Ag Labor Under Coronavirus Pt 1

Ag Labor Under Coronavirus Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. The COVID-19 coronavirus has changed, for the time being at least, the way we’re all going about our lives and business.

But, through it all, farmers and ranchers soldier on because they’re “essential.”

And that, according to the Washington Policy Center’s

Initiative on Agriculture Director, Pam Lewison is something she predicted, kind of …

LEWISON … “Yes, it’s funny, early on, I wrote calling for ag to be considered an essential infrastructure, an essential service, and about two hours after a wrote that recommendation Homeland Security came out with their recommendation that ag was considered an essential infrastructure. So, it may not have been because of me, but I’m going to say that it was (chuckles).”

But, Lewison says, even though ag is one of our “essential” industries, it doesn’t mean there couldn’t still be problems …

LEWISON … “We’ll have to see what happens with ag labor. I think there’s still the potential for a shortage as consulates from elsewhere determine how they’re going to go through the vetting process on their side of things.”

So, at this point anyway, Lewison says we’ll have to wait and see what the other countries can do to clear the way for ag workers …

LEWISON … “The U.S. has done as much as they can to make sure that workers are allowed to come to us, but to a certain extent, you know, we can’t force other consulates to allow people to come.”

Listen tomorrow for more on ag labor during our coronavirus changes.

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