The American-based Cultivate Safety project supported by the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association sets out guidelines for farmers on what jobs their kids should and shouldn’t be doing on the farm.
On its website, cultivatesafety.org, the project lists recommendations for the earliest age at which children should be allowed to start doing specific jobs.
6 and under: Children should not do any work on the farm
Ages 7-9: Bending, hand weeding, hand-harvesting, lifting, picking rocks, and working outdoors.
Ages 10-11: Climbing (up grain bins for example), feeding hay to livestock, feeding milk to calves, and working with pigs or with poultry.
Ages 12-13: Cleaning calf pens/hutches, composting, detasseling corn, operating a lawn mower or pressure washer, pruning dwarf trees, pruning vines, repairing fences, trimming Christmas trees, using a barn cleaner, using farmstead equipment, and working with large animals.
Ages 14-15: Cleaning grain bins, cleaning service alleys, composting, connecting and disconnecting implements, facing silage from a bunker, fieldwork with an implement, haying operations, horses and trailed implements, milking cows in a parlour, milking cows using a pipeline, moving large round bales, operating a tractor, refueling equipment, spreading solid manure, unloading grain and silage, using a front-end loader, and working with irrigation systems.
Age 16: Operating a skid steer, driving a utility task vehicle, driving an ATV, piloting a drone, and using self-propelled equipment.