Farm Workforce Modernization Act Pt 1

Farm Workforce Modernization Act Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. As you’ve probably heard, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, bipartisan ag labor reform spearheaded by U.S. Representatives Dan Newhouse of Washington state and California Democrat Zoe Lofgren, passed a House vote last week.

Newhouse says the bill addresses critical ag labor needs …

NEWHOUSE … “Delighted to be able to be part of an effort to streamline the H-2A Program, to put some certainty in our labor force, not just for farmers but for farm workers. You know, it’s a culmination of a lot of work over the last nine months on the part of a lot of people.”

But while these changes have to be addressed, Newhouse was careful to point out this is just the first step …

NEWHOUSE … “An important step, getting it off the House floor, but now goes to the Senate where we’ve been engaged with committee staff over there as well as some members, making sure that they are aware of some of the things we would like to see improved upon. And, hopefully, they will take up the issue as soon as possible so that we can get it to the president for his signature and it becomes law.”

Newhouse says it’s been a long time coming and he’s very excited to be a part of the process …

NEWHOUSE … “It’s been since 1986 that major changes have been made to our ag labor laws and it definitely needed modernizing and update and we need a program that’s more responsive to the needs of American agriculture.”

Newhouse says the bill will establish a program for ag workers to earn legal status in the U.S., needed reforms to the H-2A program, and a mandatory, nationwide E-Verify system for all ag employment.

Listen tomorrow for more.

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