AFBF on Ag Labor Changes

AFBF on Ag Labor Changes

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Now that the wheels appear to be turning on trade deals, some of our attention is turning back to other important ag issues such as those dealing with labor.

American Farm Bureau Federation Communication’s Director, Terri Moore says legislation like the Farm Workforce Modernization Act is definitely a priority …

MOORE … “There’s legislation being discussed that we think could be stronger, so we’re doing a lot of work and really pushing for some revisions to it to really make it serve as well. We’re not going to get too many more bites at this apple.”

It’s a good bill, but Moore says there’s some tweaking to do …

MOORE … “So, the limit on the number of workers is a concern to us, the year-round workers. The wage issue is one where it’s hard for people to grasp, I think, until you think about the fact that if farmers here are forced to pay wages that are three, four, ten times than what is being paid in other countries, it makes it very, very hard for our own farmers to be competitive in our own country.”

Other details, Moore says …

MOORE … “And then, E-verify. Obviously, we’re supportive of E-verify, but first we need a legal workforce. We need to figure that out before we commit to E-verify.”

Moore says something needs to be done …

MOORE … “And, some people say, well, why can’t you just hire U.S. workers? I think farmers would be delighted to hire U.S. workers. Show us where they are, right? So, it’s helping everybody understand just how difficult this situation is.”

The bill has passed the House, and is on its way to the Senate.

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