By Christina Herrick, Growing Produce The story of the agricultural labor shortage is not new. Most everyone in the industry knows it’s impossible to grow fruit without the direct help of a large agriculture workforce to maintain and harvest it. “This is bar none the issue that keeps the industry awake at night,” says Diane […]
Some farmers worry that possible changes to the federal H-2A visa program that allows temporary, foreign workers to come work the harvest could put a crimp in the pipeline of foreign labor they’ve come to depend upon.
In this episode of NPR’s On Point, the discussion utilizes the Vermont dairy industry’s woes as a case study for the larger issue of the Trump administration’s crackdown on immigration and its effects on agricultural labor nationwide.
President Donald Trump’s stance on immigration and immigration reform is shaking up Washington, but it also has the agriculture industry worried about losing more labor.
A new bill announced in early January would allow foreign workers with appropriate visas to do farming work in the United States for spans of three years.
The number of temporary agricultural workers requested through the H-2A program has nearly tripled in the past decade, from nearly 51,000 in 2005 to almost 146,000 in 2015, but the process remains difficult to navigate and in need of change.
Got a crystal ball? Or, more in step with the times, a prognosticating drone? The agricultural outlook for 2017 is cloudy, including uncertainty about the H-2A Visa program.
Just 2 percent of labor demand is met through the H-2A visa program, creating a massive black market.
The minimum wage for H-2A visa foreign guestworkers in Washington and Oregon likely will rise 5.44 percent to $13.38 per hour in 2017, making it the highest in the nation.
Republican control of the White House and Congress brought some optimism to agricultural leaders who for years have been working on immigration reform to help labor-intensive agriculture.