A forthcoming solution?Aug 08, 2022
In a letter addressed to the Senate, the Agriculture Workforce Coalition urged senators to pass the agriculture workforce reform bill, which provides the solution American agriculture needs to defend national security through the protection of domestic agricultural production and the reduction of rising food costs for consumers.
- The Farm Workforce Modernization Act would establish a program allowing agricultural workers in the U.S. to earn legal status through continued agricultural employment and contribution to the agricultural economy, which should be a solution to the current crisis.
It also reforms the H-2A program to provide more flexibility for employers, while ensuring critical protections for workers.
- However, Allison Crittenden, AFBF Director of Government Affairs, has pointed to key areas that are concerning: year-round visas and the inclusion of E-Verify only for agriculture without adequately reforming H-2A first.
Moreover, action is needed soon – preferably this year – to address the ongoing crisis. Not only because of workers, but also because inaction will force many farmers to reconsider whether they can continue in labor-intensive agriculture, while also addressing consumers’ need for lower food prices.
- The letter concludes by stating that reforms which provide farmers certainty and mitigate against spiraling production costs will support three goals in America’s interest: affordable food, domestic production, and national security.