USApple on FWMA Pt 2

USApple on FWMA Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
From the Ag Information Network, I’m Bob Larson with today’s Fruit Grower Report. Time is running out for Senate passage of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act in this lame-duck session before the holiday break and next year’s new Congress.

Jim Bair, USApple president and CEO, says it won’t be easy, but they’re pushing as hard as they can …

BAIR … “So, we’re really redoubling our efforts to try to get a bill passed by the Senate and get it to the President’s desk for signature by the end of the year. We’ll see, but it’s a, the picture is changing daily. There’s some bright spots, a little bit of momentum, but it’s going to be an uphill climb for sure.”

Thanks to recent visits by Pacific Northwest Grower advocates, Bair says there is now more hope than just a few weeks ago …

BAIR … “So, it’s a testament to how growers can their own best advocate for what they need and they’ve been forceful advocates and it’s really helped push the thing forward. You know, you might say it’s a can’t afford to lose proposition and that’s what we’re presenting it as.”

But, Bair says it will have to be a bipartisan effort to get it through …

BAIR … “The House bill wasn’t perfect, we acknowledge that. But it was what was politically possible. And that’s going to be the same with any bill that emerges from the Senate. It’s going to be required that both Republicans and Democrats are going to have to come together.”

Bair says they really need to put aside petty political differences and come together for the benefit of U.S. agriculture in general, but Pacific Northwest agriculture in particular.

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