The newly formed U.S. Agricultural Labor Working Group is asking farm employers, processors and employees to complete a survey on workforce challenges and solutions. Michigan Farm Bureau is stressing to members the importance of submitting responses.
“Please take the survey — we can’t afford to miss this opportunity to tell our story and share the hardships Michigan farms and businesses are experiencing with the limitations of the current H-2A program,” said John Kran, MFB’s national legislative counsel.
“I know it can be tiring to repeatedly communicate the challenges you’re facing, but I’m confident our organization is capable of influencing meaningful, significant change over time and continuing the momentum we’ve gained on the labor front.”
Click here to take the survey.
The survey is not to be confused with USDA’s Farm Labor Survey.
According to the working group’s website, all survey responses are anonymous and will be aggregated for internal use only.
When the working group was formed this past June, House Committee on Agriculture Chair Glenn “GT” Thompson (PA) and Ranking Member David Scott (GA) explained the working group’s objectives in a joint statement:
Seeking input from stakeholders, employers, and workers, particularly emphasizing the H-2A visa program for nonimmigrant agricultural workers;
Producing an interim report detailing the program's shortcomings and the impacts on food security, and;
Filing a final report with recommendations to address the flaws within the program.
Further, the statement said, “The Committee on Agriculture has heard loud and clear from producers across the nation that one of the biggest challenges confronting the agriculture industry is a lack of reliable labor. Though not directly in our committee’s jurisdiction, we have a responsibility to be a voice in Congress on the issues and policies impacting farmers and ranchers. This is a complex problem that deserves the focused attention of the Members who hear from producers every day rather than the partisan grandstanding that has plagued these efforts in the past.”
Co-chaired by Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR) and Rep. Don Davis (D-NC), other members of the working group include Reps. Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-OR), Monica De La Cruz (R-TX), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), Nick Langworthy (R-NY), David Rouzer (R-NC), Derrick Van Orden (R-WI), Yadira Caraveo (D-CO), Salud Carbajal (D-CA), Jim Costa (D-CA), Jasmine Crockett (D-TX), Darren Soto (D-FL), and Gabe Vasquez (D-NM).