Ag Labor Meeting in D.C. Pt 1

Ag Labor Meeting in D.C. Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Ag groups from across the country gathered in Washington D.C. last week to stress the importance of ag labor reform and to call on the Senate to pass the Farm Workforce Modernization Act.

The National Potato Council organized the event and US Apple Association president Jim Bair was one of several speakers on hand …

BAIR … “The U.S. apple crop is about a $5-billion a year industry. We grow about 30-billion apples a year and every single one of them must be picked by hand.”

The problem, Bair says is that’s getting tougher and tougher to do …

BAIR … “I hear from family farmers every day who say they had to leave apples on the trees to rot because they couldn’t get enough workers to pick them. As a former farm-boy myself, I find that offensive and I think its offensive to most Americans.”

Bair says House passage means we’re half way home …

BAIR … “I’d like to congratulate and thank the members of Congress who got this bill passed. A lot of people said it couldn’t be done and they refused to listen to that. They saw an acute and a critical need in agriculture for sufficient labor and they got the job done.”

So, Bair says let’s do this …

BAIR … “I’d like to join with my colleagues in the potato industry and say we’re calling on the United State’s Senate now to pick up the ball where it’s been left and carry it across the finish line and get this job finished once and for all.”

Listen tomorrow for more, this time from another attendee, U.S. Representative Dan Newhouse.

Previous ReportWA State Tree Fruit and Legislation Pt 3
Next ReportAg Labor Meeting in D.C. Pt 2