H-2A Visa Requests Up and Veterinary Mental Health
**Nearly 34-thousand positions were requested through the H-2A temporary ag worker program in the first quarter of fiscal year 2018, the highest ever for October-through-December and a near 17 percent increase over the same quarter the previous year.
According to Agri-Pulse, the number of workers certified through the H-2A program has doubled over the past five years, but what's driving the trend is less than clear.
American Farm Bureau Federation economist, Veronica Nigh attributes the increase in visas to a lack of domestic labor.
**Merck Animal Health has announced the results of a large, well-controlled study with veterinarians designed to quantify the prevalence of mental illness and stress in the veterinary profession compared to previous studies and the general U.S. population.
Agweb.com reports, the study found veterinarians age 45 and younger are more likely to experience serious psychological distress and only 27 percent of them would endorse the profession to a friend or family member.
Depression at 94%, burnout, 88% and anxiety 83%, are the most frequently reported conditions.
**U.S. beef, pork, dairy and poultry groups are applauding introduction of bipartisan legislation in the U.S. Senate that would prevent farms, ranches, and other agricultural operations from having to report livestock manure data under Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act.
As reported in Agwired.com, the law governs toxic Superfund sites used primarily to clean hazardous waste sites but also includes a mandatory federal reporting component.