Vilsack In Seattle & Raisin Labor Shortage

Vilsack In Seattle & Raisin Labor Shortage

Vilsack In Seattle & Raisin Labor Shortage plus Food Forethought. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Northwest Report.

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack is in Seattle today to advance the nation’s biofuels industry toward developing regional, renewable energy markets, generating rural jobs, and decreasing America’s dependence on foreign oil. Vilsack will also highlight how President Obama’s American Jobs Act will strengthen the economy in Washington state and the Pacific Northwest.

We have not seen a lot of labor issues in the last couple of years in the Pacific Northwest but down in California the raisin industry is being affected. And according to Manuel Cunha, Farmers League President, the reason is the drug cartels in Mexico.

CUNHA: It has become a real difficult issue for for families to try to come up here and work and knowing the danger. And the danger is real. You are talking about human beings; innocent people that work hard in our industry and other industry but are being apprehended by drug cartel and they have to haul drugs; if they don’t they kill their family members.

The few workers that are picking are demanding more money and many farmers feel like they are being held hostage.

Now with today’s Food Forethought, here’s Lacy Gray.

In two national surveys about how food is grown and raised consumers report that they often think about how their food is produced but feel disconnected when it comes to knowing just how that food actually makes it from the farm to the dinner table. Consumers also voiced concerns on issues relating to animal care and environmental stewardship. Not surprisingly, farmers and ranchers are in complete agreement when it comes to sharing the same values and concerns in those areas. The over all consensus from these surveys is that consumers want to know more about food production, farmers and ranchers want consumers to be more knowledgable about where their food comes from, but neither are really sure on what would be the correct way to make that happen. That’s where The Food Dialogues come in; a Town Hall Facebook discussion, which started last week in four cities across the country, is designed to allow farmers, and ranchers to address consumer questions and concerns about our nation’s food production. Hopefully, it is just the start of cooperative communication between consumers and food producers.

Thanks Lacy. That’s today’s Northwest Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network. 

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