Lawmakers Establish Bipartisan Agricultural Labor Working Group

Brian GermanAgri-Business, Labor and Immigration

A new Agricultural Labor Working Group has been established to focus on the consistent issues that farmers have been facing with regard to labor. The bipartisan group was announced by House Committee on Agriculture Chairman Glenn “GT” Thompson and Ranking Member David Scott. The two lawmakers noted that the group has been formed in response to industry comments and concerns.

Labor Working Group

“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,” the two noted in a press release. “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 Congressmen Rick Crawford and Don Davis, the 14-member Agricultural Labor Working Group will have multiple areas of focus. The group will be seeking feedback from industry members regarding labor concerns, with an emphasis on the H-2A visa program. A final report will be prepared, detailing areas where the program can be improved. The report will offer a suite of potential solutions that can be applied to subsequent legislative efforts. The Agriculture Workforce Coalition, which includes the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) and Western Growers Association, has expressed support for the working group.

“Labor is one of the biggest limiting factors facing agriculture, and farmers need a system that provides long-term stability,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall We are committed to engaging with the newly formed working group to address meaningful H-2A reform and a reasonable wage rate that enables farmers and their employees to continue meeting the needs of America’s families.”

Brian German
Ag News Director / AgNet West