Ag Labor Solutions Pt 1

Ag Labor Solutions Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. With a new administration and a shuffling of Congressional numbers to deal with, ag groups are preparing for another face off.

Speaking recently at the Potato Expo, AmericanHort’s Craig Regelbrugge said priorities begin with a continued push for upgrades to our ag labor rules that began back in the 90s …

REGELBRUGGE … “And they did so when the agricultural sector had tried to sort of get its own way on what we thought H-2A should look like. And, the farmworker advocates similarly tried to get their own way on a very different view of agricultural labor, and we both had enough power to stop the other. It’s always easier to kill than it is to achieve in Washington.”

And, Regelbrugge says we’re not asking for all that much …

REGELBRUGGE … “We don’t need a room full of rocket scientists. The solution really has three parts. We need reforms that allow our experienced but unauthorized current workforce, which is half of the agricultural workforce incidentally, to be able to attain some sort of legal status with authorization to work.”

Beyond that, Regelbrugge says …

REGELBRUGGE … “We need better mechanisms to provide future workers, but also even workers today as we need them because we have worker shortages today and so we need better visa program options.”

And the third piece, he says, is some kind of electronic eligibility verification.

Tune in tomorrow for more on labor solutions in 2021.

Previous ReportAg Priorities with a New Administration Pt 3
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