Everett Griner talks about farmers facing labor shortages in today’s Agri View.
FAQ’s About Agricultural Labor and Immigration Reform
What does agriculture need?
There are certain types of farm work, such as weeding or picking produce for the fresh market, that machines just can’t do as well as human hands. And farm work is challenging. Most Americans choose other types of work.
A survey by the California Farm Bureau last year found that 71 percent of tree fruit growers and nearly 80 percent of raisin and berry growers were unable to find enough employees to prune trees and vines or pick crops. This is a problem for all facets of agriculture, not just fruit and vegetable growers.
Workers from other countries have often filled the gap. However, for too long, farmers and ranchers have struggled to make sure that they have a legal, reliable supply of workers. Current federal programs and policies dealing with farm labor have resulted in a daunting, broken system, riddled with shortcomings that have resulted in labor shortages, lost crops and bureaucratic nightmares.
Farmers and ranchers need a new agricultural labor program that accommodates all of agriculture, is flexible both for employers and for workers and provides short- and long-term solutions.
National and regional farm groups have joined together in the Agriculture Workforce Coalition to create an agricultural labor proposal that makes sense for farmers, workers, our food security and national security.