A partnership between AgSafe and UnitedAg is allowing for the development of an H-2A cost estimator tool that can assist with decision making when it comes to the H-2A program. The development of the estimator tool is being made possible through a grant for $50,000. Part of the project includes offering a series of webinars covering common questions about the H-2A program, and instructions for how to use the cost estimator once it is released.
“The goal is that starting this December we will have a page on the AgSafe website dedicated to the H-2A cost estimator,” said AgSafe President and CEO Amy Wolfe. “You put in just a couple pieces of input and then the estimator produces for you a worksheet that gives you low, conservative starting data around costs.”
Using information collected from industry members who are already using the H-2A program, the tool will provide cost approximations for farmers interested in employing H-2A workers. Wolfe is asking those already involved with the program to submit information about annual costs associated with the use of the H-2A program. The more data that is included in the cost estimator the more accurate the results will be.
“If you’re a grower or a farm labor contractor who is currently using H-2A and you’re willing to share your information please give me a call,” Wolfe noted. “Every which way you’re spending money to legally and compliantly use the H-2A program, we would love to hear from you and get that data confidentially submitted to our organization.”
The tool will take into account all the costs that are associated with H-2A labor, including inbound travel expenses, housing, transportation, and additional support staff. The end-user will be able to input things like the estimated number of workers that will be needed and the length of time they would be required, which will generate average figures related to the core costs for similar operations.
“There’s a lot that goes into choosing to participate in the program,” Wolfe noted. “We’re at least giving you a list of additional expenses that you need to consider. That will vary, but now you know it’s a cost you will have to take into consideration.”
Listen to Wolfe’s interview below.