody, but I paid my cousin’s six-year-old $10 to pick my green beans. She was so excited and couldn’t wait to go to the bank and put it in her account!


17 posted on 08/11/2011 4:10:01 PM PDT by goodwithagun (My gun has killed fewer people than Ted Kennedy's car.)
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To: NavyCanDo

When I was a kid in California they would delay the start of school in the fall until the prune harvest was in.


18 posted on 08/11/2011 4:11:18 PM PDT by WestwardHo
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To: flowerplough

As I recall from my, in retrospect, childhood in Elysium; picking strawberries was like therapy after WEEDING half an acre of them.


19 posted on 08/11/2011 4:21:45 PM PDT by nkycincinnatikid
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To: cherry

Picking up drops....ah, the memories. My family owned an apple orchard. It wasn’t bad work if one could avoid the yellowjackets, snakes, and kneeling on the really squishy apples.


20 posted on 08/11/2011 4:25:09 PM PDT by FourPeas ("Maladjusted and wigging out is no way to go through life, son." -hg)
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To: dfwgator

No one I think is in my tree.


21 posted on 08/11/2011 4:35:04 PM PDT by posterchild
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To: flowerplough

If school is out, why not? Or is this a nannyism?

One again, ABC goes for the low hanging fruit.


22 posted on 08/11/2011 4:43:14 PM PDT by cicero2k
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To: flowerplough

I wish, as a child, I was picking strawberries instead of my many other chores.

And no, there was NO allowance given in my household. Chores, no matter how hard, were apart of life.

I had to start doing my own laundry when I was 10.....WITH NO PAY. They would probably have my Aunt arrested in today’s culture.


23 posted on 08/11/2011 4:53:06 PM PDT by NoGrayZone ("Islamophobia: The irrational fear of being beheaded." Andrew Klavan of PJTV)
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To: dfwgator
Nothing to get hung about.

It's only nothing to get hung about if it's forever. For five years, ages 6-11, you get hung to the tune of $73,000.

24 posted on 08/11/2011 4:54:30 PM PDT by FredZarguna (That is, you know you can't, tune in, but it's all right. That is, I think it's not too bad.)
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To: flowerplough

I just purchased some Michigan blueberries. Terrific! better than NJ’s this year.


25 posted on 08/11/2011 4:57:11 PM PDT by free me (Sarah Palin 2012 - GAME ON!!)
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To: NavyCanDo

5 cents/quart. 34-40 quarts a day. If the government can do anything about using kids age 6-11 retroactively, I’d like to have all of the Junes from 1960-1965 back, with interest.


26 posted on 08/11/2011 4:58:34 PM PDT by FredZarguna (That is, you know you can't, tune in, but it's all right. That is, I think it's not too bad.)
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To: flowerplough

No one ever says anything about the child labor in the Girl Scouts who are encouraged to sit at card tables outside supermarkets during February and March every year hawking their terrible cookies. The money raised selling these cookies goes to the council and then a few bucks are sent back to the troop. My daughter and all of the girls in her troop sold GS cookies for years and their troop never got much back. Because I believed my daughter was basically raising money for the muckety-mucks, I called the headquarters and asked for the salaries of the people in charge and they refused to tell me.


27 posted on 08/11/2011 5:05:31 PM PDT by FrdmLvr (culture, language, borders)
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To: flowerplough

When I lived in Anderson County (TX) there were several You-pick fruit farms. In the summer (when the fruit was ripe and the days were hot) I would take my sons to these farms and we would pick fruit — blueberries, peaches, plums, and blackberries.

We would pick all day. My kids would be exhausted by the end of the day. On the drive home, I would ask them if they had fun. I would always get pretty much the same answer — “It was okay for a day, but I’d had to do it for a living.” And I’d always say, “that’s why you want to work hard at school. So you can do better than find a job picking fruit.”

It must have stuck. Two are now engineers (and EITs) and the third is a sophomore in Mechanical Engineering.

(Didn’t hurt that when my wife canned the fruit we picked, she made them help. Same comment — fun for a few days, but you’d hate to do that for a living. But I miss those days now that I am in the Houston area.)


28 posted on 08/11/2011 5:14:22 PM PDT by No Truce With Kings (Ten years on FreeRepublic and counting.)
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To: FrdmLvr

Kids picking strawberries is a natural. The berries are low to the ground and so are the kids. Better than raising couch potatoes.


29 posted on 08/11/2011 5:15:46 PM PDT by varina davis (Life is not a dress rehearsal)
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To: flowerplough

WoW! I picked blueberry’s in Michigan as an 11 year old.............. it never hurt me. In fact, I enjoyed spending the money I earned.


30 posted on 08/11/2011 5:49:27 PM PDT by Sarajevo (Is it true that cannibals don't eat clowns because they taste funny?)
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To: WestwardHo

“”When I was a kid in California they would delay the start of school in the fall until the prune harvest was in.””

Prune harvest? You have to be kidding!!!


31 posted on 08/11/2011 6:06:30 PM PDT by Thank You Rush
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To: dfwgator

It doesn’t really matter much at all


32 posted on 08/11/2011 6:11:08 PM PDT by maine yankee (I got my Governor at 'Marden's')
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To: cicero2k

The reason our school system was set up as it is(summers off) was to allow children to work on the family farm.

It wasn’t until after the wars did we start referring to it as summer vacation.

Here in Maine, the school systems in many areas still close for a week in the late fall for potato harvest.

(Mainers,chech my tag)


33 posted on 08/11/2011 6:17:08 PM PDT by maine yankee (I got my Governor at 'Marden's')
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To: Thank You Rush

Prune harvest? You have to be kidding!!!

Nope. The area around Santa Rosa was all prune orchards...a really sweet, juicy plum. In the fall they would shake the trees and collect the prune plums.
The orchards have been replaced by neighborhoods, or wineries.


34 posted on 08/11/2011 6:18:28 PM PDT by WestwardHo
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To: Thank You Rush

Prune harvest? You have to be kidding!!!

Nope. The area around Santa Rosa was all prune orchards...a really sweet, juicy plum. In the fall they would shake the trees and collect the prune plums.
The orchards have been replaced by neighborhoods, or wineries.


35 posted on 08/11/2011 6:18:37 PM PDT by WestwardHo
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