From the Christian Science Monitor:

As he watched his 10-year-old son ease a tractor across a soybean field, Dennis Mosbacher acknowledged the risks of farming.

But Mr. Mosbacher said the US Labor Department was misguided in its attempts to protect children from farm accidents and he's relieved the agency dropped its plans this spring and has promised not to take up the matter again.

"You can't make a rule to stop every accident," Mosbacher said after his son Jacob hopped off the 40-year-old, 60-horsepower tractor at their farm near the tiny southern Illinois town of Fults. "There's always a risk in life, no matter what you do."

Labor Department officials don't deny that, but they note that children performing farm work are four times more likely to be killed than those employed in all other industries combined.

Under the Labor Department's failed proposal, paid farm workers would have to be 16 to use power equipment, such as tractors. They would have to be 18 to work at grain elevators, silos and feedlots.

For more, see Child labor: Farming parents defend putting children to work