Maybe We’re in an Ag Bubble?

Chuck Zimmerman

In our latest ZimmPoll we asked the question “Do you think there is currently an “Ag Bubble?” It looks like most think so since 66% said Yes and 34% said No. That’s kind of a pessimistic outlook don’t you think? If you think we’re in a bubble please feel free to comment on why. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Our new ZimmPoll is now live. We’re asking the question, “How will proposed changes to child labor in agriculture regulations affect farms?” Last fall the Department of Labor proposed changes that many believe could have major impacts on family farms and farm life (proposed rule – pdf). At best it seems like there are some good intentions without careful consideration of the consequences and then there’s always that “how does the Dept. of Labor interpret the rules thing.” A public comment period ended on December 1, 2011.

Here’s some language about the proposed changes from an early news release:

The proposal would strengthen current child labor regulations prohibiting agricultural work with animals and in pesticide handling, timber operations, manure pits and storage bins. It would prohibit farmworkers under age 16 from participating in the cultivation, harvesting and curing of tobacco. And it would prohibit youth in both agricultural and nonagricultural employment from using electronic, including communication, devices while operating power-driven equipment.

The department also is proposing to create a new nonagricultural hazardous occupations order that would prevent children under 18 from being employed in the storing, marketing and transporting of farm product raw materials. Prohibited places of employment would include country grain elevators, grain bins, silos, feed lots, stockyards, livestock exchanges and livestock auctions.

ZimmPoll is sponsored by Rhea+Kaiser, a full-service advertising/public relations agency.