On a recent trip to California, Secretary Perdue met with several farmers throughout the state. One of the biggest concerns felt by growers revolved around labor and the proposed H-2C program that is moving through Congress. “It’s incumbent upon us as the U.S. government to give them a program where they can hire people who are legal,” said Perdue.
The Agricultural Guestworker Act, known as the AG Act, would replace the current H-2A guestworker program with an H-2C program that would be administered by the United States Department of Agriculture. The bill was introduced on October 2 by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte.
Perdue noted that the H-2C program is not a fix-all, but it is a move in the right direction. “I think it’s a start and we want to continue the ball in the air, moving down the field, to see if we can get a legal guestworker program for agricultural producers,” Perdue stated.