Farm Bureau Urges New Ag Labor Guestworker ProgramWASHINGTON, D.C., February 26, 2013 – A new, modern guestworker program for agricultural workers is needed so that U.S. farmers and ranchers can continue growing food, tending livestock and contributing to the nation’s economy, American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman told Congress today. (Feb 26)
|AMERICA SOONER OR LATER WILL HAVE TO IMPORT FARM|
|WORKERS . . . OR IMPORT FOOD!
American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman testified before Congress about the need for a new, modern guestworker program for agricultural workers. Click on the image for a high resolution copy.
Stallman also addressed agriculture’s short-term labor needs in his testimony.
“In order to provide short-term stability and an orderly, effective transition to a new guestworker program it is imperative that any legislation approved by Congress include provisions permitting current agricultural workers who might not otherwise qualify to obtain work authorization,” Stallman said.
“Any new program will take time to be implemented fully,” Stallman said. “Granting existing experienced agricultural workers work authorization is a crucial part of making sure that there is not economic dislocation in the agricultural sector while we transition to a new program.”
AFBF economists estimate that the agricultural economy and the broader U.S. economy are facing $9 billion or more in lost productivity each year if the agriculture labor force issue is not addressed.
In closing, Stallman reiterated the cooperative efforts of a broad coalition – the Agriculture Workforce Coalition – that is working in a unified manner “to construct a model agricultural labor program that will work” for all sectors of agriculture.