H-2A Program Final Rule Has Postive Revisions
Orwick: ‘If you were grazing with inside of a livestock facility or fence for half the year — you would not even be eligible to hire a herder. So we were able to share with the department that fences are much more common today —no matter where you are in the West — than they were fifty years ago. They agreed to drop that as well.”
Although the proposed tripling of herders’ monthly wages was not moved forward, there will be an increase to those in mountain states that will be tied to the minimum federal wage.
Orwick: “At the end of the day we have a wage increase that we are dealing with but we were able to keep nearly all the special procedures — like mobile housing, annual visas — things that have made our program work for fifty or sixty years. They were all retained. In the larger view, we get to keep the program. It doesn’t without cost. We probably have one of the most legal work forces in American agriculture. But it costs. We have a lot of paper work and costs to be sure our workforce is legal and documented.”